Talk:André Messager

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August 28, 2010Peer reviewReviewed
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Old messageEdit

This article was automatically assessed because at least one article was rated and this bot brought all the other ratings up to at least that level. BetacommandBot 02:16, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Messager's recordingsEdit

I only have the Saint-Saens prelude and the two Delibes pieces (on CD VG 665 001) but looking at the Holoman link, my understanding is that all the pieces recorded (including those not issued) lasted four and a half minutes (to fit on one side) but that the length of the Rimsky piece and Rouet d'Omphale meant that only extracts of these could be recorded to fit a side. Cg2p0B0u8m (talk) 21:29, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Thanks. I think it should say this more clearly. I'll let Tim give it a shot. -- Ssilvers (talk) 03:04, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
I concur. Will do — Tim riley (talk) 07:18, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

Done. I have also added dates where available in the following paragraphs, as suggested by Ssilvers. For the early 78 individual numbers I cannot find the original dates, and it would be misleading to give the dates of their CD reissues. Dates are given for all the recordings of the LP and CD eras. — Tim riley (talk) 09:47, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

Recent UK productionsEdit

Despite his succession of English hits, his English wife and his Covent Garden post, I am concerned not to overload this article with British references. I hesitate, therefore, to mention the following UK productions of recent years, and would be grateful for comment on whether to do so or not. Fortunio was given at Grange Park Opera in 2001; L'Amour Masque: the French company Opera de Tours brought it to the Edinburgh Festival in 2005; Véronique was done at the Buxton Festival in 2009. — Tim riley (talk) 08:38, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

I don't mind mentioning them. I believe that the correct remedy to "too much x" is to add some "y", not to deprive the reader of "x", so long as x is notable. -- Ssilvers (talk) 14:35, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

GA ReviewEdit

This review is transcluded from Talk:André Messager/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Smerus (talk) 12:49, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

This is the first time I have undertaken a GA review so I will be grateful for any advice, support, brickbats etc. I am just giving the article a first trawl now.--Smerus (talk) 12:49, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

OK: To start with the article seems to me to be generally GA-esque. It is well-sourced, covers many (if not quite all - I will comment on this later) areas of the topic, is NPOV, has not been the subject of edit-wars (an edit war on Messager would indeed signal intensive intellectual passion amongst WP editors), and is extensively referenced from reliable sources.

I've come up with a minor stumbling block at the start - the two sets of composite images provided by User:Tim riley, whilst they seem to me efficient instruments, present some problems in verifying image use policy; athough they are stated to be compiled from WikiCommons free licence originals, aren't we supposed to check those orginals to make absolutely sure they are kosher? I only ask because I want to know.

I did so a little while ago, and found that the picture of Chabrier I originally used was the only one not satisfactorily accounted for. The images of the other three composers and the four leading ladies were certainly published early enough to qualify as Public Domain. (I imagine that the first image of Chabrier did too, but it wasn't possible to demonstrate that, so I have replaced it with the painting by Manet, who died in 1883, so is safely out of copyright.) Tim riley (talk) 08:57, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

And I have a hiccup with the end of the first paragraph - 'international sensations'? This is not substantiated by the text (although it may well be true for all I know) - some rewording here would be best I think. The article also mentions Savoy Opera in the lead, but only talks about the Savoy Theatre in the text. As the WP article on 'Savoy Opera' defines it as an operatic style, not exclusive to the Savoy Theatre, this might best be clarified.

I addressed this last comment and will clarify further in the text below. However, if you look more closely at the Savoy opera article, you will see that it defines Savoy opera as a specific group of operas that are listed in the article as much as a style. -- Ssilvers (talk) 14:58, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

More anon. --Smerus (talk) 13:20, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Early Years

  • 1st para.3 consecutive sentences all have the same ref. Perhaps elide into two sentences, e.g. 'After a bank crash brought ruin' etc., and just have one ref. Penultimate sentence -suggest 'Niedermeyer's school' rather than 'the Niedermeyer'.
  • Last para - the 'Ring' quadrilles are skittish, (and fun to play), but why announce Grove so portentously before this, rather than just using it in the citation? (I see on checking up that the same comment applies to the Fauré article).
    • Done. I agree with this comment. I leave Fauré to Tim. -- Ssilvers (talk) 14:58, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
      • I've imported Brian boulton's pithy rewording from the Fauré PR. Tim riley (talk) 09:17, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Fin de siècle

  • Pélleas et Mélisande links to the play not the opera - I haven't checked all links yet so there may be other slips like this.
  • Is the article missing a trick re Mary Gardner? She premiered Melisande under Messager's baton - but she doesn't get mentioned till the next section , Twentieth century. Perhaps slip the whole para about Pélleas to this later section - it was after all in 1902 - and clarify the Garden relationship timings a bit.
    • I'll leave this one for Tim. -- Ssilvers (talk) 14:58, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
      • The performers whose photographs I have used so far are four who performed in Messager's own works, but as Garden was associated with Messager both on and stage, so to speak, we could certainly justify her inclusion. I have added her. (The image satisfies copyright criteria.) Tim riley (talk) 08:57, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

A general point about Messager's music. The only section which starts to deal with Messager's actual music (as opposed to an excellent chronology of his output) is the Wagstaff quote which is buried on 'Honours, Awards and Reputation'. I rather feel this inhibits the GA-status of the article (perhaps the only factor which really does). It is after all interesting that Messager had a high reputation for conducting Debussy and Wagner but that (as far as I can understand from the article) he did not avail himself of any of their innovations in harmony, structure or orchestration. The other comments show him as relentlessly 'middle-of-the-road'. Some wider consideration of this situation in a section devoted to specifically to Messager's music might be helpful if possible.

