Revue et gazette musicale de Paris

The Revue musicale was a weekly musical review founded in 1827 by the Belgian musicologist, teacher and composer François-Joseph Fétis, then working as professor of counterpoint and fugue at the Conservatoire de Paris. It was the first French-language journal dedicated entirely to classical music. In November 1835 it merged with Maurice Schlesinger's Gazette musicale de Paris (first published in January 1834) to form Revue et gazette musicale de Paris, first published on 1 November 1835. It ceased publication in 1880.


By 1830 the Revue musicale, written and published by Fétis, was on sale at Maurice Schlesinger's music seller's premises.[1] Schlesinger (whose father founded the Berliner allgemeine musikalische Zeitung) was a German music editor who had moved to Paris in 1821. Schlesinger published editions of classical and modern music under his own name at a reasonable price, most notably works by Mozart, Haydn, Weber, Beethoven, Hummel and Berlioz. He also published Robert le diable[2] and Les Huguenots by Giacomo Meyerbeer, as well as La Juive by Fromental Halévy.[3] Schlesinger founded his own rival publication, the Gazette Musicale de Paris, which first appeared on 5 January 1834.[4][5]

Another music journal, Le Ménestrel, had first appeared the previous month on 1 December 1833.[6][7] Until La Revue et Gazette ceased publication in 1880, Le Ménestrel was to be its main rival in terms of influence and breadth of coverage.[8]

In 1835, Schlesinger bought the Revue musicale from Fétis and merged the two journals into the Revue et gazette musicale de Paris. He widened the subject matter of the Gazette musicale from music itself to also include literature about music – in 1837 he commissioned from Honoré de Balzac for the Gazette the novella Gambara (dealing with the new style of grand opera).[9]

The name Revue musicale returned for six months in 1839 as the Revue musicale, journal des artistes, des amateurs et des théatres while the journal was a bi-weekly publication. The list of contributors to the Revue et gazette musicale in 1840 included: François Benoist, Hector Berlioz, Castil-Blaze, Antoine Elwart, Stephen Heller, Jules Janin, Jean-Georges Kastner, Franz Liszt, Édouard Monnais (director of the Paris Opera from 1839 to 1847), Joseph d'Ortigue, Theodor Panofka, Ludwig Rellstab, Georges Sand, Robert Schumann and Richard Wagner.

Publication chronology, 1827—1850

Revue musicale

Published by Fétis. First series (6 volumes):

Second series (14 volumes):

  • Vol. 1 (Tome premier), 1st issue 6 February 1830
  • Vol. 2 (Tome second) (pub. 1830)
  • Vol. 3 (Tome troisième) (1830)
  • Vols. 4-5 (1830)
  • Vol. 6 (Tome VI, quatrième année) (1830)
  • Vol. 7 (1830) (Tome VIII, IVme année) [1]
  • Vols. 8-10 (1830)[11]
  • Vol. 11 (pub. 1832) (Tome XI - Vme année - 1831) Published on Saturdays from at least January 1831 (Vol. 11).
  • Vol. 12 (pub. 1832) (Tome XII - VIme année- 1832)
  • Vol. 13 (1833) (Tome XIII)[12]
  • Vol. 14 (January 1834) (Tome XIV)[13]
Gazette musicale de Paris

Published by Schlesinger, appeared on Sundays.

  • 1834, Vol. 1 (First edition, 1ère année, No. 1, Sunday 5 January 1834)
  • 1834, Vol. 2 (1ère année, No. 27, 6 July 1834)
  • 1835, Vol. 1 (2e année, No. 2, 11 January 1835). In issue 44, pp. 353–4 (the first edition of Revue et Gazette Musicale de Paris) Schlesinger - comparing himself to a general of Ancient Greece - announced on 1 November 1835 in glowing terms that the struggle with Fétis had been won, and that La Revue Musicale would pass, with arms and baggage-train, ensigns flying and with all the honours of war, into the Gazette musicale.[14] Fétis announced that subscribers to his Revue would receive the Gazette under the Revue's masthead until 1 January 1836, and that he would continue to write exclusively for the Gazette.
  • 1835, Vol. 2 (Nos. 45-52, November–December 1835, with supplements)
Revue et gazette musicale de Paris

Appeared on Sundays.

