THE prominent position which the French attained in respect to Violoncello playing in the second half of the last century was maintained by them subsequently. They exercised, however, with few exceptions, no real influence in Germany after the period signalised by Romberg's appearance. On the contrary, this master influenced in a certain way French Cello playing, as appears from a remark in Baudiot's school, that Romberg had introduced the use of the fourth finger in the thumb position.
The sign, by which Romberg denoted the thumb position, also was adopted in France, where, as in other places, it had been necessary until then to use a variety of indications for it. In other respects the aim of the French Violoncellists greatly inclined in the virtuoso direction, as was the case with regard to violin playing, whereas in Germany greater stress was laid on the more solidly musical aspect, without neglecting the virtuoso side.
Taking up the thread again from the preceding section with France, the first to be mentioned is
AUGUSTE FRANCHOMME. This artist, who belongs to the most important masters of his department, was born at Lille on April 10, 1808, and learnt the first elements of his instrument from a mediocre teacher of his native town, whose name was Mas. In 1825 he went to the Paris Conservatoire as pupil of Levasseur, and, after the latter retired from his professorship, Norblin undertook his further instruction. Franchomme's great talent developed so rapidly, under the guidance of these two masters, that immediately, during the first year of his attendance at the Conservatoire, he gained the first prize at the musical competition of the pupils of the establishment. He understood how to extract from the instrument a full, sympathetic tone, and possessed with an extraordinary intonation the rare gift of an expressive and tasteful reading. He specially distinguished himself by a charming Cantilena. It is easily understood that on his public appearances he always aroused the greatest enthusiasm.
Franchomme filled various places successively in Paris. He at first belonged, during the years 1825 and 1826, to the orchestra of the Theatre "Ambigile-Comique." He then went over, in 1827, to the "Grand Opera," but remained there only one year. He belonged for a longer period to the Italian Opera, but he relinquished this position after a few years. Instead, he established regular quartet evenings with the famous violinist, Delphin Alard; and in 1846 he undertook the Cello instruction at the Paris Conservatoire. He died on January 21 or 22, 1884. His compositions, consisting of a Concerto, Nocturnes, Etudes, Variations, and a variety of smaller Drawing-room pieces, have still some value for cello players. His best productions are the Twelve Caprices (Op. 7), which for pieces of that kind have every claim to consideration.
The best known pupils of Franchomme are VIDAL (the younger), JACQUARD, and BARBOT.
LOUIS ANTOINE VIDAL, born at Rouen on July 10, 1820, devoted himself by preference to the literary branch of music after he had finished his Cello studies. By his valuable work, "Les instruments a archet," he attained to a prominent position among the French writers on music of modern times.
The younger JACQUARD, whose Christian name was Louis Auguste, born on December 26, 1832, at Pont-le-Roy, so distinguished himself as a scholar of the Paris Conservatoire, that he gained in 1850 the second, and in 1852 the first prize. He is a permanent member of the Orchestra of the Conservatoire Concerts.
JEAN FRANCOIS BARBOT, born in 1847 at Toulouse, settled down in his native town after he had completed his studies at the Paris Conservatoire, and is still at the present time working there at his profession as an artist. Other modern French cellists are-BATTANCHON, SELIGMANN, DANCLA, LEBOUC, and JACQUARD THE ELDER. They were all Norblin's pupils.
FELIX BATTANCHON, born on April 9, 1814, in Paris, frequented the Conservatoire of his native town, and studied there under Vaslin and Norblin, who turned him out as a clever Cellist. After he had worked in various ways as a solo player, he was appointed in 1840 to the orchestra at the Grand Opera. His compositions consist of Etudes, which are fully adapted to the object in view and of which several books have been published; Caprices, Duets, Trios (for three Violoncellos), and light pieces of various kinds. His Op. 4, which contains twenty-four Studies, has been introduced into the Paris Conservatoire.
HIPPOLYTE PROSPER SELIGMANN, whose name suggests a German origin, was born on July 28, 1817, in Paris, entered the Conservatoire there on December 2, 1829, and had Norblin as his master for the Violoncello, and Halevy for Composition. In 1834 he received the second prize and, two years later, the first prize. After he left the Conservatoire, in the middle of 1838, he played a great deal in public, and in course of time made concert tours through Southern France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, and Germany. For the beauty of his tone he is indebted to a valuable Amati Cello of large size. As a composer, Seligmann only cultivated the lighter kind of music. His Violoncello pieces are no longer used in solo playing.
ARNAUD DANCLA, born January 1, 1820, at Bagneres-de- Bigorre, was likewise Norblin's pupil at the Paris Conservatoire. He was dismissed, in 1840, with the first prize. Dancla distinguished himself especially as a quartet player. In Cello compositions, he published Etudes (Op. 2), two books of Duets, a "Fantasia" on Themes from Auber's "Sirbne," "Melodies," and a Cello School, "Le Violoncelliste moderne."