It is indeed noticeable that as a conductor and director Messager was very go-ahead but did not draw on Wagner, Debussy et al for his own compositional style. I suppose the reason is simply one of genre. Ballets (until Stravinsky) and operettas were not seen as vehicles for the avant garde. Messager's own style certainly changed considerably over the years, from the very nineteenth-century operette, to 20th C musical comedy, as mentioned in the quote from Wagstaff/Février. I have moved the music section up to a slot of its own, and expanded it. Tim riley (talk) 08:57, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Recordings. I am personally sceptical of paragraphs like 'Singers who have recorded individual numbers...' This is just a list of names - why these in particular out of many hundreds possible? What - if anything - is special about any of these recordings? What - if anything - do they tell us about Messager and/or his music? If nothing, then why the list in this article? Or am I just being a grouch?

I like the idea of noting some singers whose recordings of Messager's songs achieved particular popularity. Perhaps Tim could trim the list a bit and perhaps say a word or two about the popularity of these recordings or note if the recording was in some other way of note? -- Ssilvers (talk) 15:17, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
My point in mentioning these few names is to give a representative sample, in particular showing that each generation has had singers who performed Messager's works. I think simply saying "Each generation has had singers who performed Messager's works", without mentioning a few is rather lame. Tim riley (talk) 08:57, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

More maybe after I have slept on this.--Smerus (talk) 18:52, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

  • Notes. Many of the sources (e.g. Fournier) are mentioned only in the citations themselves. The best practice is to place all the sources in the sources section and have the citations refer to them by author , date and page where appropriate.--Smerus (talk) 06:35, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
    • If I understand this comment, I disagree with it. I believe that WP practice at FA is to place only the books in the sources section and to leave the news, journal and web references only in the in-line footnotes. -- Ssilvers (talk) 15:17, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
      • I stand corrected on my point as I made it; however there are still a number of books in the notes which on this basis should go into 'sources'.--Smerus (talk) 08:15, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
        • Now fixed. I have had to blitz a couple of good (and no doubt true) points added by a previous editor which unfortunately lack full referencing. - Tim riley (talk) 09:17, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for these excellent points; I am much encouraged thereby. I am in the heart of the countryside until next weekend, with very limited internet access: I am looking forward to addressing all your points properly on Sat or Sun next. - Tim riley (talk) 10:33, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

OK I will go on hold till I hear further from you. And when I do it might take me a while to comment further as I am more or less hors de combat from 1st-12th October. Apart from the trivial cleanups etc. it seems to me mainly the point about his music which would be the clincher for GA. --Smerus (talk) 12:15, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Hi, Smerus. I have been working on this article for a few years, although Tim's recent work on it has transformed it into a far better article. I have addressed your simpler points above, but leave the difficult ones for Tim :-) Tim, please note that there are still a few hidden questions in the text. Thanks. -- Ssilvers (talk) 14:58, 20 September 2010 (UTC) All but one now dealt with and removed. Tim riley (talk) 09:17, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
Many thanks for your help and comments.--Smerus (talk) 16:32, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Another point which has some bearing on both the matters of musical style and recordings. The article has no sound clips, which if available would be a big plus. I notice for example that on YouTube there is at least one example of an out of copyright recording (although this particular example whilst quite cute may, admittedly, not be especially of interest for the article). I have zero experience in this field myself but perhaps help might be summoned in this matter.--Smerus (talk) 13:52, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Smerus, can you help us (or recommend someone who can help) create a sound file if we can come up with an MP3? Neither Tim nor myself is skilled with the Wikicode necessary to upload one in the right format (OGG?). I think Tim can probably make an MP3 with better sound quality than the YouTube video.... -- Ssilvers (talk) 14:22, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Uh,I don't have clue when it comesto this technical sort of thing - is there a WP helpdesk for sound files?--Smerus (talk) 16:15, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
I see there is this......--Smerus (talk) 16:17, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
and I just downloaded this free mp3-oggconverter programme which seems to work if you want to try it....--Smerus (talk) 19:15, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
This is definitely an optional extra, not only at GA but at FA. One can get into frightful copyright complications unless one is an expert (things seemingly out of copyright turn out not to be etc), and I'll leave this to those who are technically inclined. Tim riley (talk) 08:57, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Yet another point which has occured to me (you can see I am new to this sort of thing) - this time about pictures. I don't see that the pic of the memorial plate at his birthplace adds anything useful - especially as there is a pic of the birthplace itself. And why not add a pic of Mary Garden? since she seems to have played a larger role in M's life than the other leading ladies shown.--Smerus (talk) 08:11, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

