Marie-Antoinette and music


2022 Winner of the Palace of Versailles History Book Prize

Few women have so excited passions, provoked the most contradictory comments, given rise to so many biographies. Marie-Antoinette is not a queen like the others and we rediscover her today under less known aspects. This book focuses for the first time on her strong ties to music: her studies in Vienna, her discovery of the French musical world, her passion for the harp, the pianoforte and singing, but also for opera and comic opera. Through her unfailing support of court and Parisian performances, she demonstrated her willingness to internationalize a repertoire that had until then been very Franco-centric.

Throughout the pages, from her arrival at the age of 14 to the dark days of the Tuileries, we discover the important role she played in the cultural society of the late eighteenth century, her links with the theatrical public and with artists, as well as the influence she exerted on the evolution of the repertoire and the technical progress of instruments. 

Throughout a transversal study that unites music and the arts, but also politics, society and anecdotes from daily life, Patrick Barbier offers a new look at the queen patron who was the most music-loving and musical queen in French history.

Published by Grasset
Number of pages: 448
Size : 14 x 20,5 cm
Publication date : January 12, 2022
Language : French

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