CHARLES JOSEPH LEBOUC, born on December 22, 1822, at Besangon, attended the Conservatoire in Paris, and at first had Vaslin as his teacher for a short time, but subsequently Norblin. He also distinguished himself in playing chamber music. Besides some pieces for Violoncello, with piano accompaniment, he composed a "Methode complete et pratique de Violoncelle."
LEON JEAN JACQUARD, the elder, born on November 3, 1826, in Paris, passed his youth at Pont-le-Roy, near Blois. Hus- Desforges had retired thither, and from him Jacquard received his first cello instruction. When Hus-Desforges died, at the beginning of 1888, a certain Levacq undertook the further direction of Jacquard, until he went to Paris to attend the Conservatoire. Here he was in Norblin's classes. He so distinguished himself amongst his fellow scholars that he received, in 1842, the second prize, and, in 1844, the first.
Jacquard enjoyed the reputation of a virtuoso-trained player. He was, however, much appreciated as a member of the orchestra of the Conservatoire Concerts, as well as of the chamber music concerts instituted by the violinist, Armingaud, in which also the violinist, Mas, and the tenor, Sabatier, took part. It is a proof of his extraordinary ability, that in 1877 he was appointed teacher in that institution as Chevillard's successor, whose pupil he had been. Nine years later (March 27, 1886) death summoned him away.
JACQUES OFFENBACH, the creator of the Stage productions which are known by the name of "Bouffes Parisiens," was born on June 21, 1819, at Cologne, and occupied himself zealously with Violoncello playing in his younger years. Partly to make himself more widely known, and partly to perfect himself on his instrument, he went to Paris in 1842, and shared for a time the instruction of the Vaslin Classes in the Conservatoire. His efforts, however, to succeed as a Cellist were in vain; according to the opinion of Fetis, because his bowing was inefficient. In fact, he only succeeded in assisting in the orchestra of the Comic Opera. This occupation did not please him for any length of time; he withdrew and undertook the office, in 1847, of Chef d'Orchestre at the Theatre Francais. But Offenbach cherished more extensive plans, which aimed at becoming a composer for the theatre. It is known that he successfully attained to this, though not in the way of gaining a very high reputation. Here, however, we are considering Offenbach solely as a Violoncellist. Although he did not perform as such in any very extraordinary manner, yet he possesses claims to be noticed in this place, because he wrote a number of Cello compositions which gained a certain amount of favour. Besides some light pieces he composed a considerable list of Duets.
AUGUSTE TOLBECQUE, whose father was a distinguished pupil of Rudolphe Kreutzer in violin playing, was born on March 30, 1880, in Paxis, and went in his eleventh year to the Conservatoire as a pupil of Vaslin. In 1849 he obtained the first prize. Since 1858 he has been living and working at Niort, the chief town of the Department Deux-Sevres. Two other French cellists are Lasserre and Boubee.
JULES LASSERRE, born on July 29, 1838, at Tarbes, went from 1852-1855 to the Paris Conservatoire, and was dismissed from there with the first prize. He then successfully undertook journeys in France and Spain. In 1869 he settled down in London as his permanent residence, and became first Cellist in the "Musical Union" as well as in Costa's Orchestra. He wrote several things for his instrument.
ALBERT BOUBEE, born in 1850, at Naples, was originally destined for commerce, and failing to persevere in this, it was intended he should devote himself to teaching. But neither in this could he Succeed, and Boubee finally decided for the musical profession. The enthusiasm excited in him by his cello teacher, Gaetano Ciandelli, and later on by Servais and Piatti's playing, really induced him to pursue the study of music. In 1867 Boubee chose London as his residence, where Since then he has become completely naturalised, though from time to time he has accepted engagements abroad. He worked on several occasions with the orchestras at Spa and Scarborough, and travelled in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark as a concert player, but he devotes himself chiefly to the sphere of work which he has made for himself in the English capital. Of his Cello compositions, which consist of several solo pieces, the best known in England is "La Gymnastique du Violoncelliste."
France possessed also a Violoncello virtuoso of reputation about the middle of the century in LISA B. CRISTIANI, whose name really points to an Italian descent. She played with delicate intonation charming little pieces, pleasantly and gracefully, and performed them on her journeys through Germany and Denmark to Russia, and also on October 18, 1846, at Leipsic. The general approbation which was everywhere lavished upon her was substantially increased by her beautiful and imposing appearance. Felix Mendelssohn considered it worth while to accompany her performances on the piano at her Leipsic Concert, and to compose a "Song without Words" for her. She was appointed Chamber Virtuosa by the King of Denmark. In 1853 she died at Tobolsk, of cholera. She was born at Paris, on December 24, 1827.
At the present time the best French cellists are: JULES DELSART, RABAUD (both teachers at the Paris Conservatoire), LIEGEOIS, LOEB, and BECKER. Information regarding them is lacking up to the present time.
