December 25, 1870: Franco-Prussian War: Corporal Vincent d’Indy (19) spends Christmas night with his battalion in Issy in a tent in -10°C weather “with a layer of ice for a mattress and a heap of snow for a pillow.”
January 5, 1871: Franco-Prussian War: On the ramparts at Issy, Corporal Vincent d’Indy (19) narrowly escapes being hit by German shells.
January 19, 1871: Franco-Prussian War: French forces attempt a break out of Paris toward Bozenval. Among them is a corporal in the National Guard named Vincent d’Indy (19). Killed in this battle is the painter Henri Regnault, only recently returned from his Prix de Rome stay.
February 25, 1871: The Société National de Musique is founded in the Paris home of Henri Duparc by César Franck (48), Camille Saint-Saëns (35), Georges Bizet (32), Jules Massenet (28), Gabriel Fauré (25), Henri Duparc (23), Vincent d’Indy (19), and others. The concerts of the Society are to be limited to living French composers.
February 21, 1872: Thérèse de Chorier d’Indy dies. She has left her not inconsiderable wealth to her grandson, Vincent d’Indy (20). This will allow him to pursue music rather than the legal career insisted upon by his father.
March 2, 1875: Georges Bizet (36) visits César Franck’s (52) organ class at the Paris Conservatoire and gives away two Carmen tickets. One recipient, Vincent d’Indy (23), later will remember that of the eight members of the class, no one recognized Bizet by sight. In fact, he has been auditing the class anonymously for some time. Lamenting the fact that he has only two tickets, Bizet remarks, “Unfortunately that is too few; but you know even the most beautiful girl in the world can give no more than she has.”
March 3, 1875: Carmen, an opéra comique by Georges Bizet (36) to words of Meilhac and Halévy after Mérimée, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris. Present are Ambroise Thomas (63), Charles Gounod (56), Léo Delibes (39), Jacques Offenbach (55), Jules Massenet (32) and Vincent d’Indy (23). The work is not a success but will produce a good reception on the second night. Reviews are mixed. Carmen will enjoy 48 performances but the hall will never be filled.
August 11, 1875: Vincent d’Indy (24) marries his cousin, Isabelle de Pampelonne, in the parish church of Boffres. She is the daughter of an ex-naval officer. The church is so small a harmonium is used for the service. Played by a fellow student, d’Indy criticizes him for modulating to the subdominant during his improvisation on the Offertory.
February 20, 1879: Les béatitudes, an oratorio by César Franck (56) to words of the Bible adapted by Colomb, is performed for the first time, in the composer’s Paris apartment with piano accompaniment. Franck sprained his wrist yesterday and the piano part is played by his student, Vincent d’Indy (27). Some who promised to come, including Jules Ferry, Minister of Education, Olivier Halanzier, director of the Opéra, and Ambroise Thomas (67), fail to show. Édouard Lalo (56) is there as a critic. The listeners leave one by one during the performance and only a few friends of Franck remain at the conclusion. See 15 June 1891.
April 20, 1879: Portions of Attendez-moi sous l’orme, an opéra comique by Vincent d’Indy (30) to words of Prével and de Bonnières after Régnard, are performed for the first time, by the Société des Auditions Lyriques in Paris. See 11 February 1882.
March 14, 1880: At a performance of Tristan und Isolde in Munich, Vincent d’Indy (28) sits quietly waiting for the prelude to begin, when “we hear soft sobbing close to us, all the more spasmodic for wanting to be suppressed.” It is Emmanuel Chabrier (28). “Oh! this is silly...Can’t help myself...Ten years of my life that I have waited for the cello A!...”
February 11, 1882: Attendez-moi sous l’orme, an opéra comique by Vincent d’Indy (30) to words of Prével and de Bonnières after Régnard, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris.
November 21, 1886: Romain Bussine and Camille Saint-Saëns (51) resign from the Société national de musique when the committee agrees to Vincent d’Indy’s motion to allow old and foreign music. Within a week, César Franck (63) will become president, Vincent d’Indy (35) and Ernest Chausson (31) secretaries, and Gabriel Fauré (41) treasurer.
March 20, 1887: Symphonie sur un chant montagnard français by Vincent d’Indy (35) is performed for the first time, in Paris. It is very successful.
April 21, 1890: Incidental music to Haraucourt’s play La Passion by Gabriel Fauré (44) is performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique in the Salle Erard, Paris. The Fantaisie for piano and orchestra by Claude Debussy (27) is programmed for this concert but after the dress rehearsal, the conductor, Vincent d’Indy (39), believing the concert to be too long, plans to perform only one movement. Debussy does not agree to this, and, although he respects d’Indy, removes the orchestral parts from the stands.
October 6, 1894: The Schola Cantorum opens in Paris, led by Vincent d’Indy (43), Charles Bordes, and Alexandre Guilmant.
