Vie et création musicales en France pendant la Première Guerre mondiale
Sandrine Visse, The “concerts” at the front during the Great War: between commitment to the conflict and artistic life
The importance attached to sources of personal history through soldiers’ testimonies in the study of the First World War has recently allowed the bringing to light of a musical practice close to the front. It appears that a lot of mobilised composers and performers took up their instruments again and organised concerts during their rest time, just a few kilometres behind the front lines. This practice may have appeared inconsiderate when faced with the harsh realities of war, and was sometimes badly received by other men, but it was very often used as a moral and physical way of evading the violence of the conflict. It was sometimes considered as an original form of commitment and war effort because of the relief it brought to many of the soldiers. Musical practice on the front also helped musicians to maintain the hope that they wouldn’t be set aside from French musical life while they were away, and also that they would still exist as artists.
Luc Durosoir, The “Quintette du General”: material and moral conditions of a musical practice in war time (1915–1918)
Shortly after the battle of Artois (summer 1915), a group formed that would be known as the “Quintette du General”, or “Musiciens du General”. Under the auspices of General Charles Mangin, the military hierarchy allowed the grouping of exceptional musical...
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