In Belgium and Holland the Violoncello was introduced about the same time as in France, though it made, indeed, but slow progress in both these countries. This may be concluded by the very modest number of Belgian and Dutch Cellists worthy of mention in the last century, of which there are only four to notice. The oldest of these,
WILHELM DE FESCH, born in the Netherlands towards the end of the seventeenth century, was not only cellist, but organist. In the latter capacity he worked at the Antwerp Cathedral until 1725, when he undertook, as d'Eve's successor, the office of Choirmaster. (Alphonse d'Eve received the appointment of Choirmaster at the Antwerp Cathedral on November 5, 1718, having previously directed during a long period the choir of the church of St. Martin in Courtrai. The announcement of Fetis that d'Eve composed a solemn Mass in the year 1719, for two choirs, with accompaniment for instruments, amongst which there was an obbligato for Violoncello, is a matter of interest to us.) But as he treated somewhat roughly the boys of the church choir entrusted to his direction, he was dismissed in 1731, when he betook himself to London. He was still living there in 1757, as appears from the portrait of him in that year by Lacave. Amongst his published compositions mentioned by Burney as dry and uninteresting, there are also six Violoncello solos printed at Amsterdam (Op. 8). After Fesch,
PETER WILHELM WINKIS must be mentioned. Born in 1735 at Liege, he did not remain at home, but travelled to Germany, where for a few years he was in the service of the Cassel Court, and then (at the beginning of 1788), as Gerber notices, became Chamber Musician and Violoncellist to the "Kapellinstitut" of the Queen of Prussia. He well understood how to accompany with "much taste and observation." The third Violoncellist of consideration is
JEAN ARNOLD DAMMEN (Fetis calls him Jean Andre Dahmen), who belonged to a large Dutch musical family, was born in 1760, at the Hague, and had the reputation of being a clever player. About 1769 he was living in London. Of his compositions, several books of Duets and Sonatas appeared. In 1794 he was appointed to Drury Lane, and in the years 1796 and 1797 he travelled in South Germany.
Finally we must here mention JOSEPH MUNTZBERGER. He was of German extraction, and was born in Brussels in 1769, where his father, Wenzeslaus Muntzberger, was chamber musician in the service of Prince Charles of Lorraine, Governor of the Netherlands. Fetis informs us that the young Muntzberger at six years of age played a Concerto before the Prince, on a tenor viol, handled somewhat like the Violoncello. On account of this performance he was induced to have the boy instructed by the violinist, Van Maldere. This account must be erroneous, for Van Maldere died on November 3, 1768, a year before Muntzberger's birth. In his fourteenth year he went to Paris. He there advanced himself with the sole assistance of Tilliere's Violoncello School -so far that he was able to play the most difficult pieces of the Cello literature of that period. In 1790 he accepted a place in the orchestra of the "Theatre Lyrique et Comique," but after a time gave it up and entered the orchestra of the "Theatre Feydeau," of which he became first cellist after Cardon's resignation. (Mis points out that he was at the Favart Theatre. Muntzberger, however, calls himself on the title page of the Cello Sohool "Professeur de Violoncelle an Theatre Feydeau.") Besides this, he was a member of Napoleon the First's band, as well as, later, of the King's. During his official occupation he often assisted at concerts, and specially at those of the "Rue de Clery," which at the beginning of this century were in great favour with the Parisians. In 1830 he retired on a pension, and died in January, 1844.
Muntzberger, who, during his long residence in Paris, had not only Gallicised himself as an artist, but also in regard to the pronunciation of his name, composed a good deal for the Violoncello-namely, five Concertos, a "Symphonie Concertante," Trios, in which, besides the Cello obbligato, the violin and bass take part; a great number of Duets, Fantasias, and Variations; two books of Sonatas, with bass; three of Etudes and Caprices, as well as a "Nouvelle Methode pour le Violoncelle." The latter work in all probability appeared before 1800, as in it, as in Boccherini's compositions, besides the bass and tenor and violin clefs, the alto and soprano clefs are used, which do not occur in French books of instruction after this date.
Violoncello playing received a remarkable impulse in Belgium towards the middle of our century, Platel greatly contributed to this by founding the school of Violoncello playing which subsequently gained such reputation. From it came out prominently,
ADRIEN FRANCOIS SERVAIS, born on June 6, 1807, at Hal, near Brussels. He began his career, like so many of his colleagues, with violin playing, in which his father, who was a musician in the church at Hal, first gave him instruction, and under whom he became acquainted with the elements of theory. The child's rare talent inspired the art-loving Marquis de Sayve, who possessed an estate in the neighbourhood of Hal, with so great an interest that he granted him the means of beginning to study in earnest under the direction of the first violinist of that time in the Brussels Theatre, of the name of Van der Planken. In Brussels, Servais soon found an opportunity of hearing Platel, whose playing made a deep impression on him, and excited in him the desire of devoting himself to Violoncello playing. In order to become Platel's pupil, he applied for admission to the Brussels Conservatoire. His development was so rapid that he surpassed all his fellow-students, and gained, before the year was over, the first prize in the competition. Platel made him his assistant in the Conservatoire, and at the same time he was placed in the opera orchestra, to which he belonged for three years, During this period, however, he did not succeed in gaining from his fellow countrymen the appreciation which he soon after gained in Paris.
