Du salon au front : Fernand Halphen (1872-1917), composer, patron and director of military music

Published on April 26th 2017

A collective work published in April 2017 under the direction of Laure Schnapper, with the collaboration of Pierre-André Meyer – Preface by Hervé Roten, published under the auspices of EHESS, EIJM and Yuval organization, by Hermann Editions, for the centennial of the death of Fernand Halphen (1872-1917), composer and patron, who died for France.


100 years ago, Fernand Halphen died of an illness that he caught at the military front. No one could have guessed that this son of a rich Parisian Jewish family would create and lead for two and one-half years the official orchestra of the North armies. The melodies and the chamber music that he wrote reflect the refined atmosphere of the salons of the 3rd Republic, the golden age of the French melody.
The rich archive holdings that he gathered help us to know with precision the path of a French composer in a time in which Wagner and the Dreyfus Affair prevailed. Close to G. Fauré and a student in the conservatory, where he knew R. Hahn, H. Büsser, A. Cortot, Ch. Koechlin and E. Risler, Halphen before being awarded the 2nd place in the Rome Prize, financially helped musicians throughout his life and even more, provided an important legacy for the students of the Conservatory, one that was supported by his widow Alice.

Buy the book online on EIJM’s shop


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The authors

Preface by Hervé Roten
Introduction and acknowledgments by Laure Schnapper

1st part: A family of the Parisian Jewish elite
- Pierre-André Meyer, L’ascension d’une famille israélite : autour de Georges Halphen et Henriette Stern, les parents
- Basile Baudez, Les résidences de Fernand Halphen

2nd part: The years of learning and relations with the musicians
- Laure Schnapper, La classe de composition du Conservatoire et l’amitié avec Fauré
- Jean-Christophe Branger et Philippe Blay, Autour de Massenet : Fernand Halphen, Reynaldo Hahn et Edouard Risler

3rd part: The work
- François Le Roux, Les mélodies : le point de vue d’un interprète
- Alexis Galpérine, Halphen ou un hypothétique violon juif français
- Stéphanie Moraly, La musique de chambre

4th part: The Great War
- Laure Schnapper, Le chef de musique au 13è Régiment d’infanterie territoriale

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