March 12, 1897: Fervaal, an action musicale by Vincent d’Indy (45) to his own words, is performed for the first time, in Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels.
January 27, 1900: A string quartet by Ernest Chausson (†0), finished by Vincent d’Indy (48), is performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique, Paris. Also premiered is Chausson’s song La Chanson bien douce from Deux poèmes de Verlaine op.34 and Dans la forêt du charme et de l’enchantement for voice and piano to words of Moréas from op.36.
November 2, 1900: Vincent d’Indy (49) gives the inaugural speech as the Schola Cantorum moves into new premises in Paris. His topic is “A School of Music Responding to Modern Needs.”
August 2, 1901: Vincent d’Indy (50) writes to his friend Guy Ropartz who is about to travel to Lyon. He warns Ropartz against the Jews and Socialists in music there who support Dreyfus.
February 18, 1904: The Symphony no.2 of Vincent d’Indy (52) is performed for the first time, in Paris. It is universally acclaimed.
May 17, 1904: Works by three contemporary French composers are performed for the first time at the Nouveau Théâtre, Paris. They are the symphonic prelude Résurrection op.4 by Albert Roussel (35), Shéhérazade for solo voice and orchestra by Maurice Ravel (29) to words of Klingsor, and Choral varié for saxophone and orchestra, by Vincent d’Indy (53).
December 10, 1905: On his first visit to America, Vincent d’Indy (54) takes part in a performance of the Rhapsodies by Charles Martin Loeffler (44) in Arthur Whiting’s studio in New York. Whiting plays piano, Georges Longy, oboe, and Loeffler, viola. The French poems upon which the music is based are read aloud by d’Indy. All this before a small audience of some of the most important musicians in the United States.
February 18, 1906: Jour d’été à la montagne, a symphonic triptych by Vincent d’Indy (54), is performed for the first time, in Paris.
April 20, 1907: The symphonic poem Souvenirs, by Vincent d’Indy (56) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
January 11, 1908: Librettist Jules Bois and Vincent d’Indy (56) engage in a duel with pistols in the Parc-des-Princes, Paris. Two shots are fired but no one is hurt. d’Indy has decided not to proceed with an opera written by Bois, Phèdre et Hippolyte. This is followed by acrimonious accusations in public periodicals by the two antagonists. They decide to satisfy their honor in this anacronistic and illegal manner. Afterwards, d’Indy goes to a rehearsal.
June 15, 1908: A diploma of this date states that “Monseiur Satie, Erik (42), a pupil on the course of counterpoint, has passed the end-of-year examinations with distinction and that he fulfils the conditions required for devoting himself exclusively to the study of composition.” The diploma is signed by Vincent d’Indy (57), Albert Roussel (39), and the secretary of the Schola Cantorum, Paris.
April 22, 1912: Natasha Troukhanova performs a dance recital at the Théâtre du Châtelet to four works conducted this evening by their composers: La Peri by Paul Dukas (46), Istar by Vincent d’Indy (61), La Tragédie de Salomé by Florent Schmitt (41), and Adélaïde, ou Le langage des fleurs by Maurice Ravel (37). Dukas’ ballet is performed for the first time. Ravel’s is a premiere of the ballet, although the music is actually Valses nobles et sentimentales. See 9 May 1911.
December 27, 1914: Vincent d’Indy (63) becomes an honorary member of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome.
April 24, 1918: Vincent d’Indy (67) calls a meeting of the staff of the Schola Cantorum, Paris. Because of the many civilian casualties, he feels it is not his prerogative alone to keep the school open. The meeting decides to keep the school open.
June 9, 1920: La Légende de Saint Christophe op.67, a drame sacré by Vincent d’Indy (69) to his own words after de Voragine, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra.
October 26, 1920: Vincent d’Indy (69) marries his second wife, Caroline Janson, a pianist and the daughter of a non-commissioned officer.
December 1, 1921: Poèmes des rivages, a symphonic suite by Vincent d’Indy (70), is performed for the first time, in New York, conducted by the composer.
December 5, 1926: Diptyque méditerranéen, for orchestra by Vincent d’Indy (75) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
April 2, 1927: Concerto for flute, cello, and strings by Vincent d’Indy (76) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
June 10, 1927: The comédie musicale La rêve de Cyniras by Vincent d’Indy (76) to words of de Courville is performed for the first time, in Paris.
January 26, 1929: String Sextet op.92 by Vincent d’Indy (77) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
January 11, 1930: Piano Trio op.98 by Vincent d’Indy (78) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
April 12, 1930: String Quartet no.3 op.96 by Vincent d’Indy (79) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
May 17, 1930: Suite in four movements op.91 by Vincent d’Indy (79) is performed for the first time, in Paris.