In the year 1884 Servais went to London. He acquired there also remarkable success; but the applause of the public did not excite in him self-satisfied content, for when he returned home he gave himself up to renewed study, by means of which he attained to the highest degree of masterly performance. In the beginning of 1836 he went to Paris; the following year he travelled in Holland, and in 1839 visited St. Petersburg, where he met with a brilliant reception. Such was the case also when he re-appeared in his native land, and performed at Brussels and Antwerp, after his return from Russia. In the beginning of 1841 he undertook a second journey to the East, in which he aroused great applause at St. Petersburg, Moscow, Warsaw, Prague, and Vienna by his performances. In 1843 he gave concerts again in Holland, and the following year in Germany, after which he again went to Russia. In the winter of 1847 he was in Paris and later on he travelled into Scandinavia. Now a quieter time was in store for him, for in 1848, after he had been nominated solo violinist to the King of the Belgians, he undertook the Professorship at the Brussels Conservatoire, which for a time attached him to the place. At the beginning of 1866 he made another journey to Russia, which he extended to Siberia. It is supposed that by these unceasing efforts Servais laid the seeds of his death, which took place on November 26 of the same year, at his birthplace, whither he had resorted to recruit his health.
Servais was not only a virtuoso of the first rank, but also a thoroughly original artist who was the means of effecting an important advance in Cello playing, by opening out for it new lines. His performance was distinguished by broad, energetic, and rich intonation, as well as by the most careful finish and effective manipulation, for he understood how to bring out into the clearest light all the advantages of his instrument. Many connoisseurs consider him the first cellist of his time; in any case, he competed successfully with his French colleagues, and raised the Belgian school of Violoncello playing to extraordinary reputation.
Servais as a composer for his instrument is well-deserving of notice. Besides three Concertos, he wrote ten Fantasias, with orchestral accompaniment. He united with J. Gregoire in composing fourteen Duets for Piano and Violoncello, and with the violinist Leonard three Duets for Violin and Violoncello, upon opera themes. In conjunction also with Henri Vieuxtemps, a Duet of the same kind was produced. Finally, he composed six Caprices in the Etude form, which, however, are not so attractive as many of his other Cello pieces. Amongst these the "Souvenir de Spa" and Variations on Schubert's Sehnsucht Valses have had the widest circulation.
Of the numerous pupils whom Servais formed, the best known are-Meerens, Deswert, Fischer, and Bekker.
CHARLES MEERENS, born at Bruges on December 26, 1831, is the son of a clever flutist, who in 1845 settled in Antwerp, where young Meerens received his first Cello instruction from Joseph Bessems. Later, a certain Dumon, in Ghent, was his teacher. Having returned to his birthplace, Bruges, he founded an amateur musical society, "Les Francs-Amis," and superintended a music warehouse established by his father. In 1855 he went to Brussels in order to Study music under Servais's direction, but subsequently devoted his chief attention to writing on music, especially in relation to acoustics.
JULES DESWERT, the most prominent pupil of Servais, and altogether one of the best of Belgian cellists, was born on August 1, 1843, at Louvain, and made himself a name, after having completed his studies under Servais, by several concert journeys. In 1865 he stopped at Dusseldorf, and was for a time engaged there. Three years later he entered the Weimar Hofkappelle as first Cellist, whence he was summoned to Berlin, in 1869, with the title of Concertmaster, as solo cellist of the Royal band and teacher in the High School of Music. He gave up this in 1873 in order to devote himself to composition. After he had remained a few years in Wiesbaden, be chose Leipsic as his residence in 1881. Besides two operas, of which the one called "The Albigenses" was brought out in 1878 at Wiesbaden, and the other, "Graf HammerStein," in 1884 in Mayence, he wrote three Cello Concertos, as well as an important number of Drawing-room Pieces, re-edited a collection of old Violoncello music and arrangements of classical compositions, and published three books of Etudes under the title of "Le Mecanisme du Violoncelle." He also produced a Cello school, which was brought out by Novello, in London. Servais also formed a very distinguished artist in the Cellist,
ADOLPHE FISCHER, born November 22, 1850, in Brussels, whose name implies a German origin. His father, who worked in the Belgian capital as conductor, and fonnded the first Society for men-singers, prepared him for attending the Brussels Conservatoire. His education, under the guidance of Servais, went rapidly forward. At sixteen years of age the first prize was conferred on him. After his studies were completed, Fischer chose Paris as his residence, and soon met with general appreciation. Since then he has undertaken several concert tours in the larger towns of Germany.
