- Christiane Spieth-Weissenbacher
(b Beauvais, Oise, Dec 30, 1899; d Paris, Jan 11, 1985). French aesthetician. He studied in Paris (1917) and, after the war, in Strasbourg (1921–4), where he prepared his agrégation in German (1925). While holding a musicological post (1925–9) at the Centre Français d'Etudes Supérieures in Vienna (now the Institut Français) he gave a series of lecture-recitals in Vienna and Budapest on contemporary music and French folk music, and made contact with the Second Viennese School. On his return to France he taught in the Lycée Pasteur (1931–65) while also working on his doctorate (1942) and writing his first literary essays. In 1947 he was appointed professor of aesthetics at the Paris Conservatoire, where he taught until 1971; he succeeded Claude Rostand as vice-president of the Académie Charles Cros in 1970.
Beaufils specialized in German studies, particularly in German poetry and music. He was a philosopher rather than a musicologist, his approach to music being an aesthetic one: going beyond a strictly literary, musical, historical or sociological point of view, he attempted, for instance, to discover the basic meaning of drama (notably in Mozart and Wagner), and the essential difference in origin between the German lied and the French ...