On his 75th birthday in 1912, Théodore Dubois (1837-1924) began writing a diary which he kept almost until the end of his life. The first pages recount the quiet daily life of a musician adored by the official circles but whose artistic fame was waning; a “romantic” composer soon overwhelmed by the backwash of the testing modernities of Ravel, Stravinsky or Milhaud. With the outbreak of the First World War, this diary takes a completely different turn. Punctuated by news from the front (distorted according to the prism of a propaganda press) as well as by personal and material concerns, Dubois’ text now delivers the attentive and worried view of its author on a conflict of unprecedented proportions and stakes. Throughout the pages, the composer also bears witness to the practices, institutions and musical sociability that were born and organised with the Great War. A hero of a bygone era, the composer of the Paradis perdu analyses post-war events (up to 1923) from the same perspective: lucid, disillusioned and often backward-looking.

Table of contents

  • Préface. « J’assiste à ma mort de mon vivant ! » || 1 || Alexandre Dratwicki
  • Introduction. Journal d’un musicien « en guerre » : Théodore Dubois, août 1914 – novembre 1918 || 11 || Charlotte Segond-Genovesi
  • Journal || 25
  • Appendice. Quelques souvenirs anecdotiques et autres au hasard de la mémoire || 327
  • Index des personnes || 339
  • Index des œuvres de Dubois || 349
  • Index des œuvres || 353