The violoncellist, P. R. BEKKER, born on May 23, 1839, in the Dutch town of Winschoten, was pupil of the Brussels School of Music from 1852-1855. He progressed so far under Servais that he soon received the first prize at the playing competition. Bekker Sought and found a sphere of work as music teacher at Utrecht. A testimony to the excellence of his performances is the circumstance that, in 1861, he was granted the title of solo Violoncellist by the King of Holland. He did not, however, long enjoy the fruits of his industry, for he died in 1875.
Servais educated also the elder of his two sons, whose Christian name was JOSEPH, as a very good cellist. From 1869-1870 he belonged to the Weimar orchestra. In the year 1872 he was nominated professor of his instrument at the Brussels Conservatoire. He was born November 23, 1850, at Hal, the home of his father, where he died August 28 or 29, of the year 1885.
Returning to Platel's pupils, we have, after the elder Servais, FRANCOIS DEMUNCK (De Munck) to mention, who was born on October 6, 1815, in Brussels, where his father was teacher of music. Instructed by him in the first elements of the art, he entered the Conservatoire of his birthplace as a boy of ten years of age, and soon had Platel as his master. In 1834 he left the Institution with the first prize, and in the following year he was nominated as his master's assistant. When the latter died a few months after, Demunck was appointed his successor. His star was gradually in the ascendant. Fetis says of him that, about 1840, the hope was cherished that he was destined to be at the head of the Violoncellists of his time, for his playing was distinguished not only by the opposite fine qualities of energetic and delicate intonation, but also by an expression full of feeling, and ease in surmounting all difficulties. This hope was not, however, to be fulfilled. Demunek fell into relations which had a paralysing effect on the work of his profession. He neglected more and more the study of the Cello; consequently his performances were deprived of their precision and brilliancy; and, further, he ruined his health. Notwithstanding this he still excited some consideration in London. Soon after, in the year 1845, he resigned his official work, in order to perform at concerts, in company with a singer, in Germany. His performances, however, no longer came up to the cherished expectations. In the year 1848 Servais stepped into Demunck's place as teacher at the Brussels Conservatoire, which induced him to go to London, and labour for a time in the orchestra of "Her Majesty's" Theatre. But only too soon the results of his dissolute life became apparent. He fell into doubtful circumstances, and, broken in body and mind, he returned, in the spring of 1858, to Brussels, where, on February 28 of the following year, he died.
Demunck published only a "Fantasia" with variations on a Russian theme (Op. 1).
Of his two sons he brought up the younger, by name ERNEST, as cellist, who was born in Brussels on December 21, 1840. As early as eight years of age he was able to appear as a solo player in his native place, and at ten in London. He then became, for a time, Servais's pupil in tha Brussels Conservatoire. Later, in company with Julien, he travelled all over Great Britain, then settled in London, but in 1868 went to Paris, was there for two years member of the Maurin String, Quartet, and accepted, in 1871, the invitation made to him to be first Cellist of the Weimar orchestra. His work for many years suffered impediment from an injury to his left hand. Since his marriage with Carlotta Patti he, has resided in America. As one of the elder Demunck's pupils deserving notice,
GUILLAUME PAQUE must be mentioned, born at Brussels on July 24, 1825. At ten years of age he became a pupil of the Conservatoire, where, during a course of six years, he received his entire artistic training. Dismissed from the institution with the first prize, he entered the orchestra of the Royal Theatre in his native town. After he had belonged to it for some years, he took up his abode in Paris, with the intention of permanently settling there. But an offer which he received in 1840, of entering, as solo cellist, the Italian Opera at Barcelona, induced him to leave the French capital. Scarcely had he arrived at Barcelona, when the Professorship of the Musical School was committed to him. In 1849 he played before the Queen of Spain in Madrid, and in 1850 he travelled in the South of France giving concerts. In the same year he fixed his residence in London, where he gained popularity as a chamber music player. He found his particular sphere of work as solo cellist at the Royal Italian Opera, as well as teacher at the London Academy of Music, until his death on March 3, 1876. Amongst his compositions he published several "Fantasias," Variations, and Drawing- room pieces. The elder Demunck had a second famous pupil in
ISIDORE DESWERT, not to be confounded with the Violoncellist of the same name already mentioned. Isidore Deswert, the son of a musician established at Louvain was born there on January 6, 1830, and, after he had completed his studies at the Brussels Conservatoire, he received the first prize at the playing competition. In 1850 he found a position as teacher at the music school of his native town, and six years later he was invested with the office of solo cellist at the "Theatre de la Monnaie," in Brussels. Since December 3, 1866, he has been occupied as Director of the Violoncello Class at the Conservatoire there.
Of Platel's pupils we have still to mention Batta And Van Volxem.
ALEXANDER BATTA, born on July 9, 1816, at Maestricht, received from his father, a singing master, his first instruction in music, and at first practised violin playing. After some time his father was appointed "professeur de solfege" at the Brussels Conservatoire, and in consequence the family Batta took up their abode in the Belgian capital. There the talented boy heard the Cello master, Platel, play, and the desire of emulating him was awakened. He succeeded in inducing his father to let him share Platel's instruction at the Conservatoire. By persevering industry he succeeded in gaining the first prize with Demunck at the competition of his class in 1884. In 1885 he went to Paris, where he found a good reception. This decided him to make it his home.
