ConcertsA key moment in Franco-German relations, the 1870–1871 war, while certainly fanning the flames of hatred, did not hinder composers, poets and writers on both sides of the Rhine from exchanging ideas and influencing each other, as illustrated by Baudelaire’s boundless admiration for Wagner and by this cycle of eleven concerts.
Although popular songs referred to the Commune, the focus was essentially on a policy designed to reaffirm the splendour of French music in response to the German tradition. The National Society of Music was founded in 1871 by Bussine and Saint-Saëns as a means of implementing this policy. The society’s founding members included Franck, Massenet, Fauré and Duparc. Its motto was Ars Gallica.
In the wake of the 1871 defeat at the hands of Prussia, France entrusted its composers with the task of arousing national pride and patriotism, since music played a central role in the ruling elite’s view of the nation and the construction of republican national identity. However, such attempts failed to take into account the influence of foreign music and, more importantly, the enduring mutual esteem and elective affinities that served to deepen ties between the artists.
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Lectures1870-1871: War, Arts, History
The Musée de l’Armée is holding a cycle of lectures in partnership with the Permanent University of the City of Paris. The cycle, successively tackling cultural, military and art history, features the following lectures
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Entertaining guided toursThe museum also offers an entertaining guided tour of the exhibition to give young visitors a better understanding of the 1870–1871 Franco-German war and find out about the important changes that accompanied or followed on from the conflict on the military, artistic, heritage and commemorative levels. A series of fun challenges await the youngsters during the tour. The guided tour is suitable for families and school groups.
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Guided ToursVisits organized by Cultival.
Screenings1870-1871: Quiet please... Filming in progress!
The exhibition also features a film cycle: five fiction films and fictionalised documentaries explore how the Franco-German war (1870–1871) and Paris Commune (1871) have been represented and transformed into a narrative, subjects that have inspired numerous directors both in France and elsewhere. Film historians and film studies specialists will place the films in context and analyse them before discussing them with the viewers after the screening. The sessions will be run by film historian Patrick Brion.
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