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Biography
Biography of

Henri Vieuxtemps

17 feb 1820 (Verviers) - 6 jun 1881 (Mustapha)
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Henri Vieuxtemps

Henri François Joseph Vieuxtemps (February 17, 1820 – June 6, 1881) was a Belgian composer and violinist. He occupies an important place in the history of the violin as a prominent exponent of the Franco-Belgian violin school during the mid 1800s.

Contents

Biography

Vieuxtemps was born in Verviers, Belgium, son of a weaver and amateur violinist and violin-maker. He received his first violin instruction from his father and a local teacher and gave his first public performance at the age of six, playing a concerto by Pierre Rode. Soon he was giving concerts in various surrounding cities, including Liège and Brussels where he met the violinist Charles de Bériot with whom he began studies. In 1829, Bériot took him to Paris where he made a successful concert debut, again with a concerto by Rode, but he had to return the next year because of the July Revolution and Bériot's marriage to his mistress Maria Malibran and departure on concert tour. Back in Brussels, Vieuxtemps continued developing his violin technique on his own, his musicianship deepened by playing with the deeply musical mezzo-soprano Pauline Viardot, Malibran's sister. A tour of Germany in 1833 brought friendship with Louis Spohr and with Schumann who compared the boy to Paganini. During the following decade he visited various European cities, impressing with his virtuosity not only audiences but also famous musicians such as Berlioz and Paganini himself, whom he encountered at his London debut in 1834.

Memorial in Verviers

But he had aspirations of becoming a composer as well and, having already taken lessons with the respected Simon Sechter in Vienna, spent the winter of 1835–1836 studying composition with Anton Reicha in Paris. His first violin concerto, later published as Concerto No. 2, dates from this time.

Vieuxtemps's Violin Concerto No. 1 was acclaimed when he played it in Saint Petersburg on his second visit in 1840 and in Paris the next year; Berlioz found it "a magnificent symphony for violin and orchestra". Based in Paris, Vieuxtemps continued to compose with great success and perform throughout Europe. With the pianist Sigismond Thalberg, he concertized in the United States. He was particularly admired in Russia where he resided permanently between 1846 and 1851 as a court musician of Nicholas I and soloist in the Imperial Theatre. He founded the violin school of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory and guided the formation of a "Russian school" of violinists. In 1871, he returned to his native country to accept a professorship at the Brussels Conservatory, where his most illustrious pupil was Eugène Ysaÿe. Some of his other notable students include Enrique Fernández Arbós, Eduard Caudella, Alfred De Sève, Sam Franko, Émile Sauret, Simon Sechter, and César Thomson.

A paralytic stroke disabled his right arm two years later and he moved to Paris again, his violin class being taken over by Henryk Wieniawski. Although he seemed to be gradually recovering from his stroke, another one in 1879 ended his career as a violinist for good. He spent his last years in a sanatorium in Mustapha Supérieur, Algeria, where his daughter and her husband had settled, and continued to compose, though frustrated by his inability to play or, far from the musical centres of Europe, even hear his music played by others.

The bulk of Vieuxtemps's compositions were for his own instrument, including seven concertos and a variety of short salon pieces, though towards the end of his life, when he had to give up the violin, he often turned to other instruments, writing two cello concertos, a viola sonata and three string quartets among other things. It is because of his seven violin concertos, however, that Vieuxtemps is generally known to audiences and musicians around the world. Through his own concertos and his advocacy of the concertos of Beethoven (he also played Beethoven's sonatas and string quartets) and Mendelssohn, he added a more classical dimension to the violin repertoire which had tended towards technically brilliant but often shallow variations and fantasies on popular operatic themes. Vieuxtemps never indulged in sheer virtuosity for its own sake like some of his predecessors.

List of pieces in order of style

Violin and orchestra

  • Violin Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 10 (1840)
  • Violin Concerto No. 2 in F minor “Sauret”, Op. 19 (1836)
  • Violin Concerto No. 3 in A major, Op. 25 (1844)
  • Violin Concerto No. 4 in D minor, Op. 31 (c.1850)
  • Violin Concerto No. 5 in A minor “Le Grétry”, Op. 37 (1861)
  • Violin Concerto No. 6 in G major, Op. 47 (1865) (Op.1 posthumous)
  • Violin Concerto No. 7 in A minor, Op. 49 “À Jenő Hubay” (1870) (Op.3 posthumous)
  • Ballade et polonaise, Op. 38 (c.1858)
  • Fantasia appassionata, Op. 35 (c.1860)
  • Fantaisie-caprice, Op. 11 (1838)
  • Hommage à Paganini, Op. 9 (1845?)
  • Norma, Fantasia on the G String, Op. 18 (c.1845)

Other orchestral

  • Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 46 (1877)
  • Cello Concerto No. 2 in B minor, Op. 50 (1879) (Op.4 posthumous)
  • Duo brilliant in A major for Violin, Cello (or Viola) and Orchestra or Piano, Op. 39 (1864?)
  • Overture (with the Belgian National Anthem) for Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 41 (1863)