At this time the tenor, Rubini, was flourishing in Paris. All vied in doing him homage, and Batta became such an unbounded admirer of him, that he copied his manner of rendering. It is known that instrumentalists can learn a great deal from good singers. Rubini, however, with all the advantages of his manner of singing, had the failing of making excessive contrasts of forte and piano without the use of intermediate gradations, in order to produce startling effects upon the public. Batta, appropriated this merely for the sake of attaining an easy effect, and therefore became for a time the recognized darling of the Parisian public, and especially of the ladies, whom he knew how to captivate by his sweetly coquettish style of playing. He naturally possessed also valuable artistic qualities, but an apparently virtuoso tendency ever after clung to him.
Batta, published a respectable list of Drawing-room pieces and transcriptions, as well as a Concerto and a couple of Concert Etudes for his instrument. These productions were for a time made use of by violoncellists : now they have ceased to excite any interest.
J. B. VAN VOLXEM, born on November 30, 1817, at Uccleles-Bruxelles, became, in 1833, a student of the Brussels Conservatoire as a pupil of Platel. At the competition he gained the second prize for Cello playing and composition. Later on he was Chorus Director in the Brussels Royal Theatre. Since then he has by preference devoted himself to chorus singing, and has deserved considerable merit for its diffusion in Belgium.
Three other Belgian violoncellists must be added to those artists already mentioned, namely: Chevillard, Warot, and Vieuxtemps, of whom the first-named is distinguished as by far the most important and most famous.
PIERRE ALEXANDRE FRANCOIS CHEVILLARD, born on January 15, 1811, at Antwerp, received-after he had been prepared for the musical profession in the parental home-his higher education, as a pupil of Norblin, in the Paris Conservatoire, to which he belonged from March 15,1820, until the year 1827. Dismissed from thence with the first prize, he undertook the duties of solo cellist in the orchestra of the "Theatre Gymnase." In this position, which afforded him abundant leisure for pursuing the study of composition under Fetis' direction, he remained until 1831. He then became member of the orchestra of the Italian Opera. In the year 1859 he undertook the Professoriate at the Paris Conservatoire in Vaslin's place. Chevillard distinguished himself not only as a trained virtuoso player, but also as a musician animated by a high artistic aim, which he proved by his efforts to introduce the last String Quartets of Beethoven into Parisian musical circles, for whom these magnificent "tone poems" had until then been an unknown world. After repeated fruitless attempts, which failed on account of the insufficient intelligence of his associate players, he at length Succeeded by means of the artists Maurin, Sabattier, and Mas, who had the same aim in view, in gaining the requisite force by which he was able to carry out his ideas. At first the quartet confederates established private performances before a few connoisseurs only. By degrees, however, the number of the audience increased, so that they ventured on a public hearing, which took place in the Pleyel Saloon. During the years 1855 and 1856 the four players undertook tours in Germany in order to perform the last Beethoven Quartet at Cologne, Frankfort, Darmstadt, Leipsic, Berlin, and Hanover. Everywhere they found the appreciation which they deserved. In the year 1868 Demunck the younger joined the Quartet in the place of Chevillard, who died at the end of 1877.
Chevillard's cello compositions were a "Concerto, Quinze Melodies, Morceaux developpes pour Violoncelle et Orchestre ou Piano," a "Fantasia" on Themes from Marino Falliero "Lamenti, Adagio and Finale," and "Andante et Barcarolle." Besides these he published a Cello school which bears the title "Methode complete de Violoncelle, contenant la theorie de l'instrument, des gamines, legons progressives, etudes, airs varies et legons pour chaeune des positions."
CONSTANT N0EL ADOLPHE WAROT, born on November 28, 1812, at Antwerp, began early the practice of music on the violin, but gave up this instrument in favour of the violoncello. In 1852 he was appointed teacher at the Brussels Conservatoire. Besides a Violoncello School, which was introduced as a work of instruction to the Art Institute mentioned, he wrote Duets for two Violoncellos, and an "Air Varig" with piano accompaniment. He died on April 10, 1875, at the place of his work.
Concerning JULES JOSEPH ERNEST VIEUXTEMPS, the younger brother of the celebrated Violin virtuoso of the same name, nothing more is known than the fact that he was for a long time solo cellist at the Italian Opera in London, and that he is at present solo player in Halle's Orchestra at Manchester. Amongst the Dutch Violoncellists we have-
ANDREAS TEN CATE, born in 1796, at Amsterdam. He was originally destined for a commercial calling, but at the age of fourteen he decided for the musical career, and became Jan Georg. Bertelmann's pupil. In his riper years he devoted himself chiefly to composition for the stage. He wrote, however, some instrumental pieces; amongst them a couple of Violoncello Concertos. He died on July 27, 1858.
