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'^rEE STMAD ' LIBnARY:N0:i7. 









GIFT or 

Sir Henry Heyinan 




Celebrated Violinists, 


Translated from the German 



And Edited with Notes and Additions by 




"THE STRAD" Office, 3, Green Terrace, Rosebery Avenue, E.G. 
J. LENG & Co., 186, Fleet Street, E.G. 

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS, 153-157, Fifth Avenue. 



/ J/ I' ' / 

/-•I, , 



Lest there be readers of this book who are inclined to 
cavil because it does not include the name of one or 
other of their best friends or pet musical gods, I would 
like to say that though one or two biographical sketches 
have been added to the original work, yet the book never 
was intended to be a perfect dictionary of violinists. 
Dictionaries exist in numbers already. The aim of the 
present volume is to give a few more details concerning 
some of the greatest of stringed instrument players than 
room could be found for in an ordinary biographical 
dictionary. It will, I think, be generally conceded, that 
no name of the first importance has been omitted. 

In view of later editions the translator will esteem it a 
favour if readers will send corrections of any mistakes to 
the publisher. 

R. H. L. 
October, 1897. 


I HAVE nothing to add to my note which appeared in 
the first edition; but I may be allowed to thank those 
gentle readers who have made a second edition necessary. 
They, and others of a later generation, will much oblige 
by inwardly digesting the final paragraph of the first 


R. H. L. 

April, 1906. 

rr r' * 1 .— O* A 



























... 15 


... 56 

■• 59 

.. 61 


■•• 75 

... 30 

... 71 


•• 32 


•• 73 

... 87 

... 136 



.. 147 

... 125 

... 257 

... 91 

... 127 

••• 153 

... 144 

... 132 



GRUN, JACOB ... ... ... ... ... ... 51 


HALIR, KARL ... ... ... ... ... ... 47 

HAUSER, MISKA .. ... ... ... ... ... 49 


HEERMANN, HUGO ... ... ... ... ... 1 34 

HILF, ARNO ... ... ... ... ... ... 140 

HELLMESBERGER, JOSEF ... ... ... ... 3 

HOLLANDER, GUSTAV ... ... ... ... ... I5I 

HOLMES, HENRY ... ... ... ... ... 178 

HUBAY, JUNO ... ... ... ... ... ... 117 

JOACHIM, JOSEF ... ... ... ... ... 250 

RUMPEL, AUGUST ... ... ... ... ... I49 


LAFONT, CHARLES PHILIPP ... ... ... . - I20 

LAUB, FERDINAND ... ... ... ... ... I29 


LECLAIR, JEAN MARIE ... ... ... ... ... 67 

LEONARD, HUBERT ... ... ... ... ... 84 

LIPINSKI, KARL JOSEPH ... ... ... ... 79 

LOTTO, ISIDOR ... ... ... ... ... ... 163 


MASSART, LAMBERT JOSEPH ... .... ... .-• IO4 

MAYSEDER, JOSEPH ... ... ... ... ... 69 

MEYER, WALDEMAR ... ... ... ... ... 167 



NARDINI, PIETRO ... ... ... ... ... I7I 


halle) ... ... ... ... ... -•• 215 

ondricek, franz ... ... ... .•• ••• i §4 

paganini, nicolo ... ... ... ... ••• 264 

papini, guido ... 







































TO this admirable violinist are due the thanks of the 
whole musical world for his labours in introducing 
and placing on a firm basis in Italy, the orchestral 
and chamber compositions of the German classical 
writers. By his labours he has obtained a great and 
well-earned reputation. Born on the nth March, 1818, 
at Brescia, he was first taught the violin by Faustino 
Camisoni, and at twelve years of age he appeared with 
success at a public concert ; at seventeen he was 
organist or musical director of St. Philip's Church in 



Brescia. When eighteen he played before Paganini, 
who seems to have taken a fancy to him, since he gave 
him much sound advice, and even recommended him to 
traveL The youth then made a number of short tours, 
and in 1843 wandered into Germany, where he spent a 
great part of the next four years, principally in Leipzig. 
Under the influence of the great musicians at that time 
living in Leipzig he became deeply imbued with the 
spirit of Bach and Beethoven, and on his return to his 
native land, he set to work to propagate among his 
countrymen a knowledge of the creations of these com- 
posers. Still wandering, however, he visited Spain and 
France, eventually settling for a few years in Paris. 
But wearying of a wanderer's life, he once more turned 
his steps homewards and took up his abode first in 
Florence, where he founded a Society for the special study 
of German music. This obviously was a step well calcu- 
lated to arouse opposition in ultra-patriotic quarters, but 
in spite of all, the society flourished. In 1864 he settled 
in Brescia, intending to devote himself to musical 

In 1873 Bazzini was appointed to the principal 
professorship of composition in the Milan Conserva- 
toire, and in 1882 he became director of that celebrated 
institution — a post he continued to hold with credit to 
himself and to his art until his death at Milan on the 
loth of February, 1897. 

His compositions include five string quartets, the fourth 
of which was played with great success at the Popular 
Concerts some years ago ; a Quintet and an Allegro de 
Concert which at one time was perhaps more played 
than any other composition ; and much church music. 

Bazzini's aim as a composer was, generally speaking, 
far higher than that in vogue in Italy thirty years ago. 
He combined in a remarkable degree a wealth of graceful 
melody with very considerable harmonic resource, and 
excellent musicianship. 


AS the son of an extremely talented father (himself 
a famous violinist and teacher in Vienna), and 
through his own almost religious belief in the divine 
art of music, Josef Hellmesberger became one of the 
most brilliant constellations in the musical firmament of 
the Austrian capital. As a teacher no less than as a 
performer he reaped the full reward of his labours ; and 
he shone especially in the sphere of chamber music, 
in which, indeed, he created a new era in Menna. 
His long labours were rew^arded in a manner that 
only the very greatest have the right to expect, and 
truly he had the right to be numbered among the great 



ones ! Now his labours are ended, his eyes closed for 
ever; he died in Vienna 24th October, 1893, ^^"^ his 
place will be uncommonly difficult to fill. Born at 
\'ienna on the 23rd November, 1S29, he was educated 
with his younger brother, Georg (d. 1853), by his father, 
and the trio together made an artistic tour through 
Germany in 1847. 

When barely twenty-one he was made professor of the 
violin and director of the Conservatorium at A^ienna, and 
in 1S60 he became leader of the Court Opera orchestra, 
three years later he succeeded Mayseder as first violinist 
in the Imperial Band. 

With Heissler, Durst and Schlesinger, Hellmesberger 
founded a string quartet in 1849 which became famous 
not only in Austria but throughout the musical world. 
In fact, it made a reputation for itself w^hich will 
live among the best of its kind in musical history. 
Hellmesberger laid particular stress on findino^ out 
and performing works which had sunk into oblivion,. 
but which were deserving of a better fate. In this he 
succeeded, and many compositions which are now heard 
everywhere owe their renewed lease of life to the 
indefatigable Viennese violinist. It is true that he had 
many opportunities of doing good thus because of his 
office as conductor of the concerts of the " Gesellschaft 
der Musikfreunde " ; still there are many musicians 
who have equal opportunities but who accomplished 
nothing for the real benefit of art. In the Conserva- 
torium he raised the orchestra by his personal kindness, 
his zeal, and his ability, to a really marvellous state of 
efficiency, and through him innumerable musicians who 
are now known to fame obtained their first public 
hearing. Among them must be counted his own son 
" who was also called Josef," who worked at his father's 
side since his fifteenth year. 

It is worthy of note that the tour mentioned above 
extended as far as London, the trio appearing at one of 
Ella's " Musical Union " concerts. The post in which 
Hellmesberger succeeded Mayseder {i.e., as director of 


the Imperial Band) is the highest musical office in the 
Austrian Empire, and was long held by Dr. Hans 

As a violinist, Hellmesberger is said to have been 
a sort of combination of Joachim and Sarasate, in that 
he had the limpid tone of the Spaniard and the classical 
feeling of the German. A good story is told which 
proves that Hellmesberger was possessed of almost 
marvellous musical instinct. When Teresa MilanoUo 
brought a new manuscript concerto by de Beriot to 
Vienna in 1840, she wished to keep it for her own 
private use. But Hellmesberger heard it at two 
rehearsals, went home and quietly wrote out the w^hole 
work from memory ! 

The Austrian papers in their obituary notices of him 
relate how he rose up from what was his death-bed 
and, beating time with his hands, said "One, two, 
three ! now the organ comes in ! " The ruling passion 
strong in death. 



THIS admirable Hungaro-Russian violinist whose 
name came again so prominently before the public 
during the few weeks immediately after the death 
of Tchaikovsky, was born at \'eszprem in Hungary 
on the 7th June, 1845, and was the son of a decorative 
painter. When only four years old a wonderful instinct 
for rhythm made itself evident in the youth, who, during 
the Hungarian Revolution is said to have played a series 
of the most artistic drum rolls at the entry and departure 
of the insurrectionists ! He received his first instruction 
in violin-playing from Ridley Kohne at the Conserva- 
torium at Buda-Pesth, but he soon found it better for 


him to go to the famous school in Vienna, where his 
master was no other than the great Jakob Dont — the 
eminent teacher of many equally eminent players. 
There he studied during 1857-8. 

In 1858 Auer left the Conservatorium after having 
won the first prize, and after a stay of some months in 
Hanover, where he enjoyed the benefit of instruction 
from Joachim which gave the requisite finishing touches 
to his playing, he undertook a prolonged tour that lasted 
for four years. In 1863 he made his first appearance 
at the Leipzig Gewandhaus Concerts, and from that 
date his career has been one long-continued triumph. 
In the same year he took part as leader in the musical 
festival at Diisseldorf, Mme. Jenny Lind and Prof. 
Stockhausen also assisting; at their instigation he went 
to Hamburg as orchestral leader (1866-7). Summoned 
to replace Wieniawski at the Conservatoire in St. 
Petersburg in 1868, he founded an ideal quartet in con- 
junction with Davidoff and others, which not only existed 
until the death of the great violoncellist in 1890, but was 
one of the leading musical bodies in the Russian capital. 
In 1872 Auer was appointed solo- violinist to the Court, 
and about this time he made several visits to England. 

For a number of years he has been director of the 
Imperial Russian Musical Society's symphony concerts 
in St. Petersburg, and there he was the first to produce 
(in Russia) the gigantic Requiem of Berlioz, and 
Schumann's " Manfred " music in its entirety, with the 
connecting text recited in the Russian tongue. Many 
a young violinist has to thank Auer for the success he 
has obtained, and indeed many a one owes his position 
at the Imperial Theatre at St. Petersburg or at ^loscow 
entirely to his generosity. 

Auer is a splendid violinist in every sense of the word, 
and he is very highly esteemed both as a man and as a 
master. Among his pupils is the remarkable boy Mischa 
Elman. For Auer Tchaikovsky composed his beautiful 
concerto. At one time Auer frequently visited London 
in connexion with Ella's Musical Union Concerts. 


BORN at Liege on the iSth March/^^ 1857, this 
famous violinist, after having learnt the elements 
of music from his father, a violinist of some local 
repute, entered the Conservatorium at his native place, 
where he studied under Jacques Dupuis. When twelve 
years of age he had already passed through the school 
curriculum, and he then went under Leonard to perfect 
his style. When eighteen he travelled in Italy, and at 
Lugano became a member of the private orchestra of 
the Baron de Dervvies, which was directed by Miiller- 

* Riemann gives 17th March. 


Berghaus, a musician well known in Germany at the 
present time. There he married in 1877. 

In 1879 Thomson became leader of the famous Bilse 
orchestra, but having played at the musical festival at 
Brussels in 1882, he was created by royal decree 
professor of the violin at the Liege Conservatorium. 
Since then he has travelled a great deal, and throughout 
Europe his name is well-known in concert-rooms of 
first-rate importance. His success in 1891 in the 
Gewandhaus at Leipzig was little short of phenomenal. 
The present waiter recollects well hearing Thomson in 
Frankfort some years ago and being completely astounded 
by his accuracy and skill. 

He possesses many of the attributes of a really great 
violinist, perfect intonation, excellent if not remarkable 
tone, and a command over all the technical resources 
of the instrument which is hardly equalled by that of 
any living player, while his octave-playing has probably 
never been equalled by any other than Paganini himself. 
He is, in fact, one of the most eminent Paganini players 
in public at the present time, and is said to be an admir- 
able musician and an excellent quartet-player. 

M. Thomson made his first appearance in England in 
the Jubilee year, when he played the Beethoven concerto 
at the Crystal Palace concert on the 5th November, and 
was blamed in more than one quarter for introducing 
" well-nigh interminable cadences which certainly served 
to advertise his remarkable technique." On the same 
occasion he essayed Paganini's " Non piia mesta " 
fantasia, " in which his display of virtuosity was highly 
appreciated by the orchestra." He has visited England 
on more than one occasion since, and some years ago he 
made a long tour in America. 


IN spite of the somewhat French appearance of his 
name, Mohque was a German born and bred, he 
having first seen the Hght on the 7th October, 1803, 
at Nuremberg, where his father was a town musician. 
From him young INIolique received his first lessons in 
music, and having early developed a talent for violin- 
playing, an attempt was made to obtain for him the 
patronage of King Maximilian I., of Bavaria, whereupon 
His Majesty ordered the youth to be sent to Munich, 
where the once famous court-violinist, Rovelli, under- 
took his further education in 1S16. Of Ro^•elli's capa- 
bilities Spohr speaks as follows in his diary (12th 
December, 1815) in reference to the first winter 
concert of the Munich Court-band. " In this concert 


we heard Rovelli, a young artist but recently engaged, 
who played Lafont's C minor concerto quite admirably. 
This young violinist, a pupil of Kreutzer, combines all the 
advantages of the Parisian school with the excellent 
qualities which come of the good training which is 
obtained there — feeling and good taste. The advantages 
of the school are careful training of the technique, but 
sometimes all else is neglected for the sake of this 
accomplishment. In Rovelli, however, this certainly is 
not the case, for he reads well at sight and knows how 
to accompany, as I discovered later when playing some 
of my own quartets." 

Rovelli's technique Molique made his own, for those 
who knew him best and were at the same time the best 
judges, declared his command of the finger-board and 
the freedom of his bowing to be quite wonderful, and 
these characteristics, too, are shown prominently in his 
compositions. But Spohr's school was the standard he 
laid down for himself, and the former says in his Auto- 
biography (Vol I., p. 228) " In continuation of what I 
have already said in my diary (i6th November, 18 15), 
I may add that while I was in Nuremberg the fourteen - 
year-old Molique introduced himself to me and asked 
me to give him some instruction during my stay there, 
the which I gladly undertook because the youth exhibited 
such splendid ability for one so young. As Molique 
has carefully and conscientiously studied my works and 
my method of performance since that time, and calls 
himself a ' pupil of Spohr's,' I take this opportunity of 
mentioning these details." 

And so it is more than probable, it is certain, that 
Molique followed strictly in the trail of the greatest German 
master of the time, and himself became one of the elect : 
while his compositions have an earnestness that makes 
them invaluable as well for technical study as for 

After completing his technical education, Molique went 
for a time into the orchestra of the Theater-an-der-Wien 
in Vienna, but in 1820, after Rovelli's death, he returned 


to Munich, where he became leader of the royal band. 
In 1822 he undertook his first concert-tour with brilliant 
success, and three years later he married the niece of 
the conductor of the Winter Concerts in the Bavarian 
capital. In 1826 he went to Stuttgart as musical 
director and first violinist of the royal band there, and 
in this post he remained until 1849, making use of his 
holiday time for touring. The revolutionary disturb- 
ances in the last year compelled him to remove to 
London, where he remained for some time. His first 
appearance in London took place at the Philharmonic 
Concert of 14th oNIay, 1849, when he played his own 
A minor concerto. In 1866 he returned to Stuttgart 
in the neighbourhood of which (at Kannstadt) he died 
on the loth May, 1869. 

Molique composed ten concertos, of which the fifth 
in A minor, is perhaps the best, as it unquestionably is 
a brilliant constellation in the firmament of violin- 
literature which will last for all time ; a concertino, 
eight quartets, two trios, three violin sonatas, duets for 
various combinations of instruments, a symphony, a 
mass and an oratorio, "Abraham," which was first 
performed in England at the Norwich festival in i860. 

The violin upon which he played was a Joseph 
Guarneri that for a time remained in the possession 
of the Baron Dreyfuss in Munich. It was then pur- 
chased by some enthusiastic amateurs in Berlin and 
presented to the violinist Waldemar Meyer. It is said 
that doubts as to its genuineness were expressed which 
led to legal proceedings, but with what result is not 
stated. If I am not in error the late J. T. Carrodus, 
well-known to all violinists in this country for his skill as 
a player and to readers of The Strad especially by his 
wTitings, was a pupil of Molique in the old Stuttgart 


BORN 22nd June, 1835, in \'ienna, de Ahna lived a 
very active life, not only in the service of Poly- 
hymnia, but also in that of the god of war. In 
early youth he devoted himself to music and studied 
successively under Josef INlayseder in \'ienna, and 
Moritz Mildner in Prague ; when but a mere youth 
of twelve he was prompted to undertake a concert-tour, 
and when fourteen he was actually appointed chamber- 
virtuoso to the Duke of Coburg-Gotha. It is perhaps 
not unworthy of note that the above mentioned tour 
extended as far as London. 


Notwithstanding the brilHant prospects which at this 
period were opening up before him, he gave way to a strong 
impulse to adopt a mihtary career, an impulse which 
perhaps owed something to the lack of public interest 
shown in artistic matters during the revolutionary years. 
Entering the Austrian army as a cadet on the ist October, 
1 85 1, he rose in two years to the rank of lieutenant. 
In 1859 de Ahna went through the Italian campaign 
with his regiment, but when peace was concluded, he 
once more returned to his first love after resigning his 
military appointments. His re-adoption of an artistic 
career was immediately distinguished by remarkable 
success, and a concert- tour in Germany, Holland, etc., 
was one long sequence of triumphs. In 1862, after 
settling in Berlin, he became a member of the royal 
band, and six years later he was advanced to the 
leadership of it. In 1869 ^e was appointed teacher at 
the " Hoch-schule " under Joachim, and entered 
Joachim's famous quartet (perhaps the finest the world 
ever heard) in the capacity of second violin. In this 
post he w^orked assiduously and successfully for the 
benefit of chamber-music in the German metropolis. 
Together wdth Barth and Hausmann he instituted series 
of Trio Soirees which were much appreciated. 

De Ahna was a fine artist ; his performance of 
classical music and especially of the Beethoven concerto, 
was probably unsurpassed because unsurpassable. His 
violin — a Strad — is a somewhat remarkable instrument. 
First, there was its uncommonly grand tone, " greater 
than that of any other Strad with which I am ac- 
quainted," (says Ehrlich) ; secondly the wood used for 
the belly contained a knot — a fact which is notew^orthy 
because so rare in Strads. 

De Ahna died on the ist November, 1892. 


BORN Sth March, 1815, at Bayonne, A lard is 
usually regarded as the representative of the 
"new" Paris school of violinists; for the bringing 
out of delicate touches he had an especial aptitude. From 
his earliest youth he was well taught, and at the age of 
ten he publicly appeared with success ; two years later he 
entered the Paris Conservatoire and became the " best " 
pupil of Fran9ois Antoine Habeneck, one of the greatest 
teachers of that or any other period. Fetis taught him 
harmony and composition. At the Conservatoire Alard 
won innumerable prizes, and after quitting that institu- 
tion, he became a member of the Conservatoire Concert 
Society and solo-violinist in the royal band of Louis 


On the death of fJaillot in 1842, Alard succeeded him 
as professor of the violin in the Conservatoire, and after 
the re-establishment of the French Empire he was pre- 
sented with the Cross of the Legion of Honour. In 
1858 he became first soloist in the royal band. 

In addition- to a valuable Molin School, which has 
been translated into German, Italian and Spanish^ 
Alard composed a great deal of music for his instrument, 
of which the duos and studies are worthy of notice 
for their melodiousness and pleasing modulations as 
well as for their suitability for concert purposes. Alard 
was son-in-law to \^uillaume, the best violin maker of 
later years, and in consequence he became the fortunate 
possessor of one of the most beautiful Strads that exist. 
A short time ago it was sold to a Scotchman for an 
enormous sum. 

Among the most distinguished pupils of Alard is 
Sarasate. Alard died on February 22nd, 188S, in Paris. 

- ■"»««.%;"«»»•«, 


BROUGHT up in a thoroughly good school, Brodsky 
has become a quartet-player as well as soloist 
of the very firs order. His artistic life may be 
divided into three distinct periods, in the third of which 
he now is as director of the Royal College of Music at 
Manchester, where he succeeded Sir Charles Halle. 
Before coming to England Brodsky had been first violin 
of the "Symphony string-quartet" in New York, and 
long ere that he had established a great reputation as a 
soloist and chamber-music player in Europe. He had 
in fact been heard repeatedly in all the European 
capitals, from Vienna to London, and his success had 
been more than a performer of ordinary capacity could 
have obtained. 


Born on March 21st, 1851, at Taganrog in Southern 
Russia, he showed that wonderful precocity for music 
which has always characterized anything approaching 
true genius, and when a small boy his great delight was 
to pick out Russian folk-tunes on a common fiddle 
bought at the yearly fair for a few pence. From his 
fifth^to his ninth year he was taught at home, and pro- 
gressed so favourably and showed so much promise, 
that a rich citizen who heard him at a concert in Odessa 
o-ave him the means to proceed to Vienna to study 
under the great Hellmesberger, then director of the 
Conservatorium in the Austrian capital. 

From i860 to 1862 Brodsky had private lessons from 
Hellmesberger, and from then until 1867 he w^as his 
pupil in the Conservatorium. On quitting that institu- 
tion he became second violin in the famous Hellmes- 
bero-er quartet, where he undoubtedly learnt that w^hich 
enabled him later to become one of the very first quartet- 
players in Europe. From 1868 to 1870 he was also a 
member of the Opera orchestra at Vienna, and at the 
same time made repeated appearances in the concert room. 