Violin and piano

  • Air varié in D major (on a Theme from Bellini’s Il Pirata), Op. 6 (c.1845)
  • Allegro de concert, Op. 59 (Op.13 posthumous)
  • Bouquet américain – 6 Variations sur mélodies populaires, Op. 33 (c.1855)
  • Chansons russes (1854?)
  • 6 Divertissements d’amateurs (on Russian Themes), Op. 24 (c.1850)
  • Duo concertante No. 1 on Themes from Auber’s Le duc d’Olonne, Op. 13 (c.1845)
  • Duo concertante No. 2 on Themes from Weber’s Oberon, Op. 14 (c.1845)
  • Duo concertante No. 3 on Themes from Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Op. 20 (c.1845)
  • Duo concertante No. 4 on Themes from Meyerbeer’s L’étoile du nord, Op. 23 (c.1845)
  • Duo concertante No. 5 on Themes from Meyerbeer’s Le prophète, Op. 26 (c.1850)
  • Duos concertantes Nos. 6-12
  • Élégie in F minor, Op. 30 (?1854)
  • Fantaisie slave, Op. 27 (c.1850)
  • Fantaisies brilliantes, Op. 54 (Op. 8 posthumous)
  • Fantasia on Themes from Gounod’s Faust (1870)
  • 3 Fantasias on Themes from Verdi’s I lombardi, Ernani and Luisa Miller, Op. 29 (1854?)
  • 3 Feuilles d’album, Op. 40 (1864)
  • Greeting to America, Op. 56
  • Impressions et réminiscences de Pologne, Op. 57 (Op.11 posthumous)
  • Introduction et Rondo in E major, Op. 28 (c.1850)
  • Les arpéges (Caprice) in D major for Violin and Piano or Orchestra (with Cello), Op. 15 (c.1845)
  • Ma marche funèbre, Op. 58 (Op.12 posthumous)
  • 3 Märchen, Op. 34 (1859)
  • 6 Morceaux de salon, Op. 22 (1847?)
  • 3 Morceaux de salon, Op. 32 (c.1850)
  • Old England, Caprice on 16th- and 17th-Century English Airs, Op. 42 (1866)
  • 3 Romances sans paroles, Op. 7 (1841)
  • 4 Romances sans paroles, Op. 8 (c.1845)
  • Salut à América for Violin and Piano, Op. 56 (Op.10 posthumous)
  • Souvenir d’Amérique – Variations burlesques sur Yankee Doodle, Op. 17 (1844)
  • Souvenir de Russie (Fantasie), Op. 21 (c.1845)
  • Suite in B Minor, Op. 43 (1871)
  • Violin Sonata in D major, Op. 12 (c.1845)
  • Voies de cœurs, 6 pièces, Op. 53 (Op.7 posthumous)
  • Voix intimes, 6 pensées melodiques, Op. 45 (1876)

Violin solo

  • Divertissement
  • 36 Études, Op. 48 (Op.2 posthumous)
  • 6 Études de concert, Op. 16 (c.1845)
  • Cadenzas to Beethoven’s Violin Concerto
  • 6 Morceaux suivis d’un capriccio, Op. 61 (Op. 15 posthumous)

Viola

  • Capriccio in C minor “Hommage à Paganini” for Viola Solo, Op. 55 (Op.9 posthumous)
  • Élégie in F minor for Viola (or Cello) and Piano, Op. 30 (?1854)
  • Étude in C minor for Viola and Piano
  • Sonate inachevée in B major (Allegro and Scherzo) for Viola and Piano, Op. 60 (Op.14 posthumous)
  • Viola Sonata in B major, Op. 36 (1863)

Chamber

  • Félicien-César David’s Le Desert: La Nuit (1844)
  • Mozart Clarinet Quintet
  • Piano Trio on Themes from Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine
  • String Quartet No. 1 in E minor, Op. 44 (1871)
  • String Quartet No. 2 in C major, Op. 51 (Op.5 posthumous)
  • String Quartet No. 3 in B major, Op. 52 (Op.6 posthumous)

