ABSTRACT

Accounts of Grétry’s death were carefully controlled by two principal eyewitnesses, the librettist Jean-Nicolas Bouilly and Louis-Victor Flamand-Grétry, husband of Ernestine, one of the composer’s nieces. Neither was an impartial or trustworthy narrator; both had an interest in propagating the image of Grétry as an artistic paragon who shed glory on those around him. Although many of the facts are beyond dispute, their accounts are chiefly interesting as a study of the way that Grétry’s image was put to the service of romantic, post-Revolutionary sensibilities.