Up to 1874 he travelled far and wide, and in Russia 
met with quite extraordinary success; on visiting 
Moscow^ where Laub then w^as, he became very 
intimate with the genial Czechish professor, and on 
his death Brodsky was appointed second professor of 
the vioHn in jNIoscow Conservatorium, the first place 
being given to Hrimaly. For four years he remained in 
Moscow, prosecuting his own studies as well as looking 
after the studies of others, and in 1879 he w^ent to Kiew 
as director of the symphony concerts. Two^ years later 
he once more began to travel, and when in Paris he 
heard Sarasate, he determined to devote himself to the 
acquirement of greater technique. In the following year 
he went to Vienna, where he introduced Tchaikovsky's 
new violin concerto and again met with unbounded 
success. He then visited London, and on his return to 
Germany played wath so much success at a Gew^andhaus 
concert as to be offered the post of first professor of the 


violin in the Conservatorium at Leipzig, Schradieck 
having vacated this office when he went to the United 
States. Once settled in the famous old musical town, 
Brodsky lost no time in founding a string quartet, and 
with Hans Becker (a brother of the distinguished 
violoncellist and a son of the still more distinguished 
violinist, Jean Becker), Hans Sitt and Julius Klengel, 
perhaps the cleverest violoncellist of the day, a quartet 
was established which had no superior in Europe and 
perhaps not more than one equal — the Joachim quartet 
in Berlin, which received so severe a blow in the death 
of De Ahna, in 1892. On the retirement of Sitt, 
Nowacek, a former pupil of Brodsky, took his place, 
and the quartet continued until Brodsky was summoned 
to go to America. 

Walter Damrosch, a son of the founder of the New 
York Oratorio Society, and of the Symphony Society, 
visited Germany in 1S91 to seek out the best performers 
for his musical undertakings in New York; and one of 
the first to be approached was Brodsky, with the offer 
of the post of leader. This being accepted, Brodsky 
resigned his Leipzig appointments, went to America, and 
in New York gave a series of eight chamber concerts the 
■equal of which had never been heard in America before. 

Brodsky is a very fine player in every class of music, 
and is an artist to the tips of his fingers, as the phrase 
goes. He owns a beautiful Joseph Guarneri violin 
which was once in a famous English collection, and 
■before that in the possession of the violinist Lafont. 

As a composer — I am not aware that Brodsky ever 
was guilty of the indiscretion of composing. 

In 1893 Brodsky left America (primarily owing, it 
is said, to an unfortunate difference betvreen Mr. 
Damrosch and the " Musical Trades Union ") and, after 
a brief sojourn in Berlin, came to England as already 
stated, where he still (1905) resides and holds with distinc- 
tion the post of director of the Royal College of Music in 
INIanchester. His local quartet is famous for the sincerity 
of its performances. 

c 2 


FROINI the famous Italian school founded by Tartini 
and Pugnani, and materially assisted by \'iotti, 
Rudolf Kreutzer obtained the best part of his 
artistic method, so far as concerns his style of bowing, 
his splendid tone, and the clearness of his execution. 
In France, Kreutzer, Baillot and Rode, in Germany, 
Spohr, all helped on this splendid style to victory. In 
the same way that Motti was called the greatest violinist 
of the last century, so may Kreutzer be described as the 
great " tone producer '" of his time. 

Kreutzer was born on the i6th November, 1766, at 
\^ersailles, where his father, a German violinist, was a 
member of the royal band. The beginning of his 


training was merely listening to his father, and in this 
way his ear became accustomed to the tone of the 
violin. But when barely five years old he was placed 
under the charge of x\nton Stamitz, with whom he 
made rapid progress. At twelve he made his first 
public appearance, and a year later he played a com- 
position of his own — a concerto — at a Concert Spivitiiel 
with great success, both his playing and his composition 
receiving encomiums from the press, although he had 
taught himself all the little theory he knew. 

Until he was twenty-four he devoted himself entirely 
to the study of the violin and to composition. In 1784 
he published six duets for violin and violoncello. At 
length he received an appointment in the orchestra of 
the Italian Theatre, now the Opera Coinique. After 
spending a number of years in writing operas (with 
which we have no concern, but the titles and descrip- 
tions of which may be found in any good dictionary), 
he began to travel, and made concert tours in Italy, 
Germany and the Netherlands, all of which were 

After his return he was appointed to a post in the 
•Conservatoire at Paris; in 1801 he became first violinist 
at the Grand Opera and a member of the private band 
of the First Consul, Napoleon, in which position he 
remained after the latter became Emperor. When 
Louis XVIII. ascended the throne, he inherited this 
private band amongst other legacies, and in 1815 
Kreutzer became its director. In the next year he was 
promoted to the post of second leader of the above- 
mentioned theatre, and 181 7 to that of conductor. In 
1S24 he was appointed to look after the whole of the 
musical arrangements of the Grand Opera, but two 
years later he was compelled by ill-health to resign this 
post, when he received a pension. 

After his retirement he had several strokes of paralysis, 
and was sent to try a cure at Geneva, but without avail, 
for he died on the 6th January, 1831, at the Swiss town. 

In addition to his forty studies, which are one of the 


best means of study for the rising young violinist,. 
Kreutzer wrote sixteen or more concertos, a number 
of duets, trios, and quartets, solos, sonatas, etc. 

In connection with this master may be mentioned the 
story of the now famous " Kreutzer Sonata." It is a 
wide-spread error that Beethoven wrote the sonata 
especially for Kreutzer. The work was (or is said to 
have been) written for a young and now forgotten 
player. Hanslick, in the Neite Freie Prcsse says : — " The 
violinist was Bridgetower, a mulatto of somewhat 
doubtful antecedents, the son of an African and a 
European. Born in Poland in 1780, he received his 
first instruction in music in England, and when only 
ten he created some sensation by his extraordinary 
performance. Under the patronage of the Prince of 
Wales he gave a series of concerts together with a 
young Viennese named Franz Clement. Bridgetower 
soon became the lion of the London season ; he was 
always addressed as the 'Young Abyssinian Prince.' 
In 1803 he went to Vienna, where he often came in 
contact with Beethoven, who was willing to compose 
a Sonata especially for him, and to play it with him in 
public. This was the Sonata opus 47. Beethoven 
played it from manuscript with Bridgetower on the 17th 
or 2oth May, 1803, at the latter's concerts in the 
Augarten. It is remarkable that from that time no 
more was heard of the artist, who after so brilliant a 
beginning, vanished into oblivion. "'■= Bridgetower is 
thought to have died in London between 1840 and 
1850. According to Czerny his gestures while playing 

* The above account is erroneous in several particulars which 
are peculiarly interesting to the English. It was Bridgetower 's 
father who was known as the " Abyssinian Prince." The Kreutzer 
Sonata was not written for Bridgetower, for part of it was in 
existence before the violinist had been to Vienna. Far from dis- 
appearing from mortal ken, Bridgetower returned to England and 
graduated Mus. Bac. at Cambridge in iSii. Beethoven used to 
call him Brischdower. An account of the first performance of the 
sonata will be found in Th.3.\ex' s Beethoven . 

RUDOLPH (or Rudolf) kreutzer 23 

were so grotesque that it was impossible to look at him 
without laughing. 

But how came Kreutzer to be mixed up Avith the 
sonata ? Kreutzer, w^ho at that time stood with Baillot 
and Rode at the head of the Paris Conservatoire violin- 
classes, was travelling in Austria and arrived in Vienna 
in 1798. There he became acquainted with Beethoven. 
Being a famous French artist he w^as often to be seen 
at the French Embassy, presided over by General 
Bernadotte, who later, during the pregnancy of the 
Empress, was compelled to remain two long months in 
his official capacity at the Court. Kreutzer then used 
to amuse him by playing to him, for he was a genuine 
lover of music : and an opportunity was found for an 
introduction to Beethoven. This " music-making " with 
Bernadotte, who ultimately became king of Sweden, 
lasted for several weeks, and was the means of producing 
a lasting friendship between Kreutzer and Beethoven. 
A few years later the violinist received a proof of the 
great master's amiability in the dedication of the sonata, 
which has since then been known the wide w^orld over 
as the Kreutzer Sonata. Its title in the original edition 
is Sonata per il pianoforte ed un Violino obligato, scritta in nn 
stilo molto concertante, quasi come d'lin Concerto. Composta e 
dedicata al sno aniico R. Kreutzer, Memhro del Conservatorio 
di Musica in Parigi, Primo violino delV Academia delle Arti, 
e delta Camera Imperiale, per L. van Beethoven. Opera 47. 
A Bonn, ckez N. Simrock. 


SIVORI, whose death on iSth February, 1894, ^^e 
violin world has since deplored, was, like his illus- 
t -^ trious master, Paganini, born at Genoa, the day of 
his birth being June yth, 1817/'' All authorities agree in 
giving him the premier place among modern Italian 
violinists who have charmed the world since the days of 
Paganini. When the latter heard the boy Sivori play 
he!^w^as so fascinated by the promise he showed, that he 
took him under his wing, taught him all that it was 
possible to teach, and wrote a set of six violin sonatas 

* The date of Sivori's birth is variously given as above, and 25th 
October, 18 15. 


with accompaniments for guitar, viola and violoncello 
for him. These were often played by Paganini, Sivori, 
and friends, the first-named taking the guitar part. 
But Sivori did not confine his studies to Paganini, for 
he was for a considerable time a pupil of Restano, the 
guitarist, and of Costa, whose classical tendencies to some 
extent counterbalanced the modernity of Paganini's 
teaching. [Ehrlich is wrong in stating that Sivori quitted 
Genoa in company with Paganini, and that the two 
came together to England. The latter first visited this 
country in 1832, at which time Sivori was again in his 
native place after a short sojourn in Paris.] About 1839 
Sivori began again to wander, and his course took him 
through Russia, Belgium, Holland, France to England, 
and ultimately to America. In America he went every- 
where, visited almost every city on the continent, and 
met with a number of adventures, many of which would 
bear repetition here did space permit. It is said that 
so much was he appreciated that on his arrival in 
certain towns the populace came forth to meet him, 
strewing roses in his path, and announcing his arrival 
to those who were unable to meet him, by means of a 
trombone. No violinist had ever before experienced 
such receptions as fell to the lot of Sivori where'er he 
walked ; but in Mexico, Chili, Peru, through which he 
went on horseback, to Rio de Janeiro, Monte Video and 
Buenos Ayres, he was feted like a monarch, and his 
course of travel was triumphant. Nevertheless he was 
not always free from danger. 

For eight years he wandered through the Americas 
before he returned to his native towm, during which 
time he had amassed a considerable fortune. But of 
this he managed to get rid in a very short space of time 
by means of a series of unlucky speculations. Then he 
began once more to travel, and triumphantly marched 
through the length and breadth of the British Islands 
and the European continent, eventually reaching Paris 
for the second time in 1862. There he found the old 
admiration and w^arm feeling for him just the same as 

26 cp:lebrated violinists, past and present 

before : he was in no way forgotten, and with Alard he 
played in concerts with quite extravagant success. 

To mark their great admiration for Sivori the Parisians 
presented him with a specially struck medal of honour^ 
To Sivori belongs, it is said, the distinction of having 
been the first violinist to play the Mendelssohn concerto 
in an English concert room in 1846. His success over 
here was quite on a par with that he achieved elsewhere, 
and there are still living among us people who heard 
him at his best who declare that he was quite unequalled 
in his own particular line. His technique knew no 
difficulties, and his tone is said never to have been 
equalled, much less surpassed. 

A writer on musical subjects writing in the Musical 
Standard, of February 24th, 1894, '^^'^^o heard Sivori in 
England many years ago, says that " without prejudice, 
I will make an avowal that no player on the violin ever 
gratified my ear more than the Italian, Sivori. Apart 
from his executive excellence and genius of a high order, 
the tone was indescribably fine. The adjective ' silvery ' 
hardly expresses the quality with sufficient force, but 
let that pass. Sivori might be rated as a virtuoso, but 
he w^as classical in respect of taste. Sivori played in 
London contemporaneously with Ernst, a violinist of 
exalted merit, but too apt to 'stop out of tune.' On one 
occasion, when these two fine artists appeared together 
at a concert in London, some slight friction was excited 
on a question of precedence ; the Prince Albert, it was 
thought, favoured Ernst as a compatriot, but Sivori 
stood firm and fully asserted his position. He was a 
little man in respect of stature, but his face beamed 
with intellectual expression." 

It has often been said that Sivori was born immediately 
after his mother returned from a concert, at which she 
heard Paganini for the first time, and that premature 
confinement was induced by the excitement attendant 
upon hearing the greatest violinist the v^^orld ever saw. 
It is quite comprehensible, and the omen was unques- 
tionably a good one for Sivori. 


Sivori was the composer of a great deal of music^ 
including two violin concertos, but none of it is of any 
value as music, though it is useful for teaching purposes 
and for study, for the latter perhaps better than for the 
former. It is not without interest that Sivori was the 
first to be allowed by the Government of Genoa to play 
upon the famous Paganini violin, preserved with religious 
care under a glass case in a museum in that city. 



T T 7 HEN about twenty or more years ago, 
Y Y Teresina Tua first came before the world as a 
violinist, the press and the public were loud in 
their praises of her ability. And the young Italian 
violinist fully deserved all the encomiums she obtained, 
for not only did she possess a very pleasing and sympa- 
thetic if not very large tone, but her intonation w^as 
faultless, her technique large, and her manner of phrasing 
and playing generally quite irreproachable. 

Teresina Tua was born at Turin on 22nd May, 1867, 
her father being a poor musician. To him she ow^ed 


her first instruction, and with him she must have made 
very satisfactory progress, since she made her first 
appearance in public as a vioHnist when only seven 
years old, having up to that time had but one master, 
her father. The first turn of the wheel of fortune was 
propitious for her, and when on her first tour she played 
at Nice, a wealthy Russian lady became interested in 
her, and gave her the necessary means to proceed to 
Paris to study under Massart. 

Many a kind friend did the young artist find in her 
youth, among them being the Queen Isabella of Spain 
and Madame MacMahon, in Paris, both of whom in- 
terested themselves in her in a practical manner. 
Signorina Tua entered the Paris Conservatoire, and 
there, after the necessary study, she won the first prize 
for violin playing in iSSo ; and in i8Si she made her 
first serious concert tour, which extended through France 
and Spain to Italy. In 1882 she appeared for the first 
time in Menna, and everywhere found a ready audience, 
some of whom may have been attracted by the youth 
and personal charm of the player. On the 5th May, 
1883, she appeared at the Crystal Palace, London. 

After a prolonged tour in America, which was as 
successful as its European predecessors, Teresina Tua 
reappeared in Europe, and in Germany the critics said 
that she hardly exhibited that improvement in *' spirit- 
uality" in her playing which they were led to expect 
from the promise she gave at her earliest appearances. 
But it was generally allowed that technically she had 
little left to learn. Shortly after this time she married 
Count Franchi Verney della Valletta, the distmguished 
Italian critic, and retired for a time into private life. 
But about ten years ago she reappeared on the concert 
platform, and her success was quite as pronounced as 
before. In 1891 her name was frequently to be found 
on Italian concert programmes, but she seems to have 
made no very extended tour, though she reappeared in 
London in January, 1897, when she gave a concert in 
St. James's Hall. 


THE subject of this sketch, who, in many respects 
was one of the foremost virtuosi of his day, pos- 
sesses great elegance in performance, and is a 
veritable master over all the difficulties of modern 

Educated at the Conservatorium in Moscow (in which 
town he was born in 1836), where he received his first 
instruction in music on the violin, violoncello and piano, 
he made his first bid for fame in 1850 in the town of 
his birth, and very soon afterwards became a member 
of the Opera orchestra there. In 1858 he went to 


Brussels to study the violin under Leonard and com- 
position under Dameke. While the Princess Helene 
of Russia (who had always interested herself in 
musicians), was staying at Ostend, Besekirskij played 
before her, and so gratified was she by his performance, 
that she presented him with a purse of i,ooo roubles, 
a sum that was sufficient to enable him to continue his 
studies. In 1859 he repeatedly appeared in the concert 
rooms of Paris and Brussels with success, but imme- 
diately afterwards he returned to Moscow and once 
more entered the Royal Opera band. He next founded 
a series of concerts there in which he played, but his first 
appearance in St. Petersburg in 1863 w^as his most 
perfect triumph. Three years later he gave four concerts 
in Madrid, and in the following winter he appeared no 
less than twelve times at Nice. In 1867 he was once 
more in Moscow, and in the following year he repeated 
his triumph at the Russian capital, and created quite a 
furore in Leipzig by his rendering of a violin concerto 
of his owm composition. The good reception he had 
been accorded in Leipzig led to his being invited to 
return there in 1869, when he appeared in the Gewand- 
haus. On his Vv^ay back to Moscow he played in various 
places with unvarying success. This suggested to him 
the idea of making a prolonged tour, and with this in 
view he obtained a year's leave of absence and gave 
concerts in Prague, Berlin, Cologne, and elsewhere. 
Besekirskij is a composer of violin music of whom, and 
of which, more deserves to be known in this country. 
His above-mentioned concerto and a concert polonaise 
are very popular in some parts of the continent, but 
they are both practically unknown to English concert 

In the list of first appearances at the London Phil- 
harmonic Concerts in 1868, the name of Besekirskij 
may be found. 


THROUGH Corelli, who is considered to have been 
the author of the artistic school of violin playing 
in Italy, a large number of talented pupils have 
been trained, who, again on their part founded other 
schools. Thus Somis founded the Piedmontese school, 
and his most important pupil was Pugnani, who was the 
teacher of the subject of this sketch. 

Bruni was born on 2nd February, 1759, at Coni, in 
Piedmont. After having studied under Pugnani, and 
a certain Spezziani (whose very name is entirely ignored 
by all lexicographers with whom I am acquainted), he 
went in 1781 to Paris where he settled. At first he was 
violinist in the band of the Come die Italicnnc, but in 1789 


he became conductor of the Theatre Monsieur (Monsieur 
being the title by which the King's brother was known). 
This post he was compelled to resign on account of his 
complete inability to perform the necessary duties, and 
his place was taken by Lahoussaye, while he himself 
went to the Opera Coiniquc. 

But even here he could not remain for any length of 
time, and as to his future doings accounts vary very 
much. Some say that he was a member of the Arts 
Commission, and that in iSoi he was the head of the 
Boiiffes Parisienncs orchestra : while others say that he 
was promoted to the Italian Opera, and from 1801 with- 
drew from musical life to Passy, Avhere he worked 
diligently at composition. This last statement at any 
rate is true, whatever may be said of the rest, for 
between 1786 and 1815 no less than twenty-one of 
his operas were produced. His operatic attempt, Le 
Mariage par commission, which came out in 1816 was so 
unfortunate as morally to compel the composer to quit 
France, and returned to his native place. 

In addition to his operas Bruni wrote four sonatas, 
a number of concertos, eight-and-twenty books of duets, 
which once were very popular, and ten quartets for violin. 
He also published "schools" for the violin and for the 
viola, which have been issued in German and English. 

The most fruitful period of his existence was (as has 
already been said) between 1786 and 1815. He died in 
1823 in his birth-place, Coni. 

He is reported to have been a very admirable violinist 
in every way, but his name has certainly been kept 
alive, if it was not made, by the above-mentioned schools 
and he owes little if any of his present fame to his 
powers with the bow. 



BORN on the 29th April, 1846, at Hamburg, 
Schradieck was the son of a professor of the 
viohn, from whom he received his first instruc- 
tion on that instrument, and indeed in the art of music. 
Beginning to play at four years of age, it was only a year 
later that he made his first public appearance, when he 
played the sonata in F by Beethoven, Op. 17. 

A year later again, he played in a concert arranged 
by the Hamburg Pestalozzi institute and created quite a 
furoye by his wonderful execution of De Beriot's seventh 
■"air varie," though this was out-done a week or two 
later when he played in a concert given by Strauss, this 
time choosing for his solos an arrangement of an air 


from the " Nachtlager von Granada." At a third con- 
cert he gave " Die Rose " by Spohr. 

About this time the youthful vioHnist heard Theresa 
MilanoUo, who in 1853-4 appeared in Hamburg. To 
her Schradieck was introduced, before her he played, 
and on the 25th January, 1854, she wrote of him that 
he possessed a beautiful talent and all possible natural 
inclination for the career of an artist. But her interest 
was not confined to writing pretty things about him, for 
it took the very practical form of paying his expenses at 
the Brussels Conservatoire where he studied under 
Leonard. There he remained four and a half years, 
winning in 1857 the second and a year later the first 
prize of the institution. In this latter year he returned 
to Hamburg. From that time he frequently performed 
in public, his efforts being everywhere described as 
"extraordinary," "wonderful" and so forth. Neverthe- 
less his father kept him at work in Hamburg for the 
next few years so that his reputation outside that town 
had but little chance of increasing. But at length 
waking up to his responsibilities his father was persuaded 
to permit his son to, go to Leipzig where for two years 
he was a pupil at the famous Conservatorium of 
Ferdinand David in particular, and developed his artistic 
intelligence in a remarkable degree. 

Schradieck received his first appointment in 1863 ^^ 
Bremen, where he was soloist in the private concerts 
conducted by Reinthaler. A wealthy merchant from 
Moscow named Jachunschikoff, who happened to hear 
him, determined that he should go to Moscow, where 
he remained four years (1864-68) as teacher of the violin 
in the music school directed by Nicolaus Rubinstein, and 
as first violin in the concerts of the Russian Musical 
Society. But of more importance to him was his 
acquaintance with Ferdinand Laub, from whom he 
obtained a good deal of instruction though he was 
never actually his pupil. In July, 1868, Schradieck 
returned to Hamburg where he succeeded Auer as leader 
of the famous Philharmonic concerts. 



