“Not a single millionaire among the many in Paris is even thinking about doing something for classical music. No, any composer outside of theatrical scene attempting to write a substantial work in Paris is left completely to his own resources.”
Thus wrote a bitter Hector Berlioz in 1854. About 30 years later, the music world in France had a completely different appearance. The defeat suffered in the French-Prussian war in 1870 had resulted in an upsurge of nationalism, of which music had reaped the benefits. In the concert hall, the reign of the German composers was slowly being usurped by the French composers. An important contributing factor was the founding of the Société Nationale de Musique in 1871. Proudly announcing its slogan ‘Ars Gallica’, this institute stimulated the composition and performance of French (instrumental) music. The Société brought about the first performances of new compositions by Chabrier, Debussy, Dukas, Ravel, Fauré, Franck and Lalo, to mention but a few. Furthermore, composers such as Jules Pasdeloup, Edouard Colonne (Concerts Colonne) and Charles Lamoureux (Concerts Lamoureux) placed a major role.