There is a subtle temptation which leads a man on from mere disinterested craftsmanship, through a positive delight in his own virtuosity, to the exquisite private satisfaction of deceiving the elect.
—Hugh Trevor-Roper, A Hidden Life

The exposure of de Ternant began in 1947 with a letter to the editor of Music & Letters:

Some years ago, when I was working on my books on Debussy, I was in correspondence with Andrew de Ternant. He had published articles in The Musical Times telling most interesting and minutely detailed stories about Debussy.

The author was the eminent French musicologist Léon Vallas (1879–1956), an early biographer of both Claude Debussy and César Franck. Twenty years before, while researching his biography of Debussy, Vallas had come across “Debussy and Brahms,” “Debussy and...


New to The New Criterion?

Subscribe for one year to receive ten print issues, and gain immediate access to our online archive spanning more than four decades of art and cultural criticism.

Popular Right Now