After holding this importance post for six years he 
was appointed to take the second leadership of the 
Gewandhaus concerts in Leipzig, the first place being 
filled (after David's death) by the promotion of Engel- 
bert Rontgen. At the same time (1874) he became 
professor of the violin at the Conservatorium. For 
some time previously Schradieck had taken the greatest 
interest in the teaching of his instrument, and so under 
him the violin classes at the Conservatorium maintained 
the high standard which they had reached under David. 
But the Gewandhaus appointment carried with it also 
the duty of leading the Opera orchestra, and in conse- 
quence Schradieck was, like many another, overworked. 
For this reason he resigned his post in 1882 in order to 
go to i\merica whence he had received an invitation to 
proceed as director and teacher of the violin in the 
College of Music at Cincinnati. 

The statement that the Leipzig appointment meant 
overwork is amply proved by the fact that when 
Schradieck quitted that town and his post there, the 
appointment was divided into two portions, one being 
given to Brodsky, and the other to Henri Petri. 

The Cincinnati College had been founded by an art 
loving amateur named Nichols and his friend, Springer, 
in 1877, and was destined for the purpose of giving 
young American musicians a thorough musical training, 
as indeed it did under Schradieck's leadership. Un- 
fortunately all the artistic impulse of the place seemed 
to die out with the decease of the two founders in 1884-5. 
Their successor did not care to spend much money,, 
while at the same time he endeavoured to make as much 
as possible out of the school, the natural consequence 
being that the institution became a mere financial 
speculation. Schradieck himself says that money was 
saved in the wrong direction, and that even the orchestral 
concerts which had formed a special attraction under his 
leadership were put down. At the end of his contract, 
then, Schradieck returned to Germany. He next went 
to Hamburg in the hope of obtaining a post as conductor; 


of some important society. But as this was not at the 
time to be found, he took his old post of leader of the 
Philharmonic on the retirement of Florian Zajic in 1890. 
From there he gave a few concerts in neighbouring 
towns, but his name in the concert-room was by no 
means so well known as his great powers deserve that 
it should be. Towards the close of 1894 Schradieck 
once more returned to America, where he still lives. 

Schradieck has written a good deal for his instrument, 
among his best works being three books of technical 
studies and twenty-five grand studies. He is, too, 
especially interested in the art of violin making, and 
has tried to found a school for a purpose of developing 
the art. The good effects of this step, however, must be 
left to Time to declare. 


IN music as in the other beaux arts there are of course 
various standpoints from which one may judge those 
who excel, as well as various points from which 
they actually are judged. To the friend of music who 
has not enjoyed the benefits of a professional training and 
who with more or less of an ear has been able in course 
of time to distinguish between three or four violinists, it 
is easy to describe the one or the other as the " first " or 
the " greatest " according to his taste or to the mood 
he happens to be in at the moment; and for him this 
judgment is correct, although as a fact it may be entirely 
wrong ! But the matter is none so easy to him who has 


been thoroughly trained. He is surrounded with diffi- 
culties. Great masters like Joachim, for example, are, 
of course, beyond question ; but on the step below him 
— there begins the difficulty. In the course of these 
biographical sketches first one and then another violinist 
has been described as " the greatest of living players," 
as "possessing a technique which is unsurpassed because 
unsurpassable " and so on. But it is quite impossible 
for any one person to lay down a hard and fast rule as 
to the relative merits of all the great virtuosi, and to 
award the palm to any single player from among the 
thousands that exist. In considering Wilhelmj it may 
be said at once that almost all published accounts of 
him are highly coloured and that in his case the greatest 
stress has been laid upon his unquestionably enormous 
technique, while the really musical elements have been 
considered secondary. If one turn for a moment from 
the first and greatest masters, there is scarcely another 
artist about whom so much has been written and pub- 
lished as about Wilhelmj, and in every key resounds 
the statement that he has travelled through all known 
parts of the world, and that he has created for himself a 
world-wide reputation. One cannot measure such state- 
ments with the ordinary critical tape ; obviously the 
correct description is " a reputation throughout the whole 
of the artistic w^orld." 

There can be no question as to August Wilhelmj 's 
virtuosity and talents ; his technique is extraordinary in 
the best sense of the word ; he overcomes every difficulty 
with perfect safety : every kind of passage appears under 
his hands clear, natural and accurate ; his tone is pure, 
full and brilliant ; his method of interpretation powerful, 
fiery, smooth. Yet it lacks musical tenderness and 
delicacy, and that deep feeling which grips and fills the 
heart of the hearer. The enthusiasm which he arouses 
everywhere is drawn forth by the magic quickness of 
his left hand and the winged fleetness of his bow. Yet 
this is not to be confounded with that inspiration which 
under certain circumstances moves to tears ; with that 


spell which the " Weihe der Tone," the embodiment of 
the beautiful in music, can cast over us. 

W'ilhelmj was born on the 21st September, 1845, at 
Usingen in Nassau. His father was a lawyer of distinction 
and the proprietor of a number of famous vineyards on 
the Rhine. His mother, a clever and cultured musician 
(a pupil of Chopin) early undertook his education in the 
art of music ; but before he became old enough to be 
sent to school he had already begun the serious study of 
the violin under Fischer, a violinist at Wiesbaden, where 
his parents lived. It chanced that in 1854 Henrietta 
Sontag, the famous singer, heard the boy play Spohr's 
Ninth Concerto and " The Carnival of Venice," and was 
so charmed with his performance as to utter the remark 
that one day he would become "the German Paganini." 
This remark coming from so distinguished a quarter 
w^as not without its influence upon the youthful player, 
who was thereby stirred to greater efforts. 

Despite the fact that Wilhelmj appeared with success 
in a concert at Limburg when nine, and at Wiesbaden 
when eleven, his father, a wealthy vine-grower and 
advocate, was strongly opposed to his son's adoption of 
an artistic career, and he based his objections on the fact 
that the majority of infant prodigies came to nothing 
artistic when grown to riper years. The son was not to 
be put off, however, and at length he obtained this con- 
cession from his father : " Give me the judgment of a 
musical authority upon your capabilities ; if he speak in 
your favour, then you may become a virtuoso, and go out 
into the world as such." This authority was not hard 
to find. On the recommendation of the Prince Emil of 
Wittgenstein the young artist went in the spring of 1861 
to Weimar to Liszt. The great pianist, who in matters 
artistic at least was invariably the soul of honour, seated 
himself at the pianoforte, and began to play the accom- 
paniment to Spohr's Scena Cantante and, after that, 
Ernst's Hungarian fantasia. But even with these he was 
not satisfied, and he caused the lad to play a number of 
pieces at sight. At the end of all, Liszt sprang from 


his seat calling out in a loud tone, "Aye! indeed you are 
predestined to become a violinist — so much so that for 
you the violin must have been invented had it not already 
existed ! " This was enough for the father, and in con- 
sequence young Wilhelmj was taken a few days later to 
Leipzig by Liszt himself, who on introducing him to 
Ferdinand David, said " Let me present to you a future 
Paganini — look well to him!" From that date until 
1864 Wilhelmj was a pupil of the great teacher, learning 
the theory of music from Richter and Hauptmann the 
while. Perhaps the greatest triumph of his early days 
was when David considered him fully equipped to play 
the immortal Hungarian Concerto of Joachim at the 
public examination at the Leipzig Conservatorium — an 
event which was called his " first debut.''' 

After his return home Wilhelmj had some instruction 
from Joachim Raff in the theory of music. In the 
autumn of 1865 he undertook his first concert tour 
through Switzerland, proceeding thence through Holland 
to England. It was not, however, until 1875 that he 
made his first appearance at the Philharmonic Concerts 
here, and in the meanwhile he travelled far and wide. 
In 1876 he led the orchestra at the first of the Wagner 
Festivals at Bayreuth, and took the post of leader of the 
orchestra at the famous W^agner Concerts at the Albert 
Hall in London in 1877. After recovering from a 
severe illness Wilhelmj visited Italy in 1878, and later 
made a tour of the world which lasted until 1882 
and extended through Australia, America and Asia. He 
then remained some time in Russia and for years the 
newspapers continued to publish long accounts of his 

On returning to Germany he went to live at Biberich 
where he founded a school for violin-playing, which, how- 
'Cver, he has long since abandoned. From time to time 
he played in public, ultimately, however, withdrawing to 
Blasewitz, near Dresden, where he lived in retirement. 

Wilhelmj now lives in London where he has estab- 
lished a highly successful academy for violin playing. 


BORX on the 30th September, 1S29, at Deventer irt 
Holland, Rontgen was undecided in his youth as 
to whether he should adopt the career of a painter 
or that of a violinist. After much cogitation he decided 
in favour of the latter, and in 1848 he entered the Con- 
servatorium at Leipzig where he prosecuted his study 
of the violin and theory under Ferdinand David and 
Moritz Hauptmann respectively. x\t the end of his 
student days he was appointed a first violin in the famous 
Gewandhaus orchestra and at the opera, being promoted 
in 1869 to the responsible office of second " Conzert- 
meister," and at the same time he became teacher of the: 
violin at the Conservatorium. 



In 1873 on the death of David, Rontgen became first 
" Conzertmeister," a post he long continued to occupy. 
Although Rontgen was a fine solo player, it is rather 
as an editor of Beethoven's quartets that his name 
will survive, for he never adopted the career of a virtuoso. 
His edition of the works just mentioned, however, is a 
masterpiece of erudition and care, and is perhaps the 
very finest that exists. " It is a beautiful and immacu- 
late monument which will be duly recognised by future 
generations," says his biographer. It may be mentioned 
that Rontgen is the father of the distinguished Dutch 
pianist and composer Julius Rontgen, who appeared in 
London some years ago, and is now professor of his 
instrument at Rotterdam. 


BOHEMIA, the land of Music, is the home of this 
artist. He was born on the 21st September, 
1850, at Prague, where his father, Anton Sitt, 
was well known as a maker of violins. At the Prague 
Conservatorium Hans Sitt laid the foundation of his 
musical career. While still a small boy he aroused 
immense enthusiasm by playing a violin concerto by the 
now almost forgotten composer, Pixis, at a concert in 
one of the theatres of his native place. But notwith- 
standing this pronounced success he was not permitted 
to adopt the baneful career of a youthful prodigy or 
"Wunderkind." He continued his studies for some 



years under Bennewitz, Mildner, Kittl and Krejci, but 
while still quite a youth he made a concert-tour, finally 
settling for a time in 1867 as " Conzertmeister " at'the 
town theatre in Breslau. When Schuch, now conductor 
at Dresden, quitted a similar post at the Lobe Theater^ 
Hans Sitt was promoted to fill the vacancy. Later 
he occupied the same office at the Landes-Theater in 
Prague and at the town theatre in Chemnitz. 

In 1880 Baron Derwies engaged him to conduct his 
orchestra of sixty at Nice, where performances both of 
concert-music and opera were given. This was no 
sinecure. Through it Sitt obtained a great deal of 
experience that was to be of real service to him later in 
the fine art of orchestral conducting. On the death of 
Baron Derwies, however, the orchestra was disbanded. 

Sitt then returned to North Germany and became con- 
ductor of the recently founded Crystal Palace Institute's 
orchestra. This though a post of little importance was 
useful for the experience it gave, and Sitt made a con- 
siderable reputation for himself and his band by his 
admirably arranged popular concerts, at which he fre- 
quently appeared himself as solo-violinist. Yet neither 
the position held by these concerts nor the direction of 
a mere pleasure band were calculated to afford the 
completest satisfaction to such an artist. But when 
Brodsky was summoned to fill the office of professor of 
the violin at the Conservatorium, he (with Nowagek, 
Sitt and Griitzmacher from Weimar) founded a string 
quartet which very quickly obtained a European fame, 
Sitt playing the viola. 

Shortly after this (1883) Sitt became teacher of the 
violin at the Leipzig Conserv^atorium, and in order to 
exercise his skill as an orchestral director he undertook 
the conductorship of the Examination concerts (at the 
request of the directors) of which about twenty were 
held for instrumentalists and vocalists in the winter 

In addition to these manifold duties Sitt was chosen 
conductor of the Leipzig Bach Society on the retirement 


in 1885 of Herzogenberg, the Teacher's Vocal Society, 
and the " Sangerbund." Thus both his natural bent 
and his opportunities marked him for a conductor. 

As a composer for the violin Sitt has written a great 
deal of admirable music ; two concertos ; two concertinos; 
six Phantasie-Stiicke : Lose Blatter ; a Polonaise ; Aus 
der jugendzeit ; a Cavatina and Barcarolle ; and a large 
number of studies and scales ; and his transcriptions and 
arrangements are finely skilful. 

For violoncello, pianoforte and voice he has also 
published several works all of which have some musical 


BORN ist February, 1859, at Hohenelbe in Bohemia, 
he received his first instruction in music from his 
father ; from eight to fourteen he attended the 
Conser\atorium at Prague where Bennewitz was his 
teacher: thence he went to Berlin to study further with 

His first appointment was as member of the famous 
Biise orchestra, whence he went as " Conzert-meister " 
to Konigsberg. From the latter place he went to Italy 
and on his return to Germany was appointed " Conzert- 
meister " at INIannheim, where he remained three years. 


His next move was to Weimar in 1884 where he was 
appointed " Conzert-meister," a post he long occupied ; 
there he married the well-known singer, Theresa Zerbst. 
In 1889 he was offered the post of leader of the orchestra 
at the Dresden Opera on Lauterbach's retirement, but 
he declined the offer on the score of the greater artistic 
freedom he could enjoy at Weimar. His first appearance 
at the Bach festival at Eisenach in 1884 was a perfect 
triumph, and his playing with Joachim of the Bach 
double concerto was immensely successful. In 1886 he 
appeared in Berlin when he played Gernsheim's violin - 
concerto at a Philharmonic concert with unquestionable 
success. He then travelled in France and Russia^ 
introducing the Lassen concerto in the French capital. 

In 1890 Halir went on a tour in Switzerland and 
Belgium, played at the " Tonkiinstlerverein " festivals 
at Wiesbaden and Eisenach ; at Cologne, Menna and in 
the chief towns of the continent everywhere with the 
same success. 

His tone is even and sympathetic, his command over 
technical difficulties enormous, and the beauty of his 
cantilena quite equal to that of the foremost violinists of 
the day. Halir is one of the best German interpreters 
(after Joachim) of the works of contemporary German 
composers at present before the public. His services 
are much in demand in Germany, but his fame was long 
in reaching those authorities in England who preside 
over the destinies of violinists in English concert-rooms. 
As a member of the Joachim Quartet Herr Halir has 
visited England, but, at the moment, he seems to have 
largely abandoned solo playing in foreign countries, 
though he is about to appear (Autumn, 1905) again. 


HAUSER was one of the many successful pupils of 
those splendid masters, Mayseder and Bohm, 
and besides he studied also under Kreutzer and 
Sechter. It is said that he assimilated more of Mayseder's 
elegant style and incisive if not great tone than of the 
characteristics of any of the other masters. He spent 
his whole talent in the service of virtuoso-effects, and so 
he appealed to the larger portion of mankind. The date 
of his birth is variously given; some say 1S20, others 
1822 ; the place was Pressburg. In 1840 he began a 
tour which led him over the whole world, through the 
East, to Australia, North and South America, and 
England, where he appeared in 1S50. Everywhere he 
succeeded, but he was especially triumphant in Italy and 
Turkey. A record of his adventures was published in 
two volumes at Vienna in 1858-59 under the title of 



Waudcvhuch eines oestevvcichischen Vivtuosen. A few drawing- 
room pieces by Hauser, including some Hungarian 
Rhapsodies and some " Songs without Words," are 
occasionally heard, but none of them is of lasting value. 
Hauser died, virtually forgotten, in Vienna, December 
9th, 1887. 


JW. VON WASIELEWSKI states that Grun was 
a pupil of the great Joachim, but according to 
Griin's own account this is not true, although he 
was stationed at Hanover for some considerable time 
during which Joachim also lived there. The following 
notes emanate from Griin himself and are therefore 

He was born at Buda-Pesth March 13th, 1837, and 
began the study of the violin under Ellinger in that city, 
after which he went to Bohm in Vienna ; his theoretical 
studies were prosecuted under the care of Hauptmann 
in Leipzig. From 1858 to 1861 he was a member of 
the Grand Duke's band at Weimar, and for the next 



four years (i 861-1865) played in the royal band at 

After resigning these appointments he made two long 
tours in Germany, Holland, Hungary, and England, 
and in 1868 was appointed orchestral leader at the 
Vienna Opera, a post he occupied for a number of 
years, teaching and playing the while. In 1877 he 
became teacher of the " highest class for violin playing " 
at the Vienna Conservatorium, a post he still holds 
with credit. Grun is a splendid teacher and is said to 
found his system on that of his former master, Bohm. 
He is extremely popular with the public as well as with 
his pupils, and his kindheartedness to beginners is 
almost proverbial among those who have the pleasure 
of his acquaintance. 

^^^.TrA'^'^:- '' 


THE musical family of Habeneck, which sprang 
from the Bavarian Palatinate, produced no less 
than five members more or less known to fame, 
but we are concerned here vv^ith one only of them. That 
one, of course, is the famous violinist. His father, Adam, 
could play almost every musical instrument, and with 
this skill as his stock-in-trade he left his native country 
for Paris where he hoped to improve his fortune. He 
became bassoon player in the band of a regiment per- 
manently stationed at Mezieres, and while in garrison 
there, his eldest son — the subject of this sketch — was 


born on June ist," 1781. From his father the boy 
learnt the elements of violin playing, and he made such 
rapid progress that when only ten years old he was 
able to take part in a concert. 

About this time his father was removed to Brest, and 
there he was his son's only teacher. Francois while 
working assiduously at the violin, also found time to 
make repeated attempts at composition, for by 1799 he 
had already composed no less than three operas and a 
number of violin concertos. He entered the Paris Con- 
servatorium at the age of twenty, and there studied 
under Baillot ; in 1804 he won the first prize for violin 
playing, and became " repetitor " of his class. 

Through the generosity of the Empress Josephine, 
who was charmed with' his playing, he received a 
pension of 1,200 francs, and entered the orchestra of 
the Opera Comique, after which he became successively 
first violinist at the Grand Opera and (after Kreutzer 
was appointed director), solo violinist. From 1821 to 
1824 he himself was a director. From 1806 to 1815 he 
generally conducted the Conservatoire Concerts, and 
next became inspector-general of the Conservatoire and 
founded a third class for violinists, beside those of 
Baillot and Kreutzer. 

When in 1828 a new concert society was founded 
through the instrumentality of the Conservatorium, 
Habeneck became its conductor, and in this post he 
made for himself a reputation for the perfect perfor- 
mances of all sorts of masterpieces that lasted long after 
his death. To him is due the credit of abolishing from 
Paris the old-established prejudice against the works of 
Beethoven, and the symphonies of this master w^ere 
given with a care and skill that had never previously 
been heard of in the French capital. In fact so popular 
(in the best sense of the term) did thew^orksof Beethoven 
become, that the room in which the concerts took place 

* Some authorities, notably Elwart's "Histoire de la Societe des 
Concerts," give 23rd January as his birthday. 


was not nearly large enough to hold the crowds of 
people who attempted to obtain admission. In Cherubini 
Habeneck found a worthy supporter of his efforts. 

For twenty-two years he occupied this post as con- 
ductor of the concerts, and in that time brought to a 
hearing many works by many composers that otherwise 
would in all probability have never been heard at all. 
In Meyerbeer's " Robert " and " Huguenots," and in 
Halevy's " La Juive " he was the first in France to take 
an intelligent interest. A large number of his pupils 
have become famous (e.g., Alard, Leonard and Curillon), 
and so beloved was he that all Paris mourned at his 
death on February 8th, 1849. He was buried at 

His best compositions are his two published concertos, 
three duets, two sets of variations for quartet with 
orchestra, a nocturne for two violins and orchestra, three 
caprices, a polonaise and a fantasia for pianoforte and 



AVERY popular virtuoso, whose playing was distin- 
guished by power and grace, elegant bowing and 
grandeur of tone, belonged to the most thoroughly 
sound musicians of his time — musicians, who, indeed, 
never ceased to study even when the world recognised 
them as masters. The son of a highly cultured father, 
Baillot (to give him the name by w^hich he was univer- 
sally known) w^as born at Passy on the ist October, 1771 ; 
he studied first under a Florentine named Polidori, but 
in 1780, after his parents had settled in Paris, he became 
a pupil of Sainte-Marie, a master who " laid great stress 
upon exact playing." When Viotti heard the young 
player he was filled w^ith astonishment at his wonderful 
ability. In 1783, Baillot peve was sent to Corsica as 


Procurator- General, and there for a long time his son 
was without a teacher, but a few months after his arrival 
the father died, and Baillot was received into the 
household of the royal " intendant," one de Boucheporn. 
This noble-minded official next sent him, together with 
his own children, to Rome, where Pollani, a pupil 
of Nardini's, gave him instruction. Pollani, " laid 
especial stress upon big tone," so that Baillot was 
receiving first from one master and then the other, the 
best points that characterised each. For a time he lived 
iirst at Rome, next in Corsica, then at Pau, Bayonne, 
Auch, and other places, where he acted as secretary and 
in other capacities to his patron. In 1791, however, he 
returned to Paris, where through Viotti's instrumentality 
he was appointed first violinist at the Theatre Feydeau. 
But this he soon resigned in order to take a post in the 
Ministere des Finances, a step which is said to have 
been necessitated by the " worst storms of the Revolu- 
tion." During this period he continued to play the 
violin in his leisure hours, and even occasionally 
appeared in public. On withdrawing from his official 
appointment in 1795, and having served for nearly two 
years in the army, he returned to Paris, and was 
appointed to the professorship of the violin at the newly 
organised Conservatoire. He still continued his studies, 
and took lessons in harm^ony from Catel, and in com- 
position from Cherubini and Reicha. 

In 1802, he became solo-violinist to the First Consul, 
Napoleon, in whose private band he also appeared; and 
immediately afterwards he began to travel, first with the 
violoncellist, Lamarre, in Russia, where he reaped a full 
harvest of laurels and gold. In 1812-15-16, he made 
tours in the south of France, the Netherlands and 
England, but he scrupulously avoided Germany 
apparently so that he should not be compelled to com- 
pete against Spohr. The real reason, however, was 
more probably a political one. 