JACQUES FRANCO-MENDES, who descends from a Portuguese family settled for a long time in Amsterdam, has exercised a great, indeed the greatest influence on Dutch cello playing. He was born in 1816 (Fetis gives the year of his birth 1812. His brother, Joseph, was born 1816) in the said town, and in his earliest years began the practice of music. He received instruction from Prager on the Violoncello, from Bertelmann in theory, and, in order to educate himself still further in cello playing, be went to Merk, at Vienna, in 1829,
Until then Franco-Mendes was undecided as to whether he should pursue music for his pleasure or as his career. He soon decided for the latter, and undertook with his brother Joseph, who was a gifted violin player, a journey to London and Paris in the year 1831. He made his debut in the former city at a concert given by Nepomuk Hummel and on his return to Amsterdam he received from the King of Holland the title of Chamber Violoncellist. In 1833 the brothers Franco-Mendes undertook together a concert tour in Germany, and were heard with success in Frankfort, Leipsic, and Dresden. In the following year Jacques was nominated first solo Cellist of the King of Holland. In 1836 he again went with his brother to Paris. The latter died in 1841, and this loss so heavily affected Jacques that for a long time he could not resolve to undertake any more art journeys but played only at a few concerts in the chief towns of Holland. In 1845 the desire was again aroused in him of making further efforts. He took part, in that year, in the musical festival which was held at Bonn to celebrate the unveiling of the Beethoven memorial, but on account of the overwhelming number of musical productions he gained no success. In 1860 he took up his permanent abode in Paris.
As a composer, Franco-Mendes proved that to a certain extent his aim was worthy of respect, for he occupied himself with chamber music in its more serious aspect. He wrote two Quintets and a String Quartet, one of which was distinguished by receiving a prize from the Netherlands "Society for the advancement of Music." He has also composed a long list of Drawing-room pieces for his instrument, amongst them a grand Duo for two Violoncellos, an Elegie, "Fantasias,"Caprices," and more pieces of the same kind; some of them are still performed, as, for example, the Adagio (Op. 48). Among Franco-Mendes' pupils,
CHARLES ERNEST APPY must be cited, who, springing from French parentage, was born on October 25, 1834, at the Hague. His father was a tenor player in the Royal band, but went away with his family to Amsterdam, where his son at fourteen years of age began with piano playing under Richard Hol. A year after he gave it up for the Violoncello, on which the Belgian, Charles Montigny, and later, Merlen, the first cellist at Amsterdam, gave him instruction. He received the final finish from Franco-Mendes, under whom he also studied composition.
Appy began his work as a musician in 1851, as member of the Concert orchestra at Zaandam. He soon received invitations to the provincial towns of his Fatherland to assist as a solo player at concerts, and in 1854 he was engaged for six months by Joseph Gungl, as solo cellist for Scotland. Two years later he was member of the Amsterdam Park orchestra, as well as of the orchestra of the "Felix Meritis" Society. In 1857 he worked for six months at the concerts of the London Crystal Palace, and after bis return he joined the orchestra of the "Cacelia" Society in Amsterdam. From 1862 he has belonged to the String Quartet of the excellent violinist, Franz Coenen, for nine years, by which means be has enjoyed the opportunity of playing with distinguished artists, such as Ernst Lubeck, Alfred Jael, and Madame Clara Schumann.
In the year 1864 Appy was appointed Cello teacher to the "Maatschappij tot Bevorderingvan Toonkunst," in which office he remained till 1883. During this time, in 1871, he went for six months to New York, in order to join in the Thomas Concerts as soloist. His substitute as teacher at the Amsterdam Maatschappij was, meantime, Daniel de Lange.
Returned to Holland, Appy took up his residence in Haarlem, where he gave lessons on the Cello and Piano. Thence he again went to Amsterdam and opened there a prosperous music school, which be continues to superintend at the present time. His cello compositions consist of "Fantasias" on Motifs from the "Freischutz" and "Robert le Diable," as well as some smaller light pieces.
The above-mentioned DANIEL DE LANGE, born about 1840, at Rotterdam, was educated as a cellist by Simon Ganz and Servais, while Verhulst was his master in theory. On the completion of his studies he travelled with his brother, the pianist and organist, Samuel de Lange, through Austria and went to the music school at Lemberg, to which he belonged for three years. In 1868 he returned home and undertook the Cello instruction at the Rotterdam Music School, which his master Ganz had until then carried on. There is no further information regarding him.