List of works by opus number

Works with opus number Op.1 ~ Op.5 not used

  • Op.6 – Air varié in D major (on a Theme from Bellini’s Il Pirata) for Violin and Piano (c.1845)
  • Op.7 – 3 Romances sans paroles for Violin and Piano (1841)
  • Op.8 – 4 Romances sans paroles for Violin and Piano (c.1845)
  • Op.9 – Hommage à Paganini for Violin and Orchestra or Piano (1845?)
  • Op.10 – Violin Concerto No. 1 in E major (1840)
  • Op.11 – Fantaisie-caprice for Violin and Orchestra or Piano (1838)
  • Op.12 – Violin Sonata in D major (c.1845)
  • Op.13 – Duo concertant No. 1 on Themes from Auber’s Le duc d’Olonne for Violin and Piano (c.1845)
  • Op.14 – Duo concertant No. 2 on Themes from Weber’s Oberon for Violin and Piano (c.1845)
  • Op.15 – Les arpéges (Caprice) in D major for Violin and Piano or Orchestra (with Cello) (c.1845)
  • Op.16 – 6 Études de concert for Violin Solo (c.1845)
  • Op.17 – Souvenir d’Amérique – Variations burlesques sur Yankee Doodle for Violin and Piano (1844)
  • Op.18 – Norma, Fantasia on the G String for Violin and Orchestra or Piano (c.1845)
  • Op.19 – Violin Concerto No. 2 in F minor “Sauret” (1836)
  • Op.20 – Duo concertant No. 3 on Themes from Mozart’s Don Giovanni for Violin and Piano (c.1845)
  • Op.21 – Souvenir de Russie (Fantasie) for Violin and Piano (c.1845)
  • Op.22 – 6 Morceaux de salon for Violin and Piano (1847?)
  • Op.23 – Duo concertant No. 4 on Themes from Meyerbeer’s L’étoile du nord for Violin and Piano (c.1845)
  • Op.24 – 6 Divertissements d’amateurs (on Russian Themes) for Violin and Piano (c.1850)
  • Op.25 – Violin Concerto No. 3 in A major (1844)
  • Op.26 – Duo concertant No. 5 on Themes from Meyerbeer’s Le prophète for Violin and Piano (c.1850)
  • Op.27 – Fantaisie slave for Violin and Piano (c.1850)
  • Op.28 – Introduction et Rondo in E major for Violin and Piano (c.1850)
  • Op.29 – 3 Fantasias on Themes from Verdi’s I lombardi, Ernani and Luisa Miller for Violin and Piano (1854?)
  • Op.30 – Élégie in F minor for Viola (or Cello or Violin) and Piano (?1854)
  • Op.31 – Violin Concerto No. 4 in D minor (c.1850)
  • Op.32 – 3 Morceaux de salon for Violin and Piano (c.1850)
  • Op.33 – Bouquet américain – 6 Variations sur mélodies populaires for Violin and Piano (c.1855)
  • Op.34 – 3 Märchen for Violin and Piano (1859)
  • Op.35 – Fantasia appassionata for Violin and Orchestra or Piano (c.1860)
  • Op.36 – Viola Sonata in B major (1863)
  • Op.37Violin Concerto No. 5 in A minor “Le Grétry” (1861)
  • Op.38 – Ballade et polonaise for Violin and Orchestra or Piano (c.1858)
  • Op.39 – Duo brilliant in A major for Violin, Cello (or Viola) and Orchestra or Piano (1864?)
  • Op.40 – 3 Feuilles d’album for Violin and Piano (1864)
  • Op.41 – Overture (with the Belgian National Anthem) for Chorus and Orchestra (1863)
  • Op.42 – Old England, Caprice on 16th- and 17th-Century English Airs for Violin and Piano (1866)
  • Op.43 – Suite in B minor for Violin and Piano (1871)
  • Op.44 – String Quartet No. 1 in E minor (1871)
  • Op.45 – Voix intimes, 6 pensées melodiques, for Violin and Piano (1876)
  • Op.46 – Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor (1877)
  • Op.47 – Violin Concerto No. 6 in G major (1865) (Op.1 posthumous)
  • Op.48 – 36 Études for Violin Solo (Op.2 posthumous)
  • Op.49 – Violin Concerto No. 7 in A minor “À Jenő Hubay” (1870) (Op.3 posthumous)
  • Op.50 – Cello Concerto No. 2 in B minor (1879) (Op.4 posthumous)
  • Op.51 – String Quartet No. 2 in C major (Op.5 posthumous)
  • Op.52 – String Quartet No. 3 in B major (Op.6 posthumous)
  • Op.53 – Voies de cœurs, 6 Pièces for Violin and Piano (Op.7 posthumous)
  • Op.54 – Fantaisies brilliantes for Violin and Piano (Op.8 posthumous)
  • Op.55 – Capriccio in C minor “Hommage à Paganini” for Viola Solo (Op.9 posthumous)
  • Op.56 – Salut à América for Violin and Piano (Op.10 posthumous)
  • Op.57 – Impressions et réminiscences de Pologne for Violin and Piano (Op.11 posthumous)
  • Op.58 – Ma marche funèbre for Violin and Piano (Op.12 posthumous)
  • Op.59 – Allegro de concert for Violin and Piano (Op.13 posthumous)
  • Op.60 – Sonate inachevée in B major (Allegro and Scherzo) for Viola and Piano (Op.14 posthumous)
  • Op.61 – 6 Morceaux suivis d’un capriccio for Violin Solo (Op.15 posthumous)

Works without opus number

  • Cadenzas to Beethoven’s Violin Concerto
  • Chansons russes for Violin and Piano (1854?)
  • Divertissement for Violin Solo
  • Duos concertantes Nos. 6-12 for Violin and Piano
  • Étude in C minor for Viola Solo
  • Fantasia on Themes from Gounod’s Faust for Violin and Piano (1870)
  • Félicien-César David’s Le Desert: La Nuit (1844)
  • Mozart Clarinet Quintet

References

External links



This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Henri Vieuxtemps. Allthough most Wikipedia articles provide accurate information accuracy can not be guaranteed.
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