Writing a book on Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764), for a harpsichordist and conductor like Christophe Rousset, is not just an opportunity to pay tribute to a great composer, it is also a chance to share the viewpoint of a practitioner who is familiar (...)
From time to time, they print and reprint some biographical notices about me that are so full of inaccuracies and errors, that the idea finally dawned on me that I myself should write about the things in my laboured and agitated life that were liable to arouse some interest amongst lovers of art (...)
The art of music is, without question, the sole art of all the arts which brings out the strangest of passions, the most preposterous ambitions, and I would even say, the most blatant monomanias. Among the patients sequestered in asylums, those who believe they are Neptune or Jupiter are easily recognised as being monomaniac (...)
A patient called Wagner is the first complete medical chronicle of the life of the composer, based on a large number of sources never before published in French. Far from being a medical report with all the inevitable jargon, the book offers a story of the artist’s life as seen through the prism of his ailments (...)
Lorenzo Da Ponte is famous for having written the texts of Mozart’s three masterpieces: The Marriage of Figaro, Don Juan, and Cosi fan tutte. When Da Ponte—a Catholic priest—arrived in Vienna after being obliged to leave Venice for indulging in some inappropriate liaisons with women, there seemed to be nothing that would make the 32-year-old mark Mozart...