JACQUES RENSBURG, born May 22, 1846, at Rotterdam, also began his cello studies under Ganz in his ninth year, and continued them under Giese, Daniel de Lange, and Emil Hegar. Rensburg was destined for a commercial and not an artistic career, but his inclination for music so increased with time, that in 1867 he received permission from his father to devote himself to Art. He now went about the middle of the year named to Cologne, in order to pursue a course under the talented Violoncellist, Schmitt. The latter, however, was already, in consequence of a chest malady which, later, carried him off, so suffering that Rensburg's wish was not fulfilled of learning from him. Instead of becoming Schmitt's pupil he was his temporary assistant, as first Cellist in the orchestra of the Gurzenich Concerts, as well as teacher in the Rhenish School of Music at Cologne. Both offices were given over to him definitely on April 1, 1868, on account of his valuable services, for, in the meantime, Schmitt had died. Besides his official duty, Rensburg frequently performed with favourable success in the tours of the Rhenish Provinces, as well as in North Germany, -and in 1872, also, in the Leipsic Gewandhaus as a soloist; but the ceaseless application with which he practised his profession brought on a nervous affection, which compelled him to retire into private life. In the autumn of 1874 he went to his native town, and since the spring of 1880 be has been living at Bonn, where he is partner in a mercantile undertaking. Of his compositions have appeared: "Recitative, Adagio, and Allegro, in the form of a Concerto."
An excellent Dutch Violoncellist is Louis LUBECK, born on February 14,1838, at the Hague. His father, the "Hof-Kapellmeister," Johann Heinr. Lilbeck, so highly esteerned by the Dutch musical world (died on February 7, 1865, at the Hague), gave him his first regular instruction, after he had up to his seventeenth year occupied himself with music as a dilettante. In order still further to perfect himself he studied from 1857-1859 under Leon Jacquard's direction in Paris. He then made successful journeys through France and Holland, took up his residence in Colmar, where he often joined in concerts with Clara Schumann and Jul. Stockhausen; in 1866 he was summoned to Leipsic as first cellist at the Gewandhaus Concerts and teacher at the Conservatoire. He fulfilled these duties until 1868, in which year he occupied a similar position in Frankfort-on-the-Maine, and he also undertook fresh concert journeys through Germany, Holland, and England. In the year 1871 Lubeck was a member of the Carlsruhe "Capelle." He did not, however, remain long in this position, but he next went, in 1873, to Berlin and St. Petersburg. From the latter place lie went to Sondershausen, where he belonged to the Ducal Band as soloist, and afterwards to North America. In the year 1881 he returned to Europe, and was engaged as successor to the Concertmaster, Jul. Stahlknecht, for the Berlin Royal Band, to which he still belongs as solo cellist. Besides a collection of small pieces, amongst which are some transcriptions, Lubeck has written two Concertos, of which, however, only one has until now been published.
Bouman and Maare belong to the younger Dutch Violoncellists who have become prominent by their performances.
ANTOON BOUMAN, born in Amsterdam, in the year 1855, received his first instruction from one of his brothers, with whom he later for some time established regular Quartet Conversaziones. As a boy of twelve years he was able to, appear before the King, William III., as well as at the public Concerts of his native city. In order to make further progress he attended the Rotterdam Conservatoire and enjoyed there the cello instruction of O. Eberle. Returning home he again played before the King, who granted him the means of continuing his studies; He thus was able to work for some years in order to perfect himself, and had the advantage of the advice of Aug. Lindner, in Hanover; Fr. Grutzmacher, in Dresden; Joseph Servais, in Brussels; and Leon Jacquard, in Paris. He then travelled in Southern France and England, where, during a, residence of four years, he gave concerts with success. Since then he has acquired for himself a lucrative sphere of work in Utrecht as Director of the municipal concerts, as solo player and cello teacher. Besides several smaller compositions, Bouman has written two Concertos. for his instrument.
From Eberle, who, as we have just seen, was for a time Bouman's master, TH. C. DE MAARE, born on January 14, 1863, also received his education as a Violoncellist. In his, twenty-second year he received the appointment at the. "Amsterdamsche, Orkestvereenigung" of solo cellist, when the place of first solo player at the Royal "Fransche Opera" was also given to him, which position he still holds.
The two youngest cellists of Holland, of talent worth mentioning, are Snoer and Smith.
JOHAN SNOER was born on June 28, 1868, in Amsterdam, and received his first instruction from Alexander Pohle, a pupil of Fr. Grutzmacher. After Pohle's death the younger Giese was his master, and, when the latter went out to America, Henry Bosnian undertook his training. Later on he learned the harp from Edm. Schuecker, now teacher at the Leipsic Conservatoire. Snoer began his active career as a volunteer in the Amsterdam Park Orchestra. When he was dismissed from this he was appointed Violoncellist and Harpist at the newly-erected Park Theatre at Amsterdam. Since 1885 he has been first solo cellist and harpist at the Amsterdam Orchestra Union.
JOHANNES SMITH, born on January 27, 1869, at Arnheim, received his first Cello instruction from Heyn, in Maestricht, where his father had been placed in the Dutch service. Later on the Smith family resided in Amsterdam and there Ernest Appy was the teacher of the artist boy, who went to Dresden in 1883 in order to complete his training on the Violoncello under Fr. Grutzmacher and, in theory, under Felix Draeseke. Since then Smith has appeared with great success in Leipsic, Dresden, Berlin, and the Hague, as concert player.
England and Scandanavia in the 19th Century
Presented by Cello Heaven