I agree about Mary. There are plenty of images of her, but I'll leave it to Tim as to how to fit it into that crowded part of the article. Perhaps we don't need the image of the opera house. As for the plaque, I think is is very nice-looking, while the birthplace itself, IMO, is utterly uninteresting. Do you feel strongly about deleting it? There is plenty of room for images near the bottom of the article where the plaque image is, currently. -- Ssilvers (talk) 14:06, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Hm, this could develop into a powerfully sterile discussion :-} - which is more nugatory (or more Messageresque), a photo of a plaque that is just like any other plaque but bears his name, or one of a house which is admittingly uninteresting per se but has the mystic quality of his having been born there? Perhaps Tim could make a composite of the two, as with the quatrefoils of people. I won't lose any sleep over it anyway - how much easier I am finding it carping at other people's efforts than writing articles myself! I am content, on this point, to go with any way that Tim or other editors feel. appropriate.--Smerus (talk) 16:22, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Mary Garden added. ROH and plaque deleted. Tim riley (talk) 08:57, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Drum-rollEdit

OK then - here we go................ Firstly may I thank Tim and Ssilvers for their contributions and patience with me as I try to get the hang of GA reviewing.

Secondly may I say that I have enjoyed reading the article and nosing around some of the references. I think all I knew before of Messager was the Bayreuth quadrilles and the last act of Veronique which I heard at the Proms 1000 years ago. He seems a genial character and I knew nothing of his very important role as a conductor, so the article will certainly make me search out more about the man and his music. Which I suppose is one of the things WP should be about.

AssessmentEdit

So here is my GA review (see WP:WIAGA for criteria)

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:  
    B. MoS compliance:  
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:  
    Well referenced
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:  
    Well referenced
    C. No original research:  
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:  
    B. Focused:  
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:  
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:  
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:  
    Seem fine
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:  
    Well illustrated.Might be nice to have some sound clips, but I appreciate that copyright here can be a mine-field - and anyway this is not a criterion at GA level.
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:  

So that makes it a clear GA; congratulations. And I will be interested to see the article's further progress - who forbids it?--Smerus (talk) 14:03, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

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Second marriageEdit

At the peer review of this article, one reviewer asked if we knew how long Messager's second marriage lasted, as one source merely said the couple later separated. I still haven't found the answer in any source, but I just note here that in her memoirs, Mary Garden recalled that Madame Messager was present when Debussy played through Pelléas et Mélisande for the cast before rehearsals for the premiere began in 1902. (Mary Garden: Mary Garden's Story, 1951, p. 62) Tim riley talk 12:39, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

This states that they were still married in 1908. What does the 1911 census say? Can you have "Jack" access it? -- Ssilvers (talk) 18:39, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Her NYT obit calls her his "widow". I bet she has a Times obit too. -- Ssilvers (talk) 18:42, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Here is a photo of her. ... and more photos -- Ssilvers (talk) 18:44, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Do you have access to this biography of her? -- Ssilvers (talk) 18:53, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

This is about their daughter Madeleine (nicknamed "Bibi") and says that she was the first wife of Jacques Henri Lartigue. -- Ssilvers (talk) 18:46, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

Never crossed my mind she might have her own article in Grove, but I've checked it out and it doesn't help. I'm fairly sure she and AM were never divorced – merely separated, whether formally or not – so "widow" would be right. She is listed as AM's wife in Who's Who right up to the end of his life. Good point about the 1911 census. I have access via the Wellcome Library and will look her up there. If she is listed and AM isn't it would surely be of significance in this context. Tim riley talk 19:03, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
I've checked the obits in The NYT, The Times and Le Figaro, and there's nothing in there about her separating from Messager. (Not the sort of thing obits mentioned in 1938, so not a great surprise.) No trace of her in the 1911 UK census. That doesn't prove she was still living with Messager, or that she didn't have a house in England: she could have been abroad on holiday, Still, the fact that their 12-year-old daughter is also not found in the census does slightly suggest that they were living abroad, whether with Messager or not one cannot say. I leave this on this talk page as reference (such as it is) until such time as anything more definite comes to light. Tim riley talk 20:39, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

The website of the Association l'Art Lyrique Français reproduces a 1925 picture of Messager and a wifely-looking woman (scroll down to near the bottom of the page). I can't decide if I think she does or doesn't look like a middle-aged version of the young woman in the People Maven and National Portrait Gallery photos, mentioned earlier in this talk-page thread. But I think she probably is. Though Messager had affairs, I've seen nothing in any biography to suggest he had a live-in mistress, and this quite formal picture does rather convey respectable domesticity. Tim riley talk 08:56, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

my guess would be a daughter or niece - she looks young. Cg2p0B0u8m (talk) 19:35, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
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