While in England Baillot was heard at a Philharmonic 
Concert, and was in fact, an ordinary member of that 


society. In Paris he founded series of quartet concerts 
which were highly spoken of; and they certainly effected 
much to arouse interest in chamber music in the French 
capital. In 182 1, he became first \dolinist at the Grand 
Opera, and four years later entered the band of Charles 
X. in a similar capacity. He was at the same time 
working hard and successfully as a teacher ; but in 1833 
he once more went on tour in Italy and Switzerland, after 
which he remained in Paris, and became the recognised 
head of the new French school of violin playing. He 
died on the 15th September, 1842. 

Baillot in conjunction with Rode and Kreutzer 
published a violin school for the use of the Paris Conser- 
vatoire, besides writing the "Methode du Violon," a 
work known to every violinist. In addition to these 
works, he also wrote twenty-four preludes, ten violin 
concertos, thirty airs varies, six duets, three string 
quartets, fifteen trios, and a couple of artistic monographs, 
"Notices" of Gretry and Viotti (Paris, 1814 and 1825). 
These last are said to show " remarkable critical power 
and great elegance of style " (Grove). 

In an interesting little book, "Goethe and Mendelssohn," 
will be found an amusing account of Baillot and his 
playing, which, however, is far too long to quote here. 



O the large number of talented and even masterly 
violinists who have appeared on the artistic 
horizon hailing from " the fair land of Poland," 
must be added the name of Stanislaus Barcevicz, 
who was born at Warsaw on April i6th, 1858. His 
father came of an old and noble Polish stock, and at 
the time of the birth of his son was a post-office 
official. His son's inclination towards, and indeed, his 
obvious gift for, music showed themseh es early, for the 
lad when quite a child, infinitely preferred to scrape on 
a common little fiddle to play about with other children. 
And though his fiddle was of inferior quality, it was good 


enough to show those who had the understanding to 
grasp the fact, that he had an extraordinarily good 
musical ear, and a capacity for differentiating between 
various notes and keys which was little short of marvel- 
lous in one so young. He began to play the violin under 
proper tuition at an early age, and progressed so rapidly 
that when he had attained the mature age of eleven years, 
he was able to give a public performance of De Beriot's 
seventh concerto in a concert. 

His father then sent him to the Conservatorium at 
Moscow, where Laub and Hrymali were his principal 
teachers. There he won the gold medal, and after the 
completion of his course set out on a tour as a virtuoso, 
playing in many of the chief towns of Germany as well 
as in Norway and Sweden. After an extremely success- 
ful first appearance in Christiania, the Philharmonic 
Society there elected him an honorary member. 


A VIOLIN 1ST who is at the same time a real artist, 
and is able to pride himself upon the fact that he 
numbers the greatest masters among his teachers, 
has all the better title to be distinguished for his own 
long services. Such a one is Bargheer, whose undisputed 
services include not only that which he has accomplished 
as a soloist, but also his labours as orchestral leader and 
quartet player, and teacher. 

Born on December 31st, 1831, at Biickeburg, he 
received his earliest instruction from his father, a music- 
master and member of the Prince's band, in which he 
played first clarinet. In 1848 Bargheer Jils went to 
Cassel and became one of Spohr's most diligent pupils. 


until the latter obtained for him a post in the court band 
at Detmold in 1850. 

Prince Leopold of Lippe-Detmold interested himself in 
a most marked manner for his young protege, and even 
gave him both leave of absence and the means to proceed 
to Leipzig and later to Hanover, in order that he might 
study with Ferdinand David and Joachim. He next 
returned to Detmold and in i860 became leader, in 1862 
conductor of the royal band, succeeding (in the latter 
post) August Kiel. He then travelled through Germany, 
Holland and Russia, and everywhere met with success. 
Unfortunately for him, however, the Prince Leopold died 
in 1876, and his orchestra was disbanded. Thereupon 
Bargheer betook himself to Hamburg, where he was 
appointed leader of the Philharmonic orchestra and pro- 
fessor of the violin at the Conservatorium. These two 
posts he filled to the satisfaction of all until the end of 
1889. During his residence in Hamburg he founded a 
series of chamber concerts at which the most famous 
musicians of the day frequently make their appearance. 
Mme. Schumann, Mme. Marie Krebs, Brahms, von 
Biilow and others may be cited to show the quality of the 
undertaking. Bargheer was leader of the Hamburg 
subscription concerts under Bulow from 1883 to 1891. 

(His younger brother Adolf (born October 21st, 1840) 
was also a violinist, and was said to have been Spohr's 
last pupil. He, too, was at one time in the Detmold 
orchestra, but for some years he has presided over the 
music school at Basle). 


NO less than seven artists of this surname have 
appeared before the world and made their mark 
in the world's musical history ; and of these 
Marcello is the youngest. He was born at Vienna on 
October i6th, 1862. His father was a legal lummary. 
After his son had enjoyed the benefit of a short course of 
lessons in violin playing from the director of the court 
music at the cathedral,— a musician named Hofmann,— 
he was allowed to proceed to the Leipzig Conservatormm, 
where his progress was so rapid and so marked that he 
was able to play at the beginning of his career m one of 
the examination concerts, when his performance was 
warmly praised by the press. 


In 1875 when Rossi was but thirteen years of age the 
famous Leipzig musical journal, Die Sigiiale fiiv die musi- 
halische Welt, described him as being a violinist whose 
talent was a divine gift. 

In his sixteenth year Rossi had the honour of playing 
before King Albert of Saxony, who presented him with 
a diamond ring of great value in recognition of his 
ability. While in Dresden Rossi studied his art with 
Lauterbach, and on quitting the Saxon capital he went 
to Paris where Professor INI assart put, as it w^ere, the 
final touches upon his style of playing. 

His first tour as a virtuoso Rossi made at the invita- 
tion of the singer Padilla-Artot through Austria, 
Hungary, Germany and Roumania, during which his 
beautifully sympathetic and wnthal large, broad tone and 
his enormous technical accomplishments enabled him to 
create quite a sensation w^herever he w^ent. He was 
at this time created chamber-virtuoso to the Emperor 
Franz Josef and to the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg- 

In 1888 Rossi received through the Japanese Embassy 
at Vienna the offer of the directorship of the Imperial 
Conservatorium of Music at Yeddo, an offer which he felt 
bound to decline. In the following year he made a pro- 
longed concert-tour, during which he visited the principal 
towns of Austria, Germany, etc., and gave a series of 
forty concerts. 

Our portrait shows to a limited extent how^ Rossi has 
been decorated with orders by foreign potentates. As a 
composer he has written comparatively little but he has 
arranged a goodly assortment of pieces for the violin and 

The instrument upon w^iich Rossi plays is a beautiful 
Stradivarius which was formerly in the possession of 
Wieniawski, and which Rossi obtained from the latter's 




THE exterior of this splendid representative of the 
famous Piedmontese school of violinists after the 
death of its founder, Somis, harmonizes in the 
most remarkable manner (as the above portrait abun- 
dantly testifies) with his merry, pleasant and vain 
manner. Despite his terrible plainness of person he 
invariably believed himself to be a persona grata among the 
ladies ; he always dressed well, and wore an enormous 
buttonhole in his light blue silk coat, a gigantic coiffure 
and a quantity of ornaments of every description. And 
yet this foolish and eccentric personage possessed real 
wit, quite remarkable social talent, and unbounded good 
nature, candour and generosity, so that those who were in 
distress honoured him as their best friend and protector. 
In Italy he was regarded as the foremost violinist of 



his time, and both in Paris and London he cre3.ted furo ye 
by means of his beautiful tone ftnd his graceful and easy 

Born at Turin on 27th November, 1727, he learnt 
from Somis, his master, the art of Corelli, and Tartini's 
methods, too, influenced him to a great extent. In 1752 
he became first violinist of the court band at Turin and 
leader of the king's private concerts. From 1754 to 
1770 he travelled far and near, stayed some years in 
London, where for a time he was leader of the band at 
the Italian Opera. He played wuth enormous success 
at the Sardinian Court, whence he went to Paris, where 
he was an admitted rival of Stamitz, Gavinies and Pagin 
at the Concevts Spivitiiels. On his return to Turin he 
became conductor there. At the same time he laboured 
as a teacher, numbering among his pupils such players 
as Viotti, Bruni, Molino, Conforti, Olivieri, Romani, 
Borra, Borgi, Janitsch, etc. It has been said that all 
the pupils of Pugnani became admirable orchestral 
leaders. Pugnani died in 1805.''' As a composer 
Pugnani worked wath all the proverbial diligence of the 
'' busy bee." Among his published compositions are 
nine concertos, fourteen sonatas, six string quartets, six 
quintets for violins, flutes and basses, two volumes of 
violin duets, three volumes of trios (with bass), no less 
than twelve octets for four violins, two oboes and two 
horns, in addition to ten operas, and a number of church 
works ! Fetis describes Pugnani's works as " classical " ; 
but other authorities do not think so hiojhly of them. 
Wasielew^ski, for instance, considers them meaningless, 
sweet but dull, and very monotonous. 

Among many amusing anecdotes the following is told. 
Pugnani with his odd figure, introduced himself one 
day to an Italian noble. " Who are you ? " asked the 
latter, before he recognised that Pugnani, the violinist, 
stood before him. 

'• I am Caesar with my violin in my hand " replied the 
artist w4th proud grace ! 

* This is the latest date given, others being 1798 and 1803. 


THIS master was born on 23rd November, 1687, at 
Lyons, where his father, a musician, was director 
of the ballet in which, to some extent, he educated 
his son, ultimately becoming court ballet master at 
Turin. Nevertheless (and it seems almost to go with- 
out saying) his natural aptitude for violin playing was 
developed in an unquestionable degree, so that it aroused 
the attention and interest of Somis in Turin, with the 
obvious result that Leclair became the latter's pupil and 
abandoned his adopted career of a dancer in the 

In 1729 Leclair went to Paris where Cheron, a 
"cembalist" at the opera, taught him the elements of 
musical theory. His efforts to obtain recognition as a 
violinist were unfortunately unsuccessful owing to the 
aversion of the musicians of Paris from all Italian 
influence in matters artistic. Leclair could thus obtain 



but a subordinate situation in the opera orchestra with a 
yearly salary of some five hundred livres. 

It is true that in 1731 he became a royal musician 
but unfortunately for him the enmity of the violinist 
Guignon hindered his artistic inclinations and he relin- 
quished all his offices. He then occupied himself by 
teaching and composing ; and for a long time remained 
quiet and as it were inactive, seeking for his friends 
only those who were real artists without any aim at 
gathering in material profit. Once he went to Amsterdam 
to visit Locatelli, and it seems that the latter exercised 
some influence on his manner and style of composition. 

Leclair's end was as untimely as it was mysterious ; 
he was foully murdered in the neighbourhood of his 
dwelling about eleven o'clock on the night of the 22nd 
October, 1764 — the name of his assassin has never 
transpired, nor has his object, which, it is thought, was 

Leclair left a mass of compositions, including forty- 
eight sonatas, duos, trios, concertos for three violins,, 
viola, violoncello and organ bass, overtures and sonatas 
as trios for two violins and bass, a posthumous sonata 
and an opera. Two of his sonatas Ferdinand David 
arranged, edited and published in his Hohe Schule dcs 
Violinspiels, whilst Alard issued through Schotts an 
edition which is far more faithful to the original. 


THE Vienna school of violinists, called into being by 
Schuppanzigh and not uninfluenced by Spohr, 
which so greatly encouraged the salon-like brilliant 
virtuoso style, found in Mayseder an excellent agent. 
He was born at Vienna on the 26th October, 1789. 
Although he never travelled as a virtuoso he earned the 
renown of an important master of his instrument whose 
example was widely copied and honoured by many 
young violinists. Paganini, who heard him in Vienna, 
quickly recognised his brilliant technique and style 
of playing. In Vienna he constantly appeared in the 
concert-room with all possible success, and in fact soon 
became a popular hero. 


While still a youth Schuppanzigh placed him, after 
his studies with Sucher and Wranitzky were completed,, 
as second violinist in his famous quartet, and assisted 
him in every possible manner. Hanslick states that 
Mayseder's first public appearance in Vienna took place 
at the Augarten on the 24th July, 1800. In 1812 Spohr 
declared him to be the foremost violinist in Vienna, and 
although Mayseder was barely twenty years of age he 
was frequently invited in social circles to try his artistic 
strength against Spohr's. In 1816 Mayseder entered 
the royal opera orchestra, becoming solo-violinist in 
1820, and chamber- virtuoso fifteen years later. In this 
latter capacity he performed both in the opera and in 
the cathedral of St. Stephen. 

Finally he became leader of the Imperial band, in 
which post he remained until his death, 21st November, 

His compositions, which number sixty-three, include 
concertos, sonatas, quartets, etc., some of which are even 
now heard on occasions. 

Hanslick says "the beauty and purity of his tone,, 
the sureness and elegance of his performance were fit to- 
form a standard — one could but wish there were more 
warmth and energy of expression." Weber, too, has 
recorded his impressions of Mayseder — " a fine player,, 
but he leaves one cold." 


WAS one of those numerous artists who deserve 
to be better known than is the case, if only for 
what they themselves accomplished. He was 
born in Nottingham in October, 1811, his father being 
a professor of music in that midland town. He was a 
prodigy of more than usual ability, for beginning 
the study of the violin at the age of four under his 
father's guidance on a diminutive instrument constructed 
especially for him, he actually appeared in public at the 
age of five ! In 18 17 he was brought up to London to 
play at Drury Lane, and soon afterwards appeared every 


day in the performances at the Exhibition Rooms in 
Spring Gardens. But in 1821 Spagnoletti took him 
under his protection and with him Blagrove remained 
until the opening of the R.A.M. in 1824, when he 
entered as a pupil of Cramer's. In 1830 he became 
a member of the Queen's private band, but two years 
later he went to Germany to study with Spohr. On the 
famous composer- violinist coming to England to take 
part in the Norwich festival of 1839, Blagrove played 
with him and fairly delighted his audience as well as his 
preceptor. For a great many years Blagrove was soloist 
in most of the principal English orchestras, and he was 
regarded as one of the best native violinists of his time. 
He did not confine his attentions to English concert- 
rooms, however, for Hanslick mentions him as having 
appeared in Vienna in or about the same time that 
Signor Piatti and the late M. Sainton also appeared in 
the Austrian capital. Blagrove died at Nottingham after 
along illness on December 15th, 1872. 



THIS distinguished English vioUnist was born at 
Keighley, in Yorkshire, on January 20th, 1836. 
His father, a devoted vioUnist, was the moving 
musical spirit of the town and the director of its choral 
society. The youthful Carrodus early showed a strong 
inclination towards violin playing, and after learning the 
elements from his father, he became at twelve years of 
age, a pupil of Molique in Stuttgart, under whose 
guidance he studied until he was nearly eighteen years 
old. In 1857 Carrodus returned to England from 
Germany and became orchestral leader in Glasgow. 
He was next engaged under Costa at the first Bradford 


festival; Costa was so pleased by the younf^ man's 
ability as to engage him at once for the Royal Italian 
opera band in London. Later Carrodus was leader at 
" Her ]\Iajesty's " under Arditi until the building was 
destroyed by lire, and on Sainton's resignation of the 
leadership at Covent Garden, he was offered and ac- 
cepted the post which he retained until his death, 13th 
July, 1895. He appeared frequently as soloist at the 
Crystal Palace and at many of the best London concerts, 
and was an especial favourite in society where his 
performances were regarded with pleasure. He was 
principal professor of the violin at Trinity College, 
London, and first president of the College of \'iolinists. 
" It is a pity that so estimable an artist should not have 
been heard in our (German) principal concert rooms — 
the loss is distinctly ours," adds Ehrlich. A short time 
before his death Carrodus was honoured by the receipt 
of the freedom of his native place. 

For some considerable time J. T. Carrodus had been 
a valued contributor to the columns of The Strad. 
His articles entitled " Chats with students of the \^iolin," 
which began in the fourth volume, were followed by a 
highly useful series of " conversations," as it were, on 
" How to Study the Violin." These works, it may be 
said in conclusion, have been republished as Volume II. 
of The Strad Library, of which the present book is 
Volume I\\ 


THE founder of the so-called " Florentine Quartet," 
which, as everyone knows, had a world-wide 
reputation, must be regarded from two distinct 
points of view so far as his artistic life is concerned. 
At first he was a virtuoso and nothing more ; later, 
however, when he had grown to years of artistic dis- 
cretion, he became one of the greatest champions and 
exponents of all that is beautiful and noble and pure in 
the art of violin playing. He was tried by fire, he stood 
the test by the side of the greatest players in the fore- 
most concert institutions of the world, and he amply 
proved by his manner of playing as well as by the great 


influence be exerted for good over those who were 
striving to succeed that his name deserves to Uve long 
after his spirit has fled. 

Born at Mannheim on May nth, 1833, he was first 
taught the violin by his father, but when Hartmann and 
Hildebrandt joined the Mannheim orchestra, they, too, 
supplemented his father's efforts to teach him. His 
chief teachers, however, were \'incenz Lachner for 
theory, and Concertmeister Kettenus for the violin. 
The former belonged to the Belgian school, and Becker 
used to say that to him he was indebted for the artistic 
insight he obtained into his art. When but eleven years 
old Becker was presented with the" Mozart gold medal " 
for the uncommon promise he showed as a violinist. 
After the completion of his studies with Kettenus, he 
went to Paris, where he obtained some instruction from 
Alard. But he w^as not suffered to remain long away 
from his own country, for on the death of Kettenus, he 
was summoned to succeed him as orchestral leader at 
Mannheim ; and after he had occupied this post for a 
short time, the Grand Duchess Stephanie conferred upon 
him the title of " Chamber-virtuoso." 

In 185S or 1859 Becker resigned his position as leader 
in order to travel, and we next hear of him in Paris, 
where he gave a series of three concerts which were so 
successful that he was invited to come to England to 
take part in the ?^Ionday Popular Concerts, an invitation 
which he gladly accepted. He was also for one season 
leader of the Philharmonic orchestra; before coming 
to England he went for a tour (in i860) in North 

In 1865-6 he w^as tra\elling in Italy, and having settled 
for a time in Florence he founded the famous quartet 
mentioned above. Hilpert was the violoncellist, Masi 
the second violin and Chiostri the viola. The history of 
this quartet is of sufficient interest to bear reproducing. 

Like almost every well-educated violinist, Becker had 
always shown a strong fancy for quartet-playing, and 
already in Mannheim and Strassburg he had made 


an attempt to infuse new life into the quartet societies 
existing in those towns. 

During his stay in Florence he found the ground had 
already iDeen prepared to some extent for the founding 
of a quartet, since a wealthy professor named Basevi had 
established a society there for the study of Italian 
chamber-music which, however, did not confine its 
performances to native art notwithstanding its title, but 
also produced works by the German classical writers, 
and even offered prizes for the composition of chamber 
works. From time to time this society gave subscription 
concerts, and in 1S65 Becker received the offer of an 
engagement to lead ten of the society's concerts in the 
following winter ; he consented and brought the violon- 
cellist, Hilpert with him. On looking into matters he 
found the "quartet society" in a state of dissolution, 
only the violist, Chiostri, and the violoncellist, Isadelli, 
still remaining. As stated above, Masi joined them as 
second violin, but he possessed only a very poor instru- 
ment and had played but very little chamber-music. 
Becker, however, took him in hand, and gave him lessons 
in addition to presenting him with a Stradivari violin,, 
while he himself played a Guarneri. Earnestness, zeal and 
indomitable courage led the four players to an ensemble 
which had rarely been heard before in Italy, and their 
first concerts were an unquestionable success. They 
however, remained in Florence until their ensemble was 
absolutely perfect, and then they began those travels 
which led them through a great part of the world. In 
1866 they were in Switzerland and South Germany as 
well as in Leipzig and Berlin; in 1868 they visited 
Vienna, where the quartet was put to the severe test of 
comparison with Hellmesberger and his party. In addi- 
tion, Joachim had just before given three concerts, and 
Hellmesberger six, and the Viennese public were w^eary- 
ing of chamber-music. The consequence was that 
Becker's first concert was scantily attended, but the few 
wise ones spread the report of the skill of Becker's 
party so that the second soiree was over-crowded, and 


the success so pronounced that no less than ten concerts 
were given. And so it went on ; wherever the quartet 
appeared, there did triumph follow in its train. 

After ten years of this, Hilpert retired, and his place 
was filled by Hegyesi, and the party remained thus 
until it was disbanded in 1880. It is perhaps only fair 
to say that Hilpert left to take a more lucrative post in 

When the "Florentine Quartet" finally dissolved, 
Becker in 1880 founded another party, which consisted 
of himself as first violin, his son Hans (now a professor 
in the Leipzig Conservatorium) as viola, his more famous 
son Hugo, the excellent violoncellist, and his daughter 
Jeanne, a pupil of Reinecke's and Bargiel's, as pianist. 
With this party Becker earned new laurels, but the 
quartet was once more broken up, this time by the death 
of the principal, Becker himself, which occurred at 
Mannheim on October loth, 1884. Becker's sons, pupils 
respectively of Rayer and Singer, and Griitzmacher, are 
worthy bearers of their father's name, and not only in 
Germany, but also in England Hugo Becker enjoys the 
reputation of being one of the foremost violoncellists of 
the day. 


