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Michel-Paul-Gui de Chabanon wrote his Eloge de M. Rameau in October 1764, one month after the composer’s death. Far from being a mere occasional piece meant to give justice to a master and friend with a view to completing the anonymous « Essai d’éloge historique de feu M. Rameau » published shortly before in the Mercure de France, Chabanon’s text serves a double purpose: writing a memorial to Rameau by presenting him as a genius who has revolutionised music and theory, and by giving a first list of his works; departing from this legacy by defending ideas Chabanon was to develop twenty years later in De la musique considérée en elle- même [...] : a criticism of imitative music and a plea for instrumental music. The encomium is thus, paradoxically, an exercise in both admiration and distance.
Michel-Paul-Guy de Chabanon et ses contemporains
Raphaëlle Legrand
Université Paris IV-Sorbonne
Chabanon et Rameau : l'éloge paradoxal