"...In truly dramatic music, when the importance of the situation deserves the sacrifice, the composer should not hesitate as between a pretty musical effect that is foreign to the scenic or dramatic character, and a series of accents that are true but do not yield any surface pleasure. Méhul was convinced that musical expressiveness is a lovely flower, delicate and rare, of exquisite fragrance, which does not bloom without culture, and which a breath can wither; that it does not dwell in melody alone, but that everything concurs either to create or destroy it..."
Méhul's influence began to wane in the early years of the 19th century, and after years of intrigues against him and the failure of his latest operas, his popularity in France was over. He continued to compose with some of his operas becoming popular in Germany. But his health declined and he died of tuberculosis in 1817.