MUST without question have been one of the 
greatest of virtuosi. The pecuhar circumstances 
of his early Ufe did not render his career an easy 
one. He was born at the small Polish town, Radzyn, 
according to the official certificate on October 30th, but 
the date given in his private family record is November 
4th, 1790.- His father was a violin-player by light of 
nature, from whom the son obtained his natural aptitude 
for the instrument as well as his earliest instruction, the 
latter being of a somewhat precarious nature. On such 
lines as these Lipinski scraped upon t he violin until his 

* The difference of these dates is no doubt explained to some 
extent by the style adopted in Russia. 


tenth year with no idea whatever of a \irtuoso's career ; 
but then he suddenly renounced the violin in fa\'our of 
the violoncello, which instrument he taught himself with- 
out the aid of a master. Nevertheless his solitary efforts 
were so far crowned with success that in course of time 
he was able to play Romberg's violoncello concertos. 
Arrived howe\er at this standard of capability, he 
renounced the violoncello in turn to devote himself once 
more to the violin. His study of the larger instrument 
was not without it advantages, since it enabled him to 
develop the powers of his left hand and also gave him a 
more powerful bow-arm. Later he himself was wont to 
say that his fine, broad, full tone on the violin was 
attributable entirely to his practice on the violoncello. 
(Verb, sap /) 

In iSio he was appointed first violin at the Lemberg 
Theatre ; and at the same time he frequently appeared 
in concerts, now as a violinist, anon as a violoncellist 1 
Two years later he became conductor of this Theatre, 
a post which offered immense difficulties to him owing 
to his neglected education, since he had to study the 
operas to be performed, in German, French, or Italian ; 
nor could he play the pianoforte, and so the rehearsals 
had to be directed with the violin. But even this latter 
had its advantages, for Lipinski used to play two parts 
together when feasible, and from this habit he acquired 
his great command over double-stopping. 

During his busy life as a theatrical conductor, Lipinski 
found plenty of time for the composition of overtures, 
operettas and violin solos. In order to devote himself 
to the theory of composition he resigned his theatrical 
post in 1 8 14 and remained free until 181 7. 

The fame of Paganini, which flew on wings through 
the length and breadth of Europe, stirred Lipinski so 
that he determined to proceed to Italy to hear the great 
player, and if possible to profit thereby. In Piacenza 
he met Paganini who was on the point of giving a 
concert there. Apparently he w^as the only one of those 
present who applauded the first adagio played by the 


virtuoso, whereby he attracted attention to himself ; 
and as he explained to a neighbour that he himself was 
a violinist who had come from the far north to hear 
Paganini, he was taken on to the platform after the 
concert and there formally introduced. An acquaintance 
having thus been struck, Lipinski visited Paganini 
daily and " made music " with him, and even played 
duets by Kreutzer and Pleyel with him in his concerts, 
on the 17th and 30th of April, 1818. It is stated that 
the great Italian there and then proposed that Lipinski 
should make a prolonged concert-tour throughout Italy 
with him, a project which the Pole would not accept 
since he had already made other plans, and had an 
intense desire to see his family once more. 

Towards the close of the year 1818, Lipinski started 
on his return journey. Arrived in Triest, he learnt that 
there dwelt a certain Dr. Mazzurana, whilom pupil of 
Tartini, whom he sought out for the purpose of acquir- 
ing something of importance as to Tartini's method. 
Mazzurana, w^ho at that time was upwards of ninety 
years of age, but nevertheless a sturdy old man, declared 
himself too old to play the violin again. He suggested, 
however, that Lipinski should play a Tartini sonata 
before him and that he would then be able to give him 
some hints and say if his style was in any way similar 
to that of Tartini. Lipinski played, and the old man 
promptly replied that he had not reminded him in the 
remotest degree of Tartini : but that he would attempt 
to explain the matter to him thoroughly. Thereupon 
he took from a cupboard a volume of Tartini's 
sonatas having letter- press under the music, w^hich 
Lipinski was ordered to rer.d in a loud tone and with 
all possible expression. Next he had again to play 
the sonata, repeating it until at last he drew forth 
some applause from the old man. In later years 
Lipinski used to relate that ever after that date it 
was his endeavour in his violin playing thoroughly 
to grasp the poetic side and to express it. That 
this was strictly true and successful Lipinski's 



manner of rendering Beethoven's compositions amply 

Lipinski's circumstances were such that he was not 
compelled by necessity to work for his living, and so 
was able more or less to do what pleased him. In 1821 
he travelled in Germany, in 1825 in Russia, everywhere 
meeting with a rich harvest of applause. In 1829 he 
met Paganini once more, this time in Warsaw. But 
now the circumstances were changed since the two 
artists had announced concerts simultaneously, and 
Lipinski and Paganini, " The Devil's Artist," w^ere for 
the moment rivals. As in the old days of Handel and 
Buononcini, of Faustina and Cuzzoni, of Gluck and 
Picinni, so it was with Paganini and Lipinski. Rival 
factions were founded : " Hie Paganini," " Hie Lipinski " 
were the battle cries in this comedy. When Paganini 
was asked v/hom he regarded as the greatest violinist, 
he replied, the " second greatest is certainly Lipinski," a 
naive manner of stating that he himself was the first. 

From 1835 to 1839 Lipinski was travelling in Germany, 
England and France, Austria and again Russia. While 
in England he appeared (April 25th, 1836) at a Phil- 
harmonic Concert and played his own military concerto. 
Three years later he became " Concert-meister " at the 
Royal Opera in Dresden, where he remained for many 
years, fully occupied with his court duties and with the 
leading of a string quartet which he founded and to 
which he devoted a good deal of attention. He himself 
was accounted a veritable master in the performance of 
chamber-music, and his name will never be forgotten by 
those fortunate enough to hear him lead a Beethoven or 
Haydn Quartet. His solo playing was astonishing for 
the ease with which he overcame all technical difficulties, 
as w^ell as for the power and beauty of his tone, the 
nobility of his reading and his deep and warm 

At the beginning of 1861 he was pensioned and retired 
to his estate, Urlow near Lemberg, where he died 
on December i6th, 1861. He wrote quantities of 


violin music, including concertos, variations, fastasias ; 
but all of these, with the possible exception of his 
once extremely popular military concerto, are now 



THIS distinguished Belgian master was once well- 
know in the concert rooms of Germany and 
elsewhere where he made frequent and always 
welcome appearances. But notwithstanding his skill as 
a soloist, he is probably better known as the teacher of 
a number of excellent violinists than as a virtuoso. 

Leonard was born at Bellaire, near Liege, on the 7th 
of April, 1 8 19. He was a notable exception to the 
commonplace " wonder child," who has learnt the violin 
before he can walk ; and it was not until he was nine 
years of age that he received his first instruction upon 
the instrument with which he was destined in after life 


to give SO much pleasure and profit to others. His 
first teacher was a violinist named Rouma, whose doings 
I have been unable to find chronicled in any biographical 
dictionary of musicians ; nevertheless, he seems to have 
been a credit to his kind and is said to have looked 
after his pupils as a father looks after his children. 
Until he had attained, or rather, left behind him his 
sixteenth year, Leonard does not seem to have shown 
any special gifts, nor does it appear that he was born 
under the influence of any particularly lucky star. But 
at this period of his existence, the wife of a wealthy 
merchant in Brussels began to interest herself in him and 
even gave him the necessary means to proceed to Paris. 
Arrived there he entered (in 1836) the famous Conserva- 
toire where Habeneck was his teacher. During his 
student life in the French Capital he was successively 
violinist at the Opera Comique, and at the Grand Opera 
as well as the Theatre des Varietes. Although he quitted 
the Conservatoire in 1839 he remained in Paris until 
1844, when he travelled first to Liege and subsequently 
to Leipzig, where Mendelssohn treated him with kind- 
ness and gave him much good advice, which led him to 
apply himself to musical composition. On the 4th of 
April, 1844, it appears that Leonard played at a concert 
in the Leipzig Theatre and created there an enormous 
and deep impression by the beauty of his tone and his 
generally musical performance of a set of variations from 
his own pen on a theme of Haydn's, " Gott erhalte Franz 
den Kaiser." 

He repeated his success at Bonn where he played at 
the festival held to unveil the statue to Beethoven. In 
1846 he played in Dresden, Berlin and other capitals, 
and in the following years he travelled in Sweden, giving 
two concerts en route at Hamburg, of his own composi- 
tions. In 1848 he was in Vienna, but the political state 
of the city at that time prevented him from meeting witu 
any pronounced success, public attention being entirely 
devoted to far more serious matters than art. He then 
returned to Brussels, where he was appointed to the post 


in the Conservatorium which De Beriot had filled. This 
post he continued to occupy until his death in 1S90; bu" 
he nevertheless made frequent journeys with his wife, 
the singer, Mile. De Mendi, into other countries for the 
purpose of giving concerts. 

Among Leonard's compositions are a number of violin 
concertos, studies for the violin, eleven fantasias, two 
elegies, and heaps of operatic fantasias and salon pieces,, 
many of which he wrote in conjunction with the pianist, 
Joseph Gregoire; duets for violin and violoncello with 
Servais, etc., etc. 


CORELLI was born at Fusignano near Imola, in 
February, 1653. ^^ the latter part of the seven- 
teenth century he aroused great sensation among 
all sorts and conditions of men in his native land by his 
beautiful performances, especially in churches, of his 
own splendid sonatas. Even before the century was at 
an end he was almost universally known as the " Prince 
of all artists " ; " Orpheus of the Violin " ; " The first of 
all violinists," etc. As a matter of fact he really was 
an epoch-making musician, and both by his power of 
mind and his great virtuosity (in the best sense of the 
term), he opened up new paths for the violinist which 
were quite undreamt of before. The histories of music 


describe him as " the freer of instrumental music from the 
bonds of the contrapuntists " ; as " the founder of scholastic 
violin playing," and as one of those who were chiefly instru- 
mental in assisting the development of musical art. It is 
certain that one of the very greatest of all composers, J. S. 
Bach, took a number of Corelli's works as patterns for 
his own, or rather, he took Corelli's pattern as a model 
upon which to work out his own ideas. The sonatas 
and concertos of the famous old Italian composer were 
regarded for two hundred years and are even now some- 
times regarded as classical masterpieces. (Surely there 
can be no doubt, considering the age at which these 
works were composed and the life and vigour that still 
exist in them, that they have every right to be regarded 
as veritable masterpieces, and w^orthy to rank with the 
best of their kind). Ferdinand David published an 
edition of them with marks for bowing and fingering 
which is not only in use in all of the best schools abroad, 
but many excerpts from it are also repeatedly heard in 
continental concert rooms. 

As a teacher, too. Corelli was among the best, and he 
numbers in the list of his pupils some of the greatest of 
violinists, such, for example, as Geminiani, Locatelli 
and Somis. These, again, have taught others, and it 
is said that even now the school (or system) of Corelli is 
not extinct. 

His principal teachers were Bassani (violin), and 
Matteo Simonelli (composition), a chamber-singer to the 
Pope. Very early in life Corelli surpassed his teachers 
in instrumental music, and after a lengthy tour to Paris 
and through some parts of Germany, his reputation 
grew, flying on the wings of fame over Europe. In 
1681 he came under the protection of Max Emanuel of 
Bavaria, the friend to France, who kept him in Munich 
as the greatest art-hero of the time ; but in the same 
year Corelli returned to Italy, and in Rome found another 
patron in the person of the art-loving and wealthy Cardinal 
Ottoboni who became devoted to him and made him 
leader of his private " chapel." While occupying this 


post Corelli felt drawn towards composition, and there 
appeared XII. Sonate de chiesa pev due Violine e Basso, 
accompagnate del Ovgano at Rome in 1685. These sonatas 
created a wonderful impression when played in the 
churches, and as their composer frequently performed 
them in person the eyes of Rome were upon him and he 
became a popular hero. For some years he continued to 
live in Rome, w^here he was made much of, not only 
by the people but also by the noblest rank of society, 
with whose assistance and under the protection of 
Ottoboni he founded a musical academy which met 
regularly at the Cardinal's palace and was led by many 
young maestri. Corelli repeatedly visited other Italian 
Courts, and in 1708 he was at Naples, whither he had 
gone to play before the king, but owing to some cause 
or other he imagined he had failed to please and returned 
immediately to Rome. There his momentary troubles 
were by no means at an end, for a mediocre performer 
named Valentine was at the time popular in Rome, and 
Corelli was temporarily throw^n into the shade. This 
shade, however, soon gave way before even more brilliant 

Corelli's one hobby apart from his violin was the 
collection of pictures which he made under the guidance 
of his friends, the painters Maratti and Cignani. 

Though the collection must have cost a large sum of 
money, it was found after Corelli's decease that he only 
possessed a fortune of 114,000 marks (^5,700 in our 
money). His pictures and money were left in his will 
to Ottoboni, who —and to his credit be it said — was 
manly enough to decline the money, which he presented 
to Corelli's poor relations; the pictures, however, he 
accepted. Corelli died at Rome i8th January, 1713. 

As to Corelli's burial-place accounts vary very much. 
Some say he was buried in the " Rotunde " of the 
Pantheon at Rome : others in the church of San 
Lorenzo at Damaso. A bust, intended for his grave- 
stone, was once in the Capitol Museum at Rome. 

In addition to the twelve Sonatas already mentioned, 


Corelli wrote twelve Sonatas for violin, violoncello and 
cymbal (Rome, 1685); twelve Sonatas for violin, 
violoncello and bass lute (Bologna, 1690); twelve sonatas 
for violin, violoncello and cymbal (Bolo^-na, 1694); and 
twelve for the same instruments published in Rome in 
1700. This last work has been published and republished 
in hundreds of editions. Corelli also wrote a number of 
Conccvti grossi con due violiui c violoncello di concertino obligati 
e due altri violini, viola e Basso di concerto grosso ad arhitrioy 
cJie si potranno radoppiarc (Rome, 1712). 


VIOLINISTS will be interested to learn what the 
critics have to say of Ernst— a virtuoso m every 
sense by nature. In Mendel's Lexikon it is stated 
that Ernst " was one of the most admirable and famous 
virtuosi of the immediate past, who by reason of his 
beautiful, noble tone and soulful performance has 
remained unsurpassed to this day. His playing was 
extraordinarily finished and his technique untaihng, 
while his style was so elegant and refined that no one 
could doubt the depth of the mind which originated i . 
For the same reasons his compositions, waiich rank 


among the best of virtuoso music and are therefore of 
extreme difficulty, are always pleasant to hear and 
grateful to play ; such pieces as the ' Otello ' fantasia, 
the ' Elegie,' and the ' Carnival of Venice,' are still very 

On the other hand von Wasielewski, in effect, says 
that Ernst was to some extent an imitator of Paganini, 
whom he followed about from country to country in the 
hope of profiting by the Italian's peculiarities of perform- 
ance. A fruit of the great influence of Paganini is the 
*^ Carnival of Venice," that piquant burlesque, in which 
all possible artistic fireworks are fired at the same time. 
The piece, which is designed only for effect, is founded 
chiefiy upon reminiscences of Paganini's method, and 
so the Italian was correct when he said a pvopos of Ernst's 
vjork, II fant se mefiez de voiis. But Ernst by no means 
remained in the " Carnival of Venice " region ; he was 
quite capable of receiving the noblest impressions even 
if they did not sink deeply into his nature. His fluent 
playing, highly coloured and sympathetic as it was, 
proved that he possessed a lively temperament which, 
however, showed itself spasmodically rather than in one 
even-flowing stream. His disposition was " uneven," if 
one may use such an expression, and this explains his 
unequal performances, which w^ere, however, quite as 
often dissatisfying as attractive, since he was prone more 
or less to err in his technique and his intonation was 
not invariably above suspicion. That Ernst was a 
veritable hero in the world of virtuosi is proved by his 
compositions, some of which, while free from common- 
places, have quite spivitueUe moments, and they all display 
the many-sidedness of the violin. Nevertheless they 
have no positive w^orth as musical compositions. And 
the reason for this lies probably in the fact that the 
composer as a virtuoso was chiefly a seeker after effects, 
for his attempts at music of a high class and his own 
rendering of classical master-pieces were by no means 
as successful as they might have been. In certain 
circumstances he did not hesitate when seeking a super- 


ficial effect to add arbitrary variations (especially in 
chamber music) of his own to the composer's text. 

This judgment will probably be found to be on the 
whole the correct one, though one must demur to some 
of the remarks as to Ernst's compositions. The F sharp 
minor Concerto is not only a splendid work for the 
violin which affords the virtuoso ample opportunity for 
exhibiting his skill, but is also genuinely inspired, and it 
probably owes its fate in being consigned to comparative 
oblivion to its enormous technical difficulties. Ernst by 
his compositions proves himself to have been more than 
any other the violinist who combined the technical 
difficulties of the French School of Paganini with the 
great tone of the German (and especially of the Spohr) 

Ernst was born 6th May, 1814, at Briinn, and after 
learning a little at home, entered the Vienna Conserva- 
torium, where among other masters he had Seyfried 
to teach him composition, and Bohm and Mayseder were 
his violin masters. In 1S30 he made his first tour 
through Munich and Paris where he came under De 
Beriot's influence. Still travelling, he first appeared in 
London in the Hanover Square Rooms in 1843, but 
repeated his visit frequently ; in fact he was a traveller his 
whole life, and never it is said, occupied a fixed appoint- 
ment. In 1857 he was attacked by an illness which 
gradually grew worse until it became incurable ; he also 
gradually lost the desire for violin playing, and after 
intense bodily and mental suffering he died at Nice,. 
October 8th, 1865. 


RODE, like Viotti, Kreutzer and Spohr, is rightly 
enough to be numbered among the great classicists 
of violin playing. He was Viotti's most highly 
gifted and, in a sense, his best pupil, of whose style and 
method he was one of the chief exponents. For a long 
series of years his success was very great, and a number 
of his compositions are of permanent value. It speaks 
volumes for his ability as a soloist that Beethoven, who 
heard him play in Vienna, wrote the famous violin 
romance in F, op. 50, for him. (It is worthy of note 
that neither the original manuscript nor Nottebohm's 
Thematic Catalogue mentions Rode's name in connection 
Avith this romance). 


Born at Bordeaux on February i6th, 1774, Rode was 
from his eighth to his fourteenth year a pupil of the elder 
Fauvel ; and in 17SS he went to Paris where he enjoyed 
the distinction of being Viotti's pupil for two years. 

In 1790 he made a brilliant first appearance at the 
Theatre Monsieur with Viotti's thirteenth violin-concerto, 
and shortly afterwards received a post among the second 
violins at the not altogether fortunate Theatre Feydeau, 
and was frequently heard in concerts as a soloist. In 
1794 he began a series of concert-tours, visiting Holland, 
Berlin and Hamburg. From the latter city he was 
driven to England by a violent storm as he was sailing 
towards his home, but in London he made no deep 
impression and returned once more to Paris where he 
was appointed principal professor of the violin at the 
newly -founded Conservatoire. He did not continue to 
occupy this position long, howe\'er, but tried his fortune 
in a Spanish tour, returning again to Paris in 1800, 
when Napoleon Buonaparte installed him as a solo- 
violinist in his private band. At this period he compelled 
the admiration of all Paris by the very charm of his 
playing ; his interpretation of his own A minor Concerto 
(No. 7) created an impression " bordering on the 
marvellous " said a contemporary critic. 

Notwithstanding this, however, he started on a tour 
again in 1803, travelling with Boieldieu, the opera com- 
poser, to St. Petersburg, and taking the chief North 
German towns en route. After his first appearance in 
Leipzig, the AUgemeine Musikalische Zeitung said of his 
performance, that the real depth of his tone with its 
marvellous modifications and the nobility of his taste were 
quite incomparable. The same journal, speaking of his 
performance in Berlin, remarked that " the art of his 
playing exceeded all expectations. All who have heard 
his illustrious teacher, Viotti, declare emphatically and 
with one accord that he, and he only, has completely 
reproduced his individuality of style, and that Rode 
plays with even greater feeling and expression." 

In St. Petersburg his playing aroused the greatest 


sensation. The Tsar Alexander nominated him " solo- 
violinist in the Imperial orchestra" and awarded him 
5,000 silver roubles annuity. The five years of hard 
labour passed by Rode in the Russian capital, however, 
are declared to have exercised a deleterious influence 
over his playing. 

That on his reappearance in Paris in i8og his per- 
formances attracted less attention than formerly, is to 
be attributed perhaps rather to the unfaithfulness of the 
French than to his falling away, since during his absence 
several younger men — Lafont, for example —had been 
heard to great advantage there. Moreover, the piece he 
selected for his first appearance after his prolonged 
absence — a concerto composed in St. Petersburg — -seems 
to have been coldly received. 

This cool reception struck so deeply into the heart of 
Rode that he determined never more to play publicly in 
Paris, a determination which he ultimately abandoned. 

Between the years iSii — 1814 he trav^elled a good 
deal in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. In Vienna 
Spohr heard him and wrote of him as follows : " I 
awaited the beginning of Rode's performance in an almost 
feverish state of mind, since ten years before (in 1803 at 
Brunswick) it seemed to us to be the highest ideal. 
Yet after the first solo it struck me that during this 
period of time his playing had deteriorated. I found 
it cold and full of mannerism ; I missed the former 
boldness in conquering the greatest difficulties, and I 
felt especially dissatisfied with his rendering of cantahile 
passages. His performance of the E major variations 
satisfied me completely that his technical accomplishment 
was not as perfect as before ; since not only had he simpli- 
fied many of the more difficult passages, but he also played 
the simpler passages with less grace and security. The 
public, too, seemed dissatisfied — at any rate he never 
succeeded in warming them to enthusiasm." 

Spohr at that time was under the impression that he 
and Rode were rivals, that, in fact, the latter was 
his one serious rival, for he wrote in his deliciously 


naive "Autobiography" about his first appearance in 
Vienna: "I felt my heart beat as we drove over the 
Danube bridge, and I thought of my impending debut. 
My nervousness, too, was augmented by the idea of 
having to compete against the greatest vioUnist of the 
age, for I had learnt in Prague that Rode had just 
returned from Russia and was expected in Vienna. I 
thought livelily enough of the overpowering impression 
which Rode's playing had made upon me in Brunswick 
ten years before, and how for j^ears I must work to make 
his method and style my own," etc. " I was very 
anxious, then, to be heard in Vienna before Rode arrived, 
and I hastened with all speed to give my concert." 

Spohr later quotes the Mtisikalisclie Zeifuiig in regard 
to Rode's concert in Vienna, for in his " Autobiography " 
appears a notice that he did the distinguished master an 
injury. He says : " These plentiful opportunities for 
hearing Rode made me quite certain that the latter was 
no longer the marvellous player he once was. Through 
constantly repeating the same compositions a mannerism 
had crept in gradually which bordered on the caricature. 
I was shamefaced enough to point this out by asking him 
if he no longer recollected how he used to play those 
works ten years before. Aye ! my impertinence went so 
far that I laid his G major variations before him and 
said I would play them as he used to play them ten 
years previously, and as I had often heard him play them. 
At the close of my performance the audience burst into 
loud applause, and Rode, too, was compelled by circum- 
stances to call out ' Bravo ! ' Yet it was obvious to all 
that he was sorely wounded by my indelicacy." 

Through such occurrences Rode became even less safe 
in his performances and very rarely appeared in public. 
For some time he lived in Berlin where he married. 
From Berlin he returned to Bordeaux in the neighbour- 
hood of which he owned a country house, " Chateau 

Although already ageing, he allowed himself in 1828 
to be drawn to Paris to play in public, but there he met 



with a decided fiasco, and this blow (which, be it said, 
he had drawn upon himself by forgetting the right hour 
at which to abandon all thoughts of public performances) 
brought his end perceptibly nearer. 

He died after a long illness on the 25th of November, 
1840, at his above mentioned country seat. 

A few violinists subsequently known to fame, such as 
Josef Bohm and Eduard Rietz, were pupils of Rode. 

Rode left behind him an enormous mass of com- 
positions, including no less than thirteen violin concertos 
(of w^hich the seventh in A minor is perhaps the best as 
well as the best known) ; four string quartets ; eight 
sonatas for string quartet ; two dozen caprices, twelve 
studies, duets, variations with orchestral accompaniment, 
those in G being at one time a great favourite of violinists ; 
a fantasia with orchestra and much more. Although 
these are not in accordance with the taste of the present 
day, yet they are magnificent material for study. He 
who can play the four and twenty caprices faultlessly, is, 
so far as technique is concerned, already an excellent 


FLORIAN ZAJIC, one of the numerous clever and 
well-cultured violinists of the present time, belongs 
to that body of artists who by virtue of hard 
w?ork and application have raised themselves into a lofty 
position from the most unfavourable and unpromising 
beginnings. Born in the little Bohemian town of 
Unhoscht on the 4th May, 1853, Zajic shewed great 
natural aptitude for music in his youngest years ; but 
his parents' very poor circumstances compelled them to 
hope for nothing better for their son than the humdrum 
■career of a commonplace provincial musician. From 
ihis, however, Zajic was saved by the intervention of a 



Mason who sent him to Moritz Mildner in Prague. 
There he entered the Conservatorium where he remained 
during eight years under exceptionahy prosperous condi- 
tions, Mildner being his first teacher ; subsequently he 
entered Bennewitz's class. 

After a thorough training he was appointed Concert- 
meister at the Augsburg Theatre, but remained there 
only a short time, Franz Abt inviting him to enter the 
orchestra at Brunswick and \^incenz Lachner simul- 
taneously offering him a post at INIannheim. After some 
little thought Zajic determined to accept the latter in- 
vitation and consequently he became leader of the 
orchestra at the Royal Theatre. At the same time he 
gave m^usic lessons and officiated as solo violinist in the 
subscription concerts. 

Among his Mannheim pupils was the daughter of the 
former minister and Privy Councillor, President Lamey. 
Master and pupil soon found other interests, however, 
than violin playing and fell in love with each other. 
Full of determination to conquer all the obvious obstacles 
which lay in the course of his love, Zajic worked and 
studied with astounding diligence, and next sought the 
public suffrages as a virtuoso with emphatic success. 
In Strassburg his appearance was the crowning point of 
his career, since through his brilliant performance there 
he received and accepted the offer of principal professor 
of the violin at the Conservatorium as the successor of 

During the vacations Zajic travelled and achieved 
triumphs in nearly all the principal towns of Germany. 

In 1885 he obtained for the sum of /"Soo sterling, 
Ferdinand David's violin, which probably came from 
Tarisio's famous collection, and which David had pur- 
chased in 1 86 1 for six thousand francs {£2/\.o). It is 
one of the most beautiful specimens of the work of 
Joseph Guarnerius which still exists. 

After having made his mark by repeated successful 
appearances in the chief towns of Germany, Zajic went 
to Paris to play in one of Pasdeloup's Concerts populaires 


as solo violinist. The enormous difficulties which the 
founder of these concerts had to overcome when he per- 
mitted German musicians to appear, are well-known. 
And so when Zajic appeared he found preparations had 
been made to disturb his performance, and an ill- 
mannered claque left little undone to shew him their 
hatred. As soon as he appeared upon the platform of 
the Cirque d'Hivev he was received by the well-disposed 
portion of the large audience with loud applause, and 
by the ruffians with cat-calls and whistling. Zajic (like 
Biilow on many occasions) remained where he was, the 
disturbers of the peace ultimately being forcibly removed 
from the room. Then came Zajic's opportunity, and he 
played a concerto by Vieuxtemps so beautifully that the 
whole house shook with the thunders of applause at its 
close. A fortnight later (on Good Friday) Pasdeloup 
invited him to appear again, and he was then hailed as 
the hero of the day. 

In Leipzig, where the ultra-Conservatives are not 
entirely above prejudice, his performance of Bach's 
Chaconne and Bruch's G minor Concerto was received 
with warmest praise, and his quartet-playing was also 

x\fter a lengthy sojourn in Hamburg as Concert- 
meister, Zajic went to Berlin where his name and his 
fame are firmly established and where he still enjoys a 
great popularity as a leader of a string quartet. 


BENNO WALTER, at the present time leader of 
the Court orchestra and Professor of the violin 
at the Conservatorium in ]\Iunich, is a diligent 
worker in the cause of modern art, and especially is he 
well and widely known as a quartet player. 

He was born at Munich on the 17th June, 1847, his 
father, a very clever and cultured musical amateur, 
being his earliest teacher. A\'alter's first music lessons 
began when he was but four years of age, the violin 
being then the instrument through which his instruction 


was imparted. When only eight years old he was taken 
on a concert tour which extended to many of the chief 
towns of southern Germany. Three years later Walter 
played before the then King of Bavaria who, well pleased 
with the youth's performance, presented him as a reward 
for his accomplishments with a beautiful Guarnerius 

In 1863 Walter became a member of the Munich 
Court Orchestra whose leader was his elder brother. 
On the death of the latter in 1875 he received the post 
which he has worthily filled ever since. His services to 
the highest form of his art are all the more remarkable 
and praiseworthy since he never learnt the secret from 
a recognised giant. In fact he owes not only his position 
in the Art World, but his fine style and method entirely 
to his own unaided efforts, diligence and natural ability. 


WAS born at Liege on the 19th of July, 181 1, 
where he received his earHest instruction in 
the art to which he was destined to become so 
distinguished an ornament from an enthusiastic amateur 
named Delavau. When after a very brief space of 
time the latter discovered an abnormal talent in his 
pupil and ward, he obtained for him a " Stipendium " 
or scholarship from the municipal authorities of his 
native place and from King William of Holland which 
enabled Massart to proceed to Paris to study the violin. 
There, it is said, Cherubini positively refused him 
admittance into the Conser\atoire for no reason what- 
ever other than his own fractious temper. However, 


Kreutzer undertook the budding virtuoso's musical 
education and so he lost but little if anything by 
Cherubini's want of courtesy. 

Very soon after the beginning of this study with 
Kreutzer, ^Nlassart had progressed so rapidly and so 
satisfactorily that his teacher thought him justified in 
appearing before the public. The success of this dehut 
however was somewhat marred by Massart's inordinate 
shyness, a trait of character which led him more or less 
to abandon the career of a virtuoso for that of a teacher. 
But so successful was he in this latter capacity that in 1843 
he was appointed professor of the violin at the Paris 
Conservatoire — the director of which, as has been said 
- — ^refused him admission as a pupil years before. There 
his classes w^ere the centre of attraction for the majority 
of subsequently distinguished violinists, among whom 
may be mentioned Lotto, Wieniawski, Teresina Tua. 
His method of teaching combined " energy, the greatest 
care, exactness and thoroughness," and he never 
permitted a pupil to quit an exercise until he was 
able to render it with all these qualities. Thus he was 
to a certain extent an ideal teacher. 

Massart is said to have been an excellent quartet 
player and often he gave delightful Chamber Concerts 
in conjunction with his wife, who was an admirable 
pianist. Massart died at Paris, on February 13th, 
1892. (It would be interesting to learn whence he 
derived his very English-looking Christian names). 


AS a virtuoso and as a composer for the violin de. 
Beriot holds a position in the history of music 
which is of considerable importance ; and as a 
teacher of violinists, the fact that he was Vieuxtemps's 
master is sufficient guarantee that his name and the fame 
of his great influence will not be soon forgotten. In 
his method of handling his instrument he belonged to 
the modern school ; in fact, INIr. Paul David goes so 
far as to state that de Beriot was " the founder of the 
modern Franco-Belgian school as distinguished from the 
classical Paris school." De Beriot's technique was 
smooth and perfect in every way, while his tone, which 
was not great, was nevertheless beautiful, even noble, 
and his intonation absolutely faultless. 


Born of noble parents at Louvain on February 20th, 
1802, he received what little instruction he had from a 
violinist named Robrex, a pupil of \^iotti, and from a 
local professor named Tiby, who became his guardian 
after his parents' death. He was also intimate with a 
philosopher named Jacotot, who exercised no little influ- 
ence upon him. In 1821 he went to the Paris Conserva- 
toire to study under Viotti, Baillot and Lafont, but he 
soon quitted this institution on finding that his own indi- 
viduality would be lost if he continued with so pedantic 
a teacher as Lafont. He then studied privately with 
Baillot, but for a brief period. His first concert tour 
brought him to England, where he met with most 
extraordinary success, and at each subsequent visit to 
these shores he added to his fame. On his return 
abroad, the King of the Netherlands appointed him 
" Chamber virtuoso " to which he added a pension of 
2,000 gulden ; but on the breaking out of the revolution 
in 1830, de Beriot lost not only his post, but also his 
pension. He then took to travelling again and played 
with brilliant success in Germany, Italy, France and 
England. In or about 1832 he married Malibran, the 
famous singer, and with her he made prolonged tours 
over almost the whole of Europe. It has been said 
that de Beriot owed a great deal of the beauty of his 
style to the effect produced upon him by his wife's 
singing, for he strove to imitate her. 

After Baillot was pensioned, de Beriot was offered 
and accepted his post as professor in the Paris Conser- 
vatoire, but this he held only a short time, for he 
exchanged it for a similar post at Brussels. While 
there he had the misfortune to lose his eyesight, and 
paralysis of the left armhaving also made its appearance, 
he was henceforth compelled to give up all idea of 

But bearing his misfortunes with stoical fortitude, he 
devoted his time to composition, and with the late G. A. 
Osborne, he produced a number of works which used 
to be well-known to everv violinist. His concertos, 


variations, fantasias, etc., are piquant and effective of 
course, and they one and all have the good quality of 
being grateful to the performer : they are much in use 
at home and abroad for teaching purposes. Unfor- 
tunately they have to give way in the concert-room to 
modern works of vastly inferior calibre which happen 
to suite the vitiated taste of so many latter-day concert- 

De Beriot died at Brussels on the Sth of April, 1870. 
He possessed two splendid Maggini violins (which are 
said to be now in the possession of the Prince of Chimay) 
one of which he picked up for fifteen francs in an old 
shop in Paris ! But he was himself an amateur violin 
maker of more than ordinary accomplishment, and a 
copy of a jNIaggini which he made is very highly spoken 
of, though its present whereabouts is not stated. 

It is hard to understand from the generality of 
Magginis that one sees, that such instruments would 
have suited the style of de Beriot, in that their tone is 
usually somewhat nasal. But there are in existence 
Magginis {e.g., that in the possession of Concertmeister 
Singer) w^hich have a tone that is hardly if at all inferior 
to that of the finest Strad. 

To the above account may be added a few notes. 
It is said that all de Beriot learned from Jacotot may 
be summed up in the platitudes, " Perseverance 
triumphs over all obstacles ; " and " we are not willing 
to do all that we are able to do." These self-evident 
truths de Beriot (who was of a contemplative turn of 
mind), turned to his own account with great profit. 
He was never a pupil (in the ordinary sense of the term) 
of Viotti, for it was the latter who said " You have a 
fine style ! give yourself up to the business of perfecting 
it ! hear all men of talent ; profit by everything, and 
imitate nothing." This de Beriot thought implied that 
he should not have a master, but should w^ork out his 
own salvation. 

De Beriot played at a Philharmonic Concert in 
London in 1826, and subsequently appeared at several 


of the provincial festivals including that at Norwich. 
It is related that at a concert in which he was playing 
in London, a hearer, wishing to be certain that a 
gentleman whom he saw was de Beriot, asked his 
neighbour, who replied in broken English (for he was a 
Frenchman), " Sare, you may be sure dat]dere is hot von 
de Ber-r-r-riot ! " 


OLE BORNEMANN BULL was, as it were, the 
most highly developed fruit of the Norwegian 
passion for violin playing. 
The Norseman's wild strength was as visible in his 
playing as in his adventures. And it is only from such 
points that he can be rightly judged, for it is quite 
certain that those were wrong who, regarding him from 
the purely academic point of view, wrote him down a 
charlatan. He brought himself to the high pitch of 
virtuosity which was his entirely by his own unaided 
efforts, and as a natural consequence school-rules 
mattered naught to him, his one, or rather his main, 
idea being to possess a prodigious technique. This, 


while characteristic of the strength of his mind, was all 
very well in theory, but at first it worked adversely for 
Bull, who, when he visited Spohr in 1829, with a view 
to becoming his pupil, was received in a most cold 
manner by the famous violinist. Spohr, in fact, practi- 
cally declined to have anything to do with him. 

Some five years after this interview, Spohr wrote 
thus of Bull : " His wonderful playing and the sureness 
of his left hand are worthy of the highest admiration, 
but, unfortunately, like Paganini, he sacrifices what is 
artistic to something that is not quite suitable to the 
noble instrument. His tone, too, is bad, and since he 
prefers a bridge that is quite plain, he can use the A 
and D strings only in the lower positions, and even then 
pianissimo. This renders his playing (when he does 
not let himself loose with some of his own pieces) 
monotonous in the extreme. We noticed this particularly 
in two Mozart quartets he played at my house. Other- 
wise he plays with a good deal of feeling, but without 
refined taste." 

More than Spohr did Paganini draw the young auto- 
didactically educated artist after him, and for this 
reason the latter went from Cassel to Paris to hear the 
famous Italian and to make some of his artifices his own. 
In this he succeeded as is well know, for his virtuosity 
excited the greatest interest wherever he appeared. He 
had an extremely brilliant technique, and at the same 
time he could bring tears to his hearers' eyes by the 
beauty of his cantilena. He saw his way to produce 
the good eff'ects he sought with the aid of a plainly cut 
bridge, and he made use of it, and he also used an 
uncommonly long and heavy bow. 

Ole Bull was born on the 5th of February, 1810, at 
Bergen ; he is said to have been the eldest of a family 
of ten, the rest of whom were daughters. In his father's 
house a great deal of music was performed, and his 
" Uncle Jens " was the means of introducing him to 
many a beautiful quartet. The infant Ole used often 
to creep out of his bed at night and listen, from behind 


a piece of furniture where he had hidden himself, to the 
music that was being played. Later on he was allowed 
to come down and hear the music, and in this way the 
quartets of Kummer, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven 
were firmly fixed in his ears before he had sufficient 
understanding to comprehend their purport. \\'hen he 
was five years old " Uncle Jens " presented him with a 
violin, " yellow as a lemon," and on this instrument, 
Ole, to the great surprise of his family, quickly learnt 
to play. But his father soon found it necessary to 
administer a little corporal punishment because the 
youth neglected his school work for his beloved violin ! 
One of the most frequent visitors at the soiree in the 
paternal mansion was a rich Dane named Paulsen, who 
was a very good amateur violinist. Through his kind- 
ness Ole was able to obtain something like adequate 
instruction ; Paulsen was somewhat addicted to the 
use of intoxicants, and at times he was quite unable to 
take part in the performances. At such times the services 
of the youthful Ole were called into requisition, and so 
it came about that he was daily living in a closer 
atmosphere of violin playing. 

When he was nine years old he played first violin in 
the band of a small amateur theatre in which his father 
took a deep interest. But it was first in 1822 that he 
took some lessons from a violinist named Lundholm, 
who had wandered from Sweden, and who had been a 
pupil of Baillot. 

Ole's father wished his son to become a clergyman, 
and with the intention of taking orders the lad was 
sent to the " High School " at Christiania ; but before 
leaving home he had been compelled to promise his 
father that he would play the violin only in the intervals 
between his school work, and not allow his music to 
interfere with his general education. Good promises 
and good resolutions, however, are not always kept, nor 
were they in this particular instance, for Ole's school 
friends made him play to them on every possible oppor- 
tunity. A number of "biographers" of Ole Bull have 



declared that he went to a university and graduated 
there ; but in the biography pubHshed a few years ago 
by his widow, and which therefore may be taken to be 
more authentic than the lucubrations of irresponsible 
scribblers, it is distinctly stated that his school career 
was quite unsuccessful so far as degrees are concerned, 
and that Ole became for a short time musical director 
of a "Philharmonic-Dramatic" Society in Christiania. 

In May, 1829, he went to Cassel. Spohr, who was 
on the point of starting for Nordhausen where there 
was a musical festival at v/hich his services were required, 
told Bull to follow him thither for then he would have 
an opportunity of hearing him play, This Ole did, but 
after hearing a quartet played by Spohr, Maurer, Wiele 
and Miiller, he saw at once that his own capabilities 
were worth nothing and so he returned in a more or less 
despondent condition to his home. His way took him 
to the town where he led the theatre orchestra ; he 
was recognised, uproariously cheered, and compelled to 
direct a performance, and once more he fell under the 
influence of the " demon of music." 

In 1 83 1 he went to Paris to perfect himself in his art, 
as well as to hear Paganini ; and many stories of his 
adventures in the French capital are told. His widow 
relates how he once stayed in a house in which lived the 
notorious Vidocq who took him to a gambling saloon 
and prevailed upon him to venture five francs, which 
Ole did, and thereby won 800 francs. 

Another story goes that in Paris he had everything 
he possessed, including his violin, stolen from him, and 
that so overcome was he that he attempted to drown 
himself in the Seine. He was saved, however, and 
temporarily adopted by a rich and sympathetic lady 
who kept him free from care and gave him a Guarneri 

According to the biography of his widow. Bull met 
his first wife, Alexandrine Felicie Villeminot, in 1831 
in her grandmother's house, the latter having nursed 
him through a long and serious illness. 


In this year he heard Paganini for the first time, and 
as has been said already, he made every effort to make 
Paganini's style his own. He also tried, but in vain, to 
obtain a post in the orchestra of the Opera Comique. 
In 1832 he gave a concert in Paris under the patronage 
of the Duke of Montebello, and it is said that among 
those who took part in it were Ernst and Chopin. (It 
may be mentioned that Bull's name does not occur in 
Nieck's exhaustive life of Chopin, and as many person- 
ages of the most obscure type are named, it is more than 
probable that this is fiction). After this he made his 
first extended concert tour through Switzerland and 
Italy, and a concert that he gave in La Scala at Milan, 
drew from a section of the press a scathing criticism 
which in no way daunted him, for he remained there six 
months bent on improving his play. 

He next gave concerts in Bologna, Florence, Rom.e 
and Naples, in the last of which towns his violin was 
again stolen from him, and he was compelled to give an 
enormous sum for an Amati. In May, 1835, he once 
more appeared in Paris, and in the following year 
married there and made the personal acquaintance of 

He then undertook the second " grand tour" which 
extended through Germany and Russia to England, 
where he first appeared in 1836, and where he gave no 
less than 274 concerts in 16 months, after which he 
returned with a modest fortune to Norway. But he did 
not remain long at home, for in 1838 he wandered 
through Germany to Cassel, where Spohr received him 
with every mark of friendship, and on to Berlin, where 
the critics metaphorically cut him to pieces. He also 
went as far as Hungary, playing at Vienna en route. In 
Buda-Pest he w^as lucky enough to purchase aStraduarius 
violin dated 1687, said to be the only instrument that the 
famous maker built with ebony and ivory ornaments. 
Despite its beautiful appearance, the tone of this instru- 
ment is said to have been but moderate, but its best 
qualities were brought out by its new owner. In 1843 


Bull made his first expedition to America, an expedition 
which, besides filling his pockets with gold, was also rich 
in adventure. He travelled thousands of miles and gave 
200 concerts. 

In December, 1845, he returned to Europe, met his 
family in Paris, and gave a number of concerts in 
various French towns. In 1847 he went to Algiers, 
thence to Spain, where at the Court of Queen Isabella 
he was received with many honours and was presented 
with the Order of Charles III. set in diamonds. 

During the February revolution in 1848, Ole Bull 
was in Paris, and he, with some of his compatriots pre- 
sented the President Lamartine with a Norwegian flag. 
But he soon w^ithdrew to Norway where he committed 
the error of attempting to found a National Theatre at 
Bergen — an attempt which cost him a large part of his 
savings. In 1852 he visited America once more and 
began anew to speculate — a business of which he had 
no knowledge. He purchased large tracts of land upon 
which he meant to found a Norwegian Colony, and he 
thereby lost the great sum of money which he had made 
by fiddling''' with a company which included Mme. 
Adelina Patti, her sister Amalie, Moritz Strakosch, etc. 
During this tour when the company were in the neigh- 
bourhood of Panama, Bull was yet again visited by the 
same misfortune that had overtaken him in Paris — the 
bearer of his baggage disappeared, and wdth him the 
baggage and violin which the owner was destined never 
more to see. He remained behind, however, to seek 
after his property, and was attacked with yellow fever, 
and he eventually returned, quite broken down in health, 
to Philadelphia, only to learn that there was no possible 
chance of saving a single penny of the money he had 
invested in his Norwegian Colony. Such a series of 
misfortunes following rapidly one upon the other would 
have broken the spirit of most people. But it did not 
deter Ole Bull from making fresh efforts. 

