Farewell Charles de Bériot!

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the death of Belgian composer and violinist Charles de Bériot. We bring you an excerpt from a piece by Richard Sutcliffe (Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel) and invite you to read the post in its entirety at his 19c Belgian Music Blog.

Charles de Bériot, violinist, composer, teacher, philosopher, artist, died on either 8 or 9 April 1870. This sesquicentennial has sadly been eclipsed by the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, both of which have been recently pushed aside due to the worldwide Covid-19 epidemic. While most of us are currently spending our days at home, I wanted to draw attention to this remarkable musician who made an enormous contribution to the history of violin playing. His significant catalogue of compositions and pedagogical works (somewhere between 150 and 200 works), most importantly the five volumes of his violin method, have lost popularity with the passage of time and sadly most young violinists today only know his name in association with the handful of pieces which have been included in the Suzuki Violin Method.

While we have a rather significant collection of items which belonged to his first wife Maria Malibran in the Brussels Conservatories Library, RISM only lists 10 autograph manuscripts of de Bériot. I believe the nachlass of de Bériot was passed down through his son Charles-Wilfrid de Bériot and is most likely in the possession of a family of noble descent in France. This collection was reported to even contain philosophical writings by de Bériot!

In today’s blog post I have translated, together with the help of Mary Bardet of the University of Birmingham, a lesser known early biographical sketch of de Bériot.

Please continue reading "Farewell Charles de Bériot!" here.

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