Blaze (called Castil-Blaze), François-Henri-Joseph

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Blaze (called Castil-Blaze), François-Henri-Joseph

Blaze (called Castil-Blaze), François-Henri-Joseph, French writer on music, father of Henri Blaze, Baron de Bury; b. Cavaillon, Vaucluse, Dec. 1, 1784; d. Paris, Dec. 11, 1857. He studied with his father, a lawyer and amateur musician, then went to Paris in 1799 as a law student; held various administrative posts in provincial towns in France. At the same time he studied music and compiled information on the opera in France. The fruit of this work was the publication in 2 vols, of his book De l’opéra en France (Paris, 1820, 1826). He became music critic of the influential Paris Journal des Débats in 1822, signing his articles “XXX.” He resigned from this post in 1832 but continued to publish books on music, including valuable compilations of musical lexicography: Dictionnaire de musique moderne (2 vols., 1821; 2nd éd., 1825; 3rd éd., edited by J.H. Mees, 1828); Chapelle-musique des Rois de France (1832); La Danse et les ballets depuis Bacchus jusqu’à Mlle. Taglioni (1832); Mémorial du Grand Opéra (1847); Molière musicien (1852); Théâtres lyriques de Paris (2 vols., 1855–56); Sur l’opéra français: Vérités dures mais utiles (1856); L’Art des jeux lyriques (1858); tr. into French many librettos of German and Italian operas. He himself wrote 3 operas and also compiled a collection Chants de Provence. Some of his popular ballads attained considerable popularity.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire