Paris-Manchester 1918
Conservatoires in time of war

Fernand Halphen conducting the regimental band

Lieutenant Halphen is standing in the centre of the regimental band. Halphen gave almost 50 concerts between 1914 and 1916, making this photograph difficult to date. According to Laure Schnapper, this concert was played in front of a civilian audience on Sunday, 23 April 1916 on the Place Longueville, Amiens.[1]

The wind and percussion section, facing the bandmaster, includes one or two flautists, clarinettists, saxophonists (from behind, on the left), two trombonists apparently playing valve trombones, a regimental drum player, a bass drummer, buglers, eight saxhorn players and, in the centre, a tuba player. We may suppose that the soldiers sitting close by are singers, inactive at the moment the photograph was taken. The audience is mainly civilians in their Sunday best, among whom some officers (in the foreground, on the right), wounded (seated on the right) and children are visible.

[1]Laure Schnapper (ed.) (2017) Du salon au front. Fernand Halphen (1872-1917), Paris: Hermann, p. 292 -296.




to Nadia and Lili Boulanger
F Halphen
13th Territorials.

Anonymous, ca. 1916: Fernand Halphen Conducting a Military Band during the 1914-1918 War, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Music Department, Est. Halphen 003 [on line].

Document description: photograph, print from the original; 8.5×13.5 cm.

Catalogue :

Schnapper, Laure (2014) “Fernand Halphen (1872-1917), un musicien au service de la France”, in Doé de Maindreville, Florence and Etcharry, Stéphan (eds.), La Grande Guerre en musique. Vie et création musicales en France pendant la Première Guerre mondiale, Brussels: éd. Peter Lang, p. 121-138.

Schnapper, Laure (ed.) (2017) Du salon au front. Fernand Halphen (1872-1917), Paris: Hermann.