  • 3rd year, 1836
  • 4th year, 1837
  • 5th year, 1838
  • 6th year, 1839. From January 1839 until 11 April 1841 the journal appeared twice weekly, on Thursdays and Sundays. For the first six months, (January–June 1839), the Thursday edition appeared as
    • Revue musicale, journal des artistes, des amateurs et des théatres with similar font and masthead design. The first edition appeared on Thursday 3 January 1839, with consistent volume numbering, as 6e année, No. 1.[15] The Sunday edition continued as
    • Revue et gazette musicale de Paris, 6th year, 1839 (6e année, No. 1). NB The date of the first issue is misprinted 6 Janvier 1838 instead of 1839.
  • 7th year, 1840 (bi-weekly)
  • 8th year, 1841 (bi-weekly until issue of 11 April 1841, p. 225, then Sundays only from 18 April)
  • 9th year, 1842
  • 10th year, 1843
  • 1844 Changes to masthead design and layout. (supplement to 7 January issue contains facsimiles of hundreds of signatures of composers and musicians).
  • 1845
  • 1846

Schlesinger sold the journal in 1846 to a former employee, Louis Brandus.

  • 1847 Reverts to old masthead & layout.
  • 1848 (Google books)
  • 1849
  • 1850
  • etc. until 1880

The journal was suspended from September 1870 to September 1871 during the Siege of Paris, bringing the Franco-Prussian War to an end.


  1. Vol 7 (Tome VIII, IVme année) (1830) sold by Fétis, Alexandre Mesnier & Schlesinger. See review of Vol. 7 in Revue française, Issues 13-14, p. 281-3.
  2. Full score of Schlesinger's edition of Robert le diable at IMSLP.
  3. (in French) Larousse encyclopédique vol. 9, p. 9405.
  4. Gazette Musicale de Paris (in French). Ire année, No. 1. Schlesinger, Maurice (ed.). 5 January 1834.CS1 maint: others (link)
  5. (in French) Dictionnaire de la musique Larousse, p. 286 ISBN 978-2-03-505545-3.
  6. Le Ménestrel (in French). 1 December 1833.
  7. Gautier, Théophile (1995). Lacoste-Veysseyre, Claudine (ed.). Correspondance générale 1865–1867 (in French). Librairie Droz. ISBN 2-600-00075-5.
  8. Ellis, Katharine (2007). Music Criticism in Nineteenth-Century France. Cambridge University Press. p. 2. ISBN 0-521-03589-9.
  9. (in French) René Guise, La Pléiade, p. 1517. Pierre Brunel, "Histoire du texte", Folio Classique, 1995, pp. 318–9 comprising Gambara, Sarrasine, Massimilla Doni.
  10. Page 625 of Vol. 6 contains an announcement of a new series of the journal to incorporate serious analysis of new compositions, along with improved technology for printing musical examples ("les perfectionnemens de fabrication thypographique"). The new series begins on 6 Feb 1830. Vol. 6 also contains a cumulative index of the first 6 volumes.
  11. Quatrième année, Tome X. Cover photo and publication details, retrieved 19 October 2015.
  12. See note in Bindseil, H. E. (1839) Akustik (in German), p. 68
  13. See note in Fétis, F-J, Biographie universelle des musiciens..., Volume 4 (in French), p. 460
  14. "La Revue Musicale passe, avec armes et baggages, enseignes déployés et tous les honneurs de la guerre, a la Gazette musicale".
  15. "Masthead". Revue musicale, journal des artistes, des amateurs et des théatres. 6 (1): 1. 3 January 1839.
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