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La musique religieuse de Liszt à l’épreuve de la palingénésie de Ballanche : réforme ou régénération ?

Abstract : Until now, the study of Liszt’s religious music, the least known category of his repertory, has primarily focused upon "reform", even though Liszt himself seems rarely if ever to have employed the word in this context. However, in his 1835 article « De la musique religieuse », he does evoke the notion of the « regeneration » of religious music, employing as he does the concept of "palingenisis" ("rebirth") that was bandied about in artistic circles at the time, notably in the writings of Ballanche and d’Ortigue. In this article, the influence of Ballanche (long neglected in Liszt studies), and the relationship between palingenesis, regeneration, and Liszt’s religious works are brought together in a biographical, archival, and analytical synthesis founded on nineteenth-century philosophical ideas of progress, notably those of Hegel. The idea of regeneration would seem to haunt all of Liszt’s works ; it is an essential component of his aesthetics and his conception of history, and it also has repercussions on his musical syntax, as in the Dante Symphony and the Cantantibus organis. Liszt, the great musical assimilator and transformer, here attempts to balance respect for tradition with the quest for progress and perfectibility. It is for this reason that his church music finds its roots in Gregorian chant and the Renaissance. Palingenesis informs his religious musical syntax and results in a dialectic among past, present, and future, and a synthesis of tradition and modernity.
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Nicolas Dufetel. La musique religieuse de Liszt à l’épreuve de la palingénésie de Ballanche : réforme ou régénération ?. Revue de musicologie, JSTOR, 2009, 95 (2), p. 359-398. ⟨halshs-01264945⟩

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