The more than fifty songs composed by Giacomo Meyerbeer
are, despite their quality, underrepresented on modern recital and concert programs.
Meverbeer wrote a few other short pieces with explicitly Jewish themes: see notes 6 and 17 below; his choral works for the Paris synagogue are discussed in David Conway, Jewry in Music-Entry In the Profession from the Enlightenment to Richard Wagner (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 220; "Psalm 91," in honor of his mother's 87th birthday in 1853, is discussed in Heinz Becker and Gudrun Becker, Giacomo Meyerbeer
, A Life in Letters (London: Christopher Helm, 1989), 181.
One essay written in 1850, "Das Judenthum in der Musik" ("Jewishness in Music") criticized Jewish musical rivals ike Giacomo Meyerbeer
and claimed that the Jews (an "alien" race) were destructive to German society and culture and that most Germans were "repelled" by Jews.
Wagner tried to cover his guilty tracks by denouncing Jewish composers he emulated, including Giacomo Meyerbeer
Thus, we read of Elisa-Rachel Felix who proved a brilliant tragic actress in roles from Racine, while Giacomo Meyerbeer
produced lavish historical operas of great popularity.
Rather than hating his imagined opponents--notably Mendelssohn and Giacomo Meyerbeer
, both of whom had shown him goodwill--because they were Jews, Wagner seems to have done the opposite: invoked their Jewishness because he hated them.
It became one of the most popular works of its day and, along with the operas of Giacomo Meyerbeer
, the gold standard against which critics have measured other efforts in the genre of French grand opera.
Exemplified by the operas of Giacomo Meyerbeer
, French Grand Opera was among the dominant styles of the early nineteenth century.
and Jacques Offenbach were born in Germany but lived in France.
For example, in his treatment of Giacomo Meyerbeer
, the eminent nineteenth-century composer, we learn of the pains from which even the most celebrated German Jews still suffered in their quest for approval long after emancipation had taken place.
Johann Sebastian Bach used it in his Cantata #80 (1730), Felix Mendelssohn in his Reformation Symphony (1830), Richard Wagner in Kaisermarch (1871) and Giacomo Meyerbeer
in Les Huguenots (1836).
Thus, although Letter Eleven, addressed to the composer Giacomo Meyerbeer
, is ostensibly about music in general and Meyerbeer's opera Les Huguenots in particular, it serves rather as a pretext for the articulation of the many things Sand felt she had to say both to herself and to others: `Je sentais beaucoup de choses a dire, et je voulais les dire a moi et aux autres'.