* The German word is " ergeigt," and is most expressive. 

I 2 


In New York he gave a number of concerts at which 
Vieuxtemps's partisans attacked him very vehemently, 
but Gordon Bennett, the owner of the New York Herald^ 
supported him, and even placed the columns of his 
journal at Bull's disposal. On this occasion Bull is 
said to have remarked to Bennett: — " Let them rail at 
me; I will play at them." In 1857 he returned to 
Norw^ay and placed himself once more at the head of 
the National Theatre, and summoned Bjornstjerne 
Bjornson to his aid as a teacher of the dramatic art^ 
Readers of the famous poet's life know that this theatre 
never had the rightful success. Ole Bull himself 
did not long continue to take practical interest in it, for 
in 1S58 he went to Germany, and in 1862 to Paris. 
Between these years his wife died, it is said, in penury. 
From 1863 to 1867 he gave concerts in Germany,. 
Poland and Russia, and he took advantage of oppor- 
tunities which presented themselves of acquiring an 
Amati as well as a Josef Guarneri violin in Moscow. 
In November, 1867, he travelled through America, and 
in the next year made the acquaintance at Madison of 
the lady who became his second wife in 1870. This 
marriage took place in Norway, and in the autumn of 
1872 Bull returned to America ; but in the spring of 
the following year he went to live in a country house 
that he had built on the island of Lyso. 

He subsequently made a number of concert tours, 
among others, one in Egypt in 1876, but he gradually 
withdrew in his old age from European concert rooms, 
and eventually retired to his country house at Lyso near 
Bergen, where he died on the 17th August, 1880. Among 
his numerous compositions the best are the fantasies on 
Scandinavian themes. 

Bull owned a Gaspar da Salo violin that was a perfect 
masterpiece. The scroll — a beautiful head — is said to 
have been carved by Benvenuto Cellini. Where is this, 
instrument now ? 

'-OigJ-i" ^ S^-,'^-'*^ 5' 


THIS clever artist is a native of Hungary, a land 
which has produced many celebrated violinists, as, 
for example, Joachim, Hauser, Remenyi, Ernst, 
Auer, Singer. Hubay was born at Pesth on the 14th 
September, 1858. His father, Karl Huber, conductor 
of the Hungarian National Opera and professor of the 
violin at the conservatorium in Pesth, was known 
throughout Hungary as the apostle of Wagnerian music. 
Under the care of such a father it was but natural that 
the son's talent should show itself at a very early period ; 
it is, at any rate, a fact that when eleven years old young 

* Originally Eugen Huber. 


Hubay played at a public concert in his native town a 
concerto by Viotti, and the Hungarian press was unani- 
mous in singing the praises of the " prodigy." His 
father, however, was acute enough not to allow his son 
to proceed to a public career when he should be studying, 
and when Jeno was thirteen years old he was sent to 
Berlin to the Hochschule so that he could learn from 
Joachim ; there he remained until he was eighteen, 
during the whole of which time he enjoyed an annual 
subvention from the Hungarian state. 

When his studies in Berlin were at an end, Hubay 
received the offer (through Joachim) of the post of leader 
of the orchestra at Dusseldorf, but he declined it on the 
score of not wishing to tie himself down at so early an 
age. He returned to Pesth, where he gave a concert at 
which Liszt and Wieniawski were present. The latter, 
who was then professor of the violin at the Brussels 
Conservatorium, had of course no idea that five years 
later his place would be occupied by the youth he was 
then hearing. 

In 1878 Hubay went to Paris, where Vieuxtemps, who 
was then paralysed in his right arm, was living in retire- 
ment with his family. One day Hubay visited him with 
his violin with the intention of obtaining the master's 
judgment of his ability. Vieuxtemps, who was always 
being importuned by young violinists, received him 
somewhat coldly ; but no sooner had Hubay begun to 
play his fourth concerto than Vieuxtemps's manner quite 
changed, and at the end of the first movement he rose 
from the piano, embraced Hubay, and summoning his 
wife into the room, cried, " At length I have found him 
who is worthy to be my successor ! " This verdict was 
endorsed by the authorities, too, for a few years later the 
chair in the Brussels Conservatorium, which had been 
occupied by such men as De Beriot, Vieuxtemps, and 
Wieniawski, was offered to Hubay, and accepted by him. 

From that day a great friendship arose between Hubay 
and Vieuxtemps, which lasted until the death of the 
latter in 1880. At the request of the older master, the 


younger visited him and was present at his death bed in 
Algiers ; and the very last concerto the former wrote 
(his seventh), he dedicated to Hubay. By the desire of 
Vieuxtemps's family, Hubay undertook the executorship 
of his musical remains, and he not only orchestrated the 
seventh concerto, but also entirely revised his works and 
added fingering and bow marks to the posthumous thirty- 
six grand studies. 

After a series of concert-tours in France, England and 
Belgium (in which he appeared at the Pasdeloup concerts 
in the French capital with extraordinary success as well 
as in the Brussels Philharmonic), he took up his position 
as professor of the violin at the Brussels Conservatorium, 
where he remained until 1886. During his residence in 
Brussels he founded, with the help of the great violon- 
cellist, Josef Servais, a string quartet society. 

Since 1886 Hubay has been teacher of the violin at 
the Royal Academy and at the national Conservatorium 
at Pesth, whither he went under exceptionally advanta- 
geous conditions, partly owing to patriotism and partly 
to Popper's friendship. Since that time Hubay has 
made repeated tours in Germany, Russia and Italy, and 
everywhere he has met with the same success, his great 
tone, perfect technique and real musical feeling having 
been warmly appreciated. 

As a composer, Hubay has written a fair amount and 
it has been w^ell recognised. A large number of songs, 
two operas, both of which have been produced, are 
among the more prominent. The quartet which Hubay 
now leads in Pesth, and of which Hegyesi was the 
violoncellist, is reported to have been spoken of by 
Brahms as the best in existence. It at least enjoys a 
very high reputation outside the confines of Hungary. 
It may be added that Hubay plays upon a beautiful 
Amati violin which was formerly in the possession of 
Wieniawski, and for which Hubay paid the latter's 
widow no less than 16,000 francs. 


TO the French school founded by Viotti, Rode, 
Kreutzer, etc., also belongs Lafont. His principal 
teachers were Kreutzer and Rode ; besides 
brilliant technical virtuosity he possessed a sympathetic 
tone and much elegance in his method of performance, 
so that he stood among the foremost of his artistic con- 
temporaries. One of his biographers declares that 
Paganini alone surpassed him as a violinist, but this 
phrase has become so hackneyed as to carry little weight 


Born at Paris, 7th December, 1 781, Lafont was taught 


the elements of violin-playing by his mother, who subse- 
quently passed him on to the care of her brother, 
Bertheaume, who took him on a highly successful 
concert tour in Germany and elsewhere in 1792. On 
returning to Paris, Lafont studied under Rudolf 
Kreutzer in the best school, while Navoigille and 
Berton instructed him in the theory of music. But for 
a time his violin studies were interrupted when Garet 
discovered that he had a voice ; he then became a singer, 
in which capacity he appeared at the Feydeau Theatre 
which Viotti had opened. But ere long he returned to 
his first love, and studied under Rode. While the 
revolution lamed art in France, virtuosi took more and 
more to travel in foreign lands, and among them was 
Lafont. In Holland he earned a great reputation, and a 
good deal of gold. Not until 1805 did he return again to 
Paris, where he met once more with the same great 
success that had attended him elsewhere. In the 
following year he began to travel again, visiting in the 
course of a prolonged tour, Germany, England, the 
Netherlands, Italy and Russia. While at St. Petersburg 
he was created Chamber Virtuoso to the Tsar 
Alexander; he remained in the Russian capital until 
18 1 5, when he was again to be found in Paris. Louis 
XVIII. created him first violinist of the royal chamber 
musicians, and a short time later, musical accompanist 
to the Duchesse de Berry. He, however, did not abandon 
his travels, but with the once popular pianist, Herz, he 
made one of his most successful tours, which came to a 
tragic close on the 14th August, 1839, owing to Lafont 
meeting with a fatal accident through the overturning 
of his carriage in the south of France. 

It is well known that while at Milan in 1S16, Lafont 
challenged Paganini to a contest of violin playing. The 
contest took place in La Scala, and Lafont was worsted, 
which Fetis attributed chiefly to the fact that the 
" duel " took place in Italy, and naturally Italian sym- 
pathy was with the Italian violinist, Paganini. 

Lafont was, like so many of his predecessors and 


contemporaries in the front rank of violinists, a prolific 
composer, the list of his works containing no less than 
seven violin concertos and a great mass of variations, 
rondos, fantasias, etc., as well as quantities of duets for 
violin and pianoforte, written in conjunction with Herz, 
Kalkbrenner and others. He also composed upwards of 
two hundred songs and romances and two operas, all of 
which are now completely forgotten. 

His violin, a superb Joseph Guarnerius del Gesu, is 
said to be now in the possession of Adolf Brodsky. It 
w^as for a long time one of the gems of the Golding 
collection in London. 


BORN on the 24th July, 1832, at Kulmbach in 
Bavaria, Lauterbach has grown into one of the 
worthiest of contemporary vioHnists. After 
studying at the Gymnasium in Wiirzburg, and at the 
same time enjoying the benefit of musical instruction of 
Bratsch and Frohlich, he determined to devote himself 
to a musical career instead of adopting that of science 
for which he had been destined by his parents, and with 
this purpose in view he went under De Beriot in 1850 
at Brussels. The famous writer, Fetis, who at that time 
was director of the Brussels Conservatorium, taught 
Lauterbach the theory of music. In 1851 the young 


violinist gained the gold medal for \-iolin playing at the 
Conservatorium, and shortly afterwards he deputized 
for Leonard, the learned professor of the violin. Lauter- 
bach next began to travel, and passing through the 
Netherlands, Belgium and Germany he came to Munich 
where in 1853 ^^ "^vas appointed a directing member of 
the Royal band, and teacher of the violin at the 

In 1860 Lipinski died at Dresden where he had held 
the post of first Concertmeister of the royal band. 
Schubert was then promoted to the place thus left 
vacant, and Lauterbach succeeded Schubert as second 
leader. In 1873, however, when the latter retired on a 
pension, Lauterbach was advanced to fill his place, and 
at the same time he became professor of the violin in the 
Conservatorium and founded in conjunction with Hiill- 
weck, Gohring and Griitzmacher, the string quartet 
which has long been inseparably connected with his 

During this time, too, he found an opportunity to 
travel, and he visited England in 1864, again in 1865, 
and Paris in 1870. On the 23rd of April of the latter 
year he played in the Tuileries, and was presented by 
the Emperor with a gold snuff box set with diamonds. 
In 1872 he visited Vienna, and in 1875 Copenhagen. 
In 1889 he retired from his post in Dresden and was 
succeeded by Henri Petri. 


BORN August 30th, 1S20, at Zack in Bohemia, 
where his father held an official position, Drey- 
schock was enabled through the generous foresight 
of his father, an enthusiastic amateur musician, and 
through his elder brother, Alexander, the distinguished 
pianist, to ground himself thoroughly in all that is related 
to the beginnings of a virtuoso's career. When eleven 
years old Raimund Dreyschock was sent by his father 
to the Prague Conservatorium where Friedrich Wilhelm 
Pixis was his special master for violin playing. When 
he had completed the course there he made a number 


of professional tours, after which (in 1845) he went to 
Leipzig, and appeared in a Gewandhaus concert with 
such success as to be offered the post of second concert- 
master in the orchestra (where he sat next David), and 
teacher of the vioHn in the Conservatorium. There he 
worked with immense zeal, and both as a teacher and as 
a performer his efforts were crowned with success. In 
the latter capacity he was a most efficient help-meet of 
David. Dreyschock deemed himself greatly honoured 
by the invitation to take part in the festival concerts 
given to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the founding 
of the Prague Conservatorium. In 1851 he married the 
once well-known singer Elizabeth Nose, who like her 
husband was highly esteemed in the Leipzig musical 
world. Dreyschock finally retired from professional life 
in 1S6S, and died on February 6th, i86g. 


ALTHOUGH, strictly speaking, he belongs to the 
i8th century, yet Fiorillo may almost be reckoned 
among composers of a much later date since his 
principal works only began their long course of popularity 
after they were adopted by Spohr and Ferdinand David. 
This is especially true of the thirty-six caprices. 

Fiorillo was born in 1753, at Brunswick, where his 
father, Ignazio, was Court-Chapel-master. It is not 
known who his teachers were, but Federigo Fiorillo 
most assuredly owed much to his father's guidance and 
teaching both of instrumental playing and composition. 
At thirty years of age he became conductor at Riga, but 
in 1785 he visited Paris as a virtuoso, and three years 
later he proceeded to London where he played the viola 
in Salomon's quartet as well as in the Ancient Concerts. 
It is not known why he adopted the viola, but it is 


probable that the step arose from his inability to obtain 
anything approaching great success as a violinist. 
Towards the close of the i8th century he retired to 
Amsterdam, where it is surmised he died, but neither 
the date nor place is kHown. 

Fiorillo wrote a large number of compositions, a 
lengthy list of which is given by Fetis : but the only 
works by him now known at all are the above-mentioned 


LAUB was recognised generally as a virtuoso of the 
first rank, and his long course of travel through 
two hemispheres for concert purposes gave him 
some sort of a position in the world at large. Masterly 
bowing, splendid tone and dexterity of the left hand, 
absolute purity and richness of tone and intonation, 
refined and sympathetic reading of the works to be 
played, were some of his attributes. Wheresoever he 
went and played, there he aroused the greatest enthusiasm. 
He was born on ths 19th January, 1832, at Prague, 
where his father, a musician, gave him his earliest 



instruction in the art of music. When six years old he 
already played De Beriot's variations and at the age of 
nine he made a concert tour in Bohemia. In 1843 
Moritz Mildner heard the youth in a concert the latter 
gave at Prague, and was so struck by his obvious gifts 
as to undertake the charge of his future education ; 
Laub then became a pupil of the Prague Conservatorium. 
At this time he received every encouragement from 
Berlioz and Ernst, and a few years later the Archduke 
Stephan extended to him his patronage, presented him 
with an Amati violin and gave him a letter of recom- 
mendation to some celebrities in Vienna, whither Laub 
betook himself in 1847. 

There he gave some well attended concerts and later 
began to travel towards Paris, giving concerts at the 
principal towns of Southern Geni-\d.ny en route. At Paris 
Berlioz showed him every mark of favour. Laub visited 
London for the first time in 1851, and two years later 
he succeeded Joachim in the Music School at Weimar. 
But it seemed impossible for him to settle down any- 
w^here, for in 1855 he was teacher of the violin at the 
Stern- Marx Conservatorium in Berlin, in 1856 Concert- 
meister of the Royal orchestra and Chamber virtuoso. 
In the winter he established a series of chamber concerts 
when a number of classical and modern quartets were 
introduced and made a considerable reputation for the 

In 1864 he joined Carlotta Patti, Jaell and the violon- 
cellist Kellermann in a long and lucrative concert-tour 
through the Netherlands and Southern Germany. In 
Vienna he remained some little time and then went to 
Russia, where he became in 1866 first professor of the 
violin at the Conservatorium and leader of the Musical 
Society's concerts at jNIoscow. During his holidays he 
travelled over the greater part of Europe giving concerts 
everywhere and always with pronounced success. In 
1874 ^^ ^^'^^ compelled by ill-health to resign his posts 
at Moscow; he then went to Carlsbad to recruit, and 
planned there a new concert tour, which, however, was 


nullified by his death at Gries near Bozen in the Tyrol, 
on the 17th March, 1875. 

Of his compositions that which alone is now heard to 
any extent is the hackneyed Polonaise which is in the 
repertoire of every violinist. 



THOUGH among the younger of contemporary- 
artists Gregorowitsch has risen in an incredibly 
short space of time to be a virtuoso par excellence 
who can compare favourably with such masters as 
Sauret and Sarasate. Indeed, his tone is already 
superior to that of the latter in quantity, and the smooth- 
ness and elegance of his playing are very slightly inferior. 
He was born 25th October, 1867, at St. Petersburg, 
and early showed a great inclination for music by 
attempting to play tunes on a diminutive violin which 
had been presented to him. His father, a well informed 


amateur musician, recognised the boy's talent and began 
his education himself; he next sent him to Moscow 
where under Beserkirskij and later under Wieniawski, 
he studied until his fifteenth year. When the latter 
master heard the boy for the first time he was so struck 
by his enormous promise as to offer to take him for his 
pupil gratis. Gregorowitsch was his last pupil. 

From Moscow the boy went to Vienna to pursue his 
studies under Dont ; and later he went to Berlin to learn 
from Joachim, so that he has had the advantage of the 
very best teaching procurable. 

His professional tours have led him already over the 
whole of Europe including England, and in St. Petersburg 
and Gatschina he was especially welcomed by the late 
Tsar. In Lisbon he was " decorated " by the king. 

At the present time the young artist lives in Berlin 
where in the last few years he has frequently appeared 
in the Philharmonic and other of the best concerts with 
unvarying and unfailing success. 


THIS eminent violinist enjoys a great reputation for 
his rendering of the classical as well as the 
modern masters ; his technique is superb, his tone 
pure and beautiful. He was one of the first to perform 
in public Brahms's violin concerto, and the works of this 
master he has done much to promulgate. 

Heermann was born at Heilbronn, 3rd March, 1844, 
and to his mother, an enthusiast for music, he is indebted 
for his first insight of the beauties of music. Beginning 
serious study at eight, he appeared as a " prodigy" when 
nine ; but the main result of this premature appearance 
was the introduction to Rossini which followed from it. 


The maestro recognised the boy's gifts and gave him a 
recommendation to Fetis — then director of the Conserva- 
torium in Brussels. Here Heermann studied under 
Meerts ; and three years later he won the first prize for 
violin playing, and thus was enabled and incited to 
prosecute his studies further. This he did until he 
attained the highest limits of virtuosity. While living 
in Brussels he had many opportunities of hearing 
Leonard, De Beriot, Vieuxtemps and Joachim; and he 
also went for a time to Paris, but he soon returned to his 
native land. 

After appearing as soloist in a concert at Frankfort in 
1865, Heermann was offered and accepted the post of 
leader of the Museum Quartet, and later of the orchestra; 
in 1878 he became professor of the violin at the Hoch 
Conservatorium, where he had ample opportunities for 
exercising his great gifts as a teacher. He has made 
many concert-tours in Europe and has also appeared 
more than once in English concert- rooms — notably at 
the Crystal Palace and the Henschel Symphony 


IN the artistic life of Ferdinand David are two facts 
which must not be lost sight of. He was a pupil 
of Spohr and an intimate friend of Mendelssohn. 
One of the greatest of modern violinists led him up to 
the highest pinnacles of fame in art, while Mendelssohn's 
influence it was that induced the directorate of the 
Leipzig Gewandhaus Institution to appoint him leader 
of their famous orchestra. On the founding of the once 
famous Conservatorium at Leipzig, too, David became 
principal professor of the violin there. And so his path 
was made smooth for him, and he was afforded ample 
opportunity for developing his deeply musical nature. 
The fact that he was a pupil of Spohr and his official 


position both kept him from the one-sidedness of a 
modern virtuoso's career. David was never a virtuoso 
in our modern meaning of the term. Although he was 
regarded as the chief exponent of Spohr's school, yet in 
his ripest artistic years it was not Spohr's style that 
characterised his performance so much as a mixture of 
the German and of the French styles, the latter of which 
at that time was so admirably represented by De Beriot 
and Vieuxtemps. 

Both in his capacity of leader of the Gewandhaus 
orchestra and as concert-master of the opera band, his 
example was of infinite service to young artists, while 
his classes in the Conservatorium, where he met with 
quite extraordinary success as a teacher, afforded him 
the opportunity for imbuing others with his splendid 
theories in a thoroughly practical manner. A very large 
number of prominent violinists have to thank him for 
what they know of violin playing, and one and all 
regard him with the deepest affection. To each b^ 
devoted himself with an energy and care that are but 
rarely found in the present day, and the peculiarities of 
every pupil were made a special study, so that none lost 
his individuality. As a quartet-player, too, David was 
quite in the front rank, and if the quartet of which he 
was leader, has been surpassed since by those led by 
Joachim in Berlin and London, the Florentine quartet, 
and that presided over by Brodsky when he was in 
Leipzig, still David's was one of the best in existence 
in the days before Joachim and the others. 

Ferdinand David was born on January 19th, 1810, at 
Hamburg, and there he lived through the terrible inci- 
dents of the French occupation and its consequent trials. 
Little is known of his youth, but it has been stated 
authoritatively that he appeared in a concert with great 
success when but ten years of age. In 1823 he became 
a pupil of Spohr at Cassel, and remained there until 
1826. It is odd that no mention of this is made by 
Spohr in his autobiography ; but despite the omission 
there seems no doubt that David was at this time his 


pupil. After the completion of his studies, David went 
on tour with his sister, well-known as Mme. Dulcken 
(who was a year younger than he), an accomplished 
pianist. He next entered the orchestra of the then 
existing Konigstadter Theater in Berlin, in 1827, and 
there he remained for three years. There, too, he made 
the acquaintance of Mendelssohn, and at once became 
on intimate terms wath the great composer ; and it 
appears that his future father-in-law, Von Liphart, a 
rich musical amateur living at Dorpat, heard him at 
Berlin. At any rate David gave up his orchestral post 
in 1829 to enter the Dorpat quartet, a private concern 
of Liphart's where David found ample opportunity to 
pursue his studies further. He undertook several con- 
cert-tours to Riga, St. Petersburg, Moscow^ etc., and 
when in 1835 Mendelssohn was summoned to Leipzig to 
conduct the Gewandhaus concerts, he did not forget his 
friend David, but engaged him in the following year as 
concert-master there. So refined and skilful a musician 
as David, was, of course, of great service to INIendelssohn, 
a fact which was not lost sight of in 1843 when the latter 
founded the Conservatorium, and appointed David to 
undertake charge of the violin classes. This was no mean 
compliment to the young artist, for it must not be for- 
gotten that among the professors at the institution were 
Schumann and Hauptmann. The intimacy between 
Mendelssohn and David ripened as the years passed, 
and was beneficial to both. David, however, long out- 
lived his friend; he died on July i8th, 1873, when 
travelling in Switzerland. 

