The French can boast a splendid musical record, particularly as regards the opera. Paris was for many years the centre towards which foreign artists were wont to gravitate. It was here that Gluck laid the seeds of his musical reforms; that Cherubini and Spontini lived and brought out their best works; it was the influence of French taste that caused Rossini to forsake the inartistic devices of his earlier Italian operas and write "Guillaume Tell," his masterpiece; it was for Paris that Meyerbeer composed "Robert le Diable," "Les Huguenots," "Le Proph te," and "L'Africaine;" that Donizetti wrote the "Favorite," and Verdi, "Don Carlos." It was Paris that Wagner had in his mind when he composed his "Rienzi.
Masters of French Music
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