chapter  Four
The All-pervasive Romance
Pages 14

That child of our soil' was how one Frenchman described the romance. It was to France what the lied was to Germany and what the canzonetta was to Italy, and its most prized feature was its charming simplicity. Romances were often classified according to their text and scenery. Romagnesi also deserves our attention for his useful description of the various romance-types in his L'art de chanter les romances. Romagnesi classified the romance into five different kinds: the sentimental, the heroic, the reflective and sombre, the dramatic and the light-hearted, which he called chansonnettes. Two composers of romances became very well known from the 1830s onward: Pauline Duchambge and Albert Grisar. Like that of Duchambge's Le bouquet du bal, the scene of the ball was also the background to the most celebrated romance of the early 1830s which had caught public imagination as much by its storybook-like first performance as by the flaunted sentimentality of its text.