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Cover Art
Author Metzner, Paul, 1952-

Title Crescendo of the virtuoso : spectacle, skill, and self-promotion in Paris during the Age of Revolution / Paul Metzner.

Published Berkeley : University of California Press, [1998]


Location Call No. Status
Physical description xii, 385 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Series Studies on the history of society and culture ; 30.
Studies on the history of society and culture ; 30.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents Introduction: The Historical Background -- Pt. 1. Some Models of Excellence. Ch. 1. Philidor and the Cafe de la Regence Chess Masters. 1. The Second Career of Francois-Andre Danican Philidor (1726-1795) as a Chess Player. 2. Philidor's Followers: Deschapelles, Labourdonnais, and the Dethroned Dynasts. Ch. 2. Careme, Chef de Cuisine: Marie-Antoine Careme (1783-1833). Ch. 3. Vidocq, Detective: Eugene-Francois Vidocq (1775-1857). Ch. 4. Paganini and Liszt, Musicians. 1. Nicolo Paganini (1782-1840). 2. The Early Career of Franz Liszt (1811-1886) as a Concert Pianist. Ch. 5. Robert-Houdin and the Vogue of the Automaton-Builders. 1. Predecessors of Robert-Houdin: Vaucanson, Jaquet-Droz, Kempelen, Maelzel. 2. The Mechanician Jean-Eugene Robert-Houdin (1805-1871) -- Pt. 2. Some Modes of Excelling. Ch. 6. Mounting Spectacles. Ch. 7. Exalting Technical Skill. Ch. 8. Ballooning the Self.
Summary During the Age of Revolution, Paris came alive with wildly popular virtuoso performances. Whether the performers were musicians or chefs, chess players or detectives, these virtuosos transformed their technical skills into dramatic spectacles, presenting the marvelous and the outre for spellbound audiences. Who were these individuals, and how did they gain their fame? How did their values of spectacularism and self-promotion become so dominant? And why did Paris become their focal point? Paul Metzner answers these questions and more in this fascinating portrayal of the cyclone of virtuosity that overtook Paris from 1775 to 1850.
Subject Revolutions -- France -- History -- 19th century.
Social change -- France -- Paris -- History -- 19th century.
Arts and revolutions -- France -- Paris -- History -- 19th century.
Technological innovations -- France -- Paris.
Public spaces -- France -- Paris.
Democracy -- France -- History -- 19th century.
Paris (France) -- History -- 1789-1900.
France -- History -- Revolution, 1789-1799 -- Influence.
ISBN 0520206843 (cloth : alk. paper)