Among David's compositions may be mentioned a 
concertino, five concertos, variations, a number of solo 
pieces, a well known collection of pieces arranged for 
the violin, rondos, caprices, a sextet, a quartet, a con- 
certo for trombone, tw^o symphonies, and an opera, 
" Hans Wacht." (To the last was added, by the face- 
tious public, the sub-title " and the public sleeps.") A 
large number of compositions by the classical masters 
was edited and published by David during the last 


years of his life, and he brought the work of many 
seventeenth and eighteenth century composers up to 
date so far as the technique is concerned. In his way he 
was a great man, and he was quite universally respected 
and even beloved. 



IT is a good proof of his artistic capabilities that Hilf 
is now professor in the great school at Leipzig in 
which he himself was educated musically; and 
that he obtained the post vacated by his former master. 
Born on the i6th March, 1858, at Bad Elster in Saxony, 
he began his musical studies with his father and his 
uncle, who had been a pupil of Ferdinand David. When 
thirteen years of age he entered the Leipzig Conserva- 
torium, and for four years enjoyed the benefit of the 
advice of David, Engelbert Rontgen and Schradieck. 
In 1878 he was summoned to Moscow^ as teacher of the 



violin in the Conservatorium there, and for ten years he 
occupied the post. In 1888 he returned to Germany as 
leader of the Court-band at Sondershausen. But before 
he had been there a year, he was appointed leader of 
the Gewandhaus and Theatre orchestras at Leipzig, and 
in 1 89 1 he succeeded Brodsky as professor of the violin 
in the Conservatorium and leader of the famous Brodsky- 

Hilf possesses an enormous technique, and of late 
years has made rapid strides as leader of the quartet. 
He resigned his post in the theatre to gain time for more 
concert-playing ; he is, however, still teacher of the 
violin in the Conservatorium, and enjoys a good reputa- 
tion in that capacity. 


BORN at ]\Iannheim, 3rd November, 1848, Heck- 
mann had a more than usually sound musical 
education, for his father brought him to a high 
pitch of excellence in pianoforte-playing, while Jean 
Becker, Naret-Koning, and Ferdinand David were one 
and all instrumental in teaching him the violin. Vincenz 
Lachner and Hauptmann were his masters for composi- 
tion. When fourteen years old Heckmann was appointed 
to a place in the Mannheim orchestra, and three years 
later he went to the Leipzig Conservatorium, a step 


rendered easy by the generosity of the Grand Duke of 
Baden. In his second year at Leipzig he received a 
prize, and almost immediately afterwards became leader 
of the "Euterpe " orchestra. In 1869 ^e went to Paris 
to learn from Alard and Leonard, and in the next year 
he betook himself to Berlin. In 1872 he was summoned 
to Cologne as leader and soloist in the town orchestra, 
and there and elsewhere he made a splendid reputation 
by his playing, especially of the works of Bruch and 

At Cologne he founded his famous quartet and with it 
he travelled through Europe and England, but it never 
attained so great a reputation as did that of his teacher, 
Becker. In later years the influence of Heckmann's 
quartet seemed rather to wane because of the constant 
repetition of the same works. In 1873 Heckmann 
married Marie Hertvvig, a former pupil of Moscheles and 
Wenzel, and his performances of classical duos with her 
were quite unsurpassed. In the works of Brahms, 
Gernsheim and other modern composers, too, they were 
hardly less successful. 

In the winter of 1891 Heckmann came to England 
and while on tour he died (November 29th) of influenza 
at Glasgow. 


THE exact date of Geminiani's birth is apparently 
unknown ; some authorities give 1666, others 
1680,* the chief EngHsh authorities 1689, as the 
correct date. He was born at Lucca where Luccatif 
(otherwise II Gobbo) taught him to play the violin, 
after which he w^ent for further study to Corelli, and 
still later became concert-master at Naples ; Burney 
states that Scarlatti taught him counterpoint. When 
Geminiani came in 1714 to England he had already a 

* Sir John Hawkins states that Geminiani was born in 1680. 
f The name of Geminiani's teacher was Lunati. 


good reputation as a violinist, and he lost no time in 
playing before an audience of well-informed amateurs 
who welcomed him with great warmth. Several of them 
in fact were desirous of patronising him as was the 
custom in those days, but he was acute enough to select 
the king's friend, Baron Kilmansegg for his patron. 
To him Geminiani dedicated twelve violin solos which 
created so great a sensation when first heard that 
the Baron was compelled to recommend him to the 
king's notice immediately afterwards. Kilmansegg laid 
Geminiani's compositions before the king, who looked 
them through and expressed a desire to hear them played 
by the composer. At that time Handel was not a pevsona 
grata at Court, and it was for Geminiani to decide 
whether he would help the master or seek only his own 
ends. He determined upon the former course and told 
the Baron that Handel alone could accompany him. 
Kilmansegg believed this, and with the king's consent 
the two musicians appeared in due course and played 
the music at St. James's Palace. So gratified was the 
king by the performance that Handel was once more 
restored to the royal favour and awarded a pension of 
^200 a year in addition to that already granted to him by 
Anne of Denmark. On the other hand, Geminiani was 
practically ignored and had to content himself with such 
presents as his influential friends made him, and a good 
income derived from his well-remunerated teaching. 
He did not often appear as a player, but when he did 
perform in public he was always warmly welcomed as 
the greatest master of his instrument ; his six concertos 
for violin were very popular. 

Geminiani was continually in want ; he had a grand 
passion for paintings, and instead of making music he 
painted and also gave high prices for the pictures of 
others. In this manner his fortune vanished. In order 
to retain his liberty, which his creditors were always 
seeking to restrain, he besought one of his pupils, the 
Earl of Essex, to take him in as his servant, and it is a 
fact that one day the Earl was compelled to reclaim him 



as he was being taken away to prison for debt. In 1727 
the Earl of Essex obtained for Geminiani, through Sir 
Robert Walpole, the post of a royal musical director in 
Ireland in order to help him out of his great straits. 
Unfortunately for him he could only take the office on 
condition of renouncing his Roman Catholic belief and 
accepting the faith of the Church of England; this step 
he found impossible and he remained as before in want.* 

In 1745 Geminiani undertook the management of the 
theatre in the Haymarket, but his complete ignorance of 
all business matters as well as his inability to conduct 
an orchestra or hold a choral rehearsal merely brought 
him into still greater difficulties, and after a few evenings 
he was obliged to close the doors. 

To crown all, his servant stole a work at which he 
had laboured during many years, while he was travelling 
to Ireland in 1761 ; and from this loss he never seems to 
have recovered, for he died at Dubourg's house at Dublin, 
September 24th, 1762.! 

In addition to the solos already mentioned, Geminiani 
composed a number of concertos, sonatas, trios, duets 
for violin and violoncello, besides several educational 
works which were of considerable value at the time at 
which they were written. His " Art of Playing the 
Violin" in twenty-three parts with twelve exercises, 
Avhich appeared in London in 1740, was the first book 
of its kind to be published in any country. He also 
wrote a work on the " Art of Accompaniment " which, 
however, is of little value. 

* It is said that Horace Walpole worked assiduously to keep 
Geminiani out of the Dublin appointment, which was the 
conductorship of the vice-regal band. Dubourg, who received 
the appointment, had been a pupil of Geminiani. 

t The date of death is variously given as 17th and 24tli September. 

Note. — A good reason for Geminiani's want of permanent success 
as a violinist is " the impetuosity of his feelings, and his vagueness 
and unsteadiness as a timeist." 

Geminiani went to Paris in 1750 and remained there nearly five 


WAS born at Warsaw on October 23rd," 1825, 
and in many quarters he has been deemed 
the nearest approach to Paganini among all 
violinists. His elder brother, Carl, also a violinist, gave 
the subject of this sketch his first instruction in violin- 
playing when the latter was but four years of age. It 
will seem odd to many of. my readers to be told that 
this instruction took the form of lessons in the art of 
playing the concertos of Rode and others ! Together 
with other members of his family (Carl, born 1815; 

* Grove corrects 1825 to 1826 



Eugene, born 1816, a pianist; Anton, born 1817, also a 
pianist; and Stanislaus, born 1820, another pianist;), 
Apollinari when twelve years old appeared in a concert 
at Paris and aroused the greatest enthusiasm. There 
Paganini heard him and declared his readiness to give 
him some lessons. This decided de Kontski's artistic 
line, and that Paganini was attached to the young Pole 
is amply testified to by the fact that he left him in his 
will his violins and the care of his violin compositions. 
In 1848 De Kontski toured in Germany, and in 1853 in 
Russia, where the Tsar Nicholas created him chamber- 
musician. In St. Petersburg he remained until 1861, 
when he withdrew to his native town and founded there 
a Conservatorium at the head of which he placed him- 
self; this school became quite distinguished under his 

De Kontski wrote a number of works for the violin, 
all of which, though of no great musical value, make 
great calls on the technical equipment of the player. 
De Kontski died at Warsaw, June 29th, 1879. 


THIS eminent virtuoso has to thank no less than 
three great teachers for the skill he possesses : 
Spohr, whose favourite pupil he was, David and 
Joachim. He was born in Briickenau in Bavaria on the 
15th August, 1 83 1, and after having learnt the elements 
of music from his father, he entered the music school at 
Wiirzburg, afterwards proceeding to Cassel, where his 
master was Spohr. From Cassel he went to Leipzig, 
and next to Hanover, studying the while with zeal and 
energy. Through the instrumentality of Spohr he was 
appointed first-violinist in the Prince's band at Cassel, 
but at the same time he made frequent concert-tours, 
and in 1867 became leader of the grand Ducal orchestra 


at Weimar, where he worked hard as a teacher as well 
as a player ; in the latter capacity he appeared regularly 
in a quartet in which his instrument was the viola. 

Kompel was probably the last of the real pupils of 
Spohr, whose concertos he played until the last days of 
his life in a manner that was quite masterly. Rumpel 
died at Weimar, 7th April, 1891. 


THE sentence which one may find in every musical 
lexicon when one refers to a violinist, " played in 
public already when a child," will not be missed 
if one looks for the name of the famous virtuoso which 
stands at the head of this sketch. Hollander was born 
at Leobschiitz in Silesia, February 15th, 1855, and 
according to the books he showed a strong inclination 
for music at a very early age, and learned without diffi- 
culty under his father's guidance all that was put before 
him. More thorough understanding of the scientific and 
systematic sides of the art could, of course, be only 
grasped after sound training in a good school. In the 


latter Hollander studied, for after leaving his father's 
care he went to the Leipzig Conservatorium, where his 
master was no other than Ferdinand David, on leaving 
whom he went under Joachim for the violin and Kiel 
for theory at Berlin, where he remained until 1874. He 
was then appointed chamber musician with a place in 
the Berlin Opera orchestra, and in 1875 violin teacher at 
Kullak's musical institute in the same capital. He had 
a good opportunity for making a reputation in a lengthy 
tour he took in Austria with the late Mme. Carlotta 
Patti ; and the chamber concerts which he gave in 
conjunction with Griinfeld and Xaver Scharwxnka in 
1878-81 in the Berlin " Singakademie " further enhanced 
his reputation as well as afforded him opportunities for 
thoroughly studying the art of quartet and trio playing. 

In 1 88 1 he was called to fill the important post of 
leader of the orchestra at the Gurzenich concerts at 
Cologne, and at the same time he was appointed 
professor of the violin at the Conservatorium there ; in 
1884 he added to these appointments that of leader at 
the Opera. In Cologne he was a member of a quartet 
over which Prof. Japha presided, and when the latter 
retired, Hollander became its leader. During this 
Cologne period, however, Hollander had made several 
concert-tours in Germany, Belgium, Holland, etc., and 
everywhere his success was as great as it was well- 

As a composer he has written a goodly number of 
works for his instrument which have added to his repu- 
tation as a sound and good musician. 


PERHAPS the position of this virtuoso in the 
artistic world is best characterised by Viotti's 
saying — " he is the French Tartini." 

Born at Bordeaux on the 26th May, 1726 (Laborde 
says nth May, 1728), he appeared already in 1741 in 
one of the famous Paris Concerts Spi/ituels as a "finished " 
artist, no one who heard him being able to say with 
whom he studied ; however, that point signified nothing, 
for Gavinies at once won all hearts. His playing seems 
to have been quite wonderful and in works of both a 
passionate and cantabile style he is said to have excelled. 

Almost immediately after his first appearance he was 
engaged as first soloist at the Concerts Spirituels — the only 
institution in Paris at which an artist at that period 
could obtained a hearing. For thirty years he occupied 


this post, and the older biographers are unanimous in 
declaring him to have easily surpassed all other violinists 
of the day — Pugnani, Ferrari, Stamitz and so forth. 

In 1773 he was appointed director of the Concerts 
Spirituels with Gossec, and he retained this office until 
1777, his directing being quite famous everywhere. 
When the Paris Conservatorium was founded in 1794, 
Gavinies was elected Director, but he did not take office 
until 1796 when the storm of the revolution had calmed 
down. As to his many adventures with coquettish 
ladies numerous stories are told, and his denunciation 
by a prominent social worthy led to his imprisonment 
in the Bastile. He died 9th September, 1800, and his 
death was followed by a panegyric delivered by Mme. 
Pipelot (Princess Salm) in the Lyceum of Arts. A 
large number of his compositions are published but little 
known. They include six concerti, six sonatas, three 
solo- sonatas, and a three-act opera ^^Les Prefendus.'' 


THE maestro of Padua, or, as his countrymen called 
him rather pathetically because of the numerous 
young men who streamed to him from every land, 
the maestro of nations, is and remains one of the most 
splendid and noblest creatures in the beautiful art of 
violin playing. He stands upon the same high level 
whether as a practical artist or as a teacher and 
promulgator of a new style of music. The purity of his 
methods and courage of his efforts were never spoiled 
either by vanity or by the desire for gain. A number of 
passages in his life go to prove amply that his one 


ideal was to attain to the loftiest and most lovely in Art ; 
and that this goal he kept in view even until the day of 
his death. In his endeavours to attain this end he had 
drawn round himself, as it were, a certain poetical 
magic circle, a small, comfortable home from which he 
could not be tempted to move either by the allurements of 
gold or the prospects of fame. With a piety that had at 
once stripped from him all that was commonly deemed 
masculine, he served his art, which in his soul and even 
in his hands was regarded with almost reverential devo- 
tion. When arrived at a great age, when a long life of 
active labour lay behind him, it was to him a veritable 
gratification to attend at church and play there some 
adagio. Had he the desire to compose, so he took down 
and read a volume of verse by his favourite poet, whose 
lines touched his very soul. 

Lahoussaye, one of his many pupils (who once was 
the hero of a conflict with Leclair) speaks thus of 
Tartini's playing. " It is impossible for me to express 
the astonishment and admiration which the purity and 
fine quality of his tone, the rare beauty of his expression, 
the magic of his bowing — in a word the very complete- 
ness of his artistic capabilities —aroused in me." 

Another contemporary opinion — that of Quantz, the 
famous flautist of Frederic the Great — who heard him 
in Prague, I give here ; but the second part of it I 
have suppressed because it treats of an entirely false 
impression of his character. " He was in point of fact 
one of the very greatest violinists. He produced a 
beautiful tone from his instrument. Fingers and bow 
were equally under subjection. The greatest difficulties 
he overcame with consummate ease, and invariably 
with perfect purity. His trill, aye, even his double 
trill, he played equally well with any of his fingers ; and 
both in rapid and in sustained passages he introduced 
many double stops, and played with much pleasure in 
the highest positions." 

How seriously Tartini took his art, and how in order 
completely to equip himself in it he set all else aside, is 


shown by an occurrence which happened to him when 
he was four-and-twenty years of age, and already famous. 
Veracini happened to be in \'enice, charming all by the 
mastery of his playing. There it was that the Elector 
of Saxony heard him play and induced him, to his ever- 
lasting misfortune, to go to Dresden. The gentlefolk of 
Venice thought it a pretty matter to initiate an artistic 
duel between two such giants in art as Veracini and 
Tartini. They therefore made an appropriate pretext 
to induce the latter to come from Padua and appear in 
the Mocenigo Palace (where an "Academy" had been 
temporarily created for the pleasure of the Elector) in 
opposition, as it were, to Veracini. The two met ; but 
hardly had Tartini heard the elder master play than he 
recognised the fact that to him belonged by right the 
palm, and he withdrew in silence, not, however, to com- 
plain, but to set to work once more on a thorough 
system of bowing, in which branch of the art he acknow- 
ledged Veracini's pre-eminence. 

Tartini's models were Corelli and Vivaldi ; but before 
he was in a position to add to what they had bequeathed 
to the world he had to live many years nf struggle. He 
was born on the 12th April, 1692, at Pirano in Istria, 
and was ordained by his father, a noble of Parenzo, for 
the priesthood, the Franciscan brotherhood being selected 
for him. To this end he attended two schools, in the 
second of which, at Capo d'lstria, he found an opportunity 
to have a few violin lessons. For the priesthood the 
youth had not the slightest inclination, and as he began 
early to show some opposition, his father allowed him in 
1710 to go to Padua to study law. But this proved no 
better than the other, Tartini manifesting an inclination 
only for the violin, fighting and — love ! He had 
advanced almost far enough to become a master of fence 
when he met a young Paduese lady with whom, like 
Romeo and Juliet, he contracted a secret marriage. In 
consequence of this youthful indiscretion he aroused 
enmity from two sides. From his parents, who promptly 
cut off supplies, and from the powerful bishop of Padua, 


Cardinal Giorgio Cornaro, a relative of the young bride, 
who in a fit of anger attempted to take the bold Tartini 
on the score of abduction. 

Tartini, therefore, was compelled to flee, and he 
wandered for some time clad as a pilgrim. Suddenly he 
recollected that he had a relative in the Minorite 
monastery at Assisi, whither he fled and found temporary 
safety. There common-sense pointed out to him the 
right path, and he became an artist. The very musical 
organist of the monastery. Friar Boerno, taught him the 
violin, and to such an advantage that with well-applied 
study and by dint of infinite labour he achieved great 
success. Often he appeared in the chapel as solo 
violinist, and on one occasion of his playing he was seen 
and recognised by a Paduese gentleman, who broke the 
intelligence of Tartini's presence in the monastery in 
Padua. Meanwhile the wrath of the good bishop had 
disappeared, and Tartini was enabled to return to his 
true wife and resume his position as a family man. 

On his return to Padua he was appointed in 1721 
violinist in the band of the Church of San Antonio, led 
by Antonio Valotti, one of the best in Italy. 

At this period the " Devil's Trill " Sonata had already 
been composed, the story of which Tartini himself told 
thus : " One night I dreamt that I had sold my soul to 
the devil. All went well ; my new servant appeared at 
my every wish. Once I lent him my violin to see if he 
could play anything thereon that was in truth fine and 
distinguished. Think of my amazement when I heard 
a sonata so beautiful, and played with such art and 
intelligence that not even the highest flight of fancy 
could equal it ! I was so overcome, so charmed, so 
entranced, that I almost ceased to breathe, and — awoke. 
Immediately I grasped my violin in order to preserve at 
least a part of the piece I had heard in my dreams. In 
vain ! The music I then composed is indeed the best I 
produced in my whole life, and I called it the " Devil's 
Sonata," but the difference between it and that I heard 
is so great that I would have destroyed my violin and 


forgotten for ever the music, had it been possible for me 
to forego the pleasure I then enjoyed." 

Very shortly after his return to public life his fame 
spread rapidly through Italy, for he had acquired much 
during his residence in the quiet monastery, and every- 
where he charmed by his sympathetic tone as by the 
fleetness of his technique. In 1723 he was invited to 
Prague to assist at the brilliant ceremony of the crown- 
ing of the Emperor, Charles VI., a lover of pomp and 
circumstance. Here the wealthy Count Kinsky captured 
him, so to say, for his private band, and bound him down 
for three years. Then Tartini returned to Italy, and 
never afterwards quitted Padua. In 1728 he founded 
a music school there, whose fame soon spread over the 
whole world, and brought him a large number of pupils. 
Of these many achieved ultimate fame, such, for example, 
as Nardini, Bini, Alberghi, Ferrari, Carminati, Madame 
de Sirmin, Lahoussaye, etc. 

Although Tartini received only 400 ducats a year in 
his ecclesiastical office during eight and forty years, he 
remained true to the post. When Lord Middlesex 
offered him ^3,000 if he would come to London, he 
replied : " I have a wife of like feelings with mine, and 
no children. We are very happy in our present circum- 
stances, and if any desire rises in our hearts, it is not 
that of having more money." His duties as solo 
violinist in the church consisted only in his having to 
take part in the service at festivals, but he did much 
more than this, and every week he was to be heard. 
Thus a large number of his concertos and sonatas were 
composed only for use in church. 

The older Tartini grew the stronger also grew that 
earnest artistic zeal which he had methodically practised 
since he had first heard Veracini. He laid great stress 
upon bowing, and for exercises in bowing he had marked 
off his bow into four parts, each of which was again 
subdivided. In a letter (from which much might be 
learnt) to his pupil, the already mentioned Mme. de 
Sirmin (nee Lombardini) he wrote : " Your attention 


must principally be devoted to the use of the bow, for 
over that you must have a limitless mastery both in 
passage work and in cantabile music. The placing of 
the bow upon the strings is the first thing. This must 
be done so lightly that the first semblance of tone to be 
drawn forth appears more like a breath from the string 
itself than a stroke. After this light setting of the bow 
upon the strings, the actual stroke begins, and now you 
can strengthen the tone as much as you please, since 
after the light setting there is no longer a danger of the 
tone sounding scraping or scratching. This applies both 
to the up and down bow. 

" To make it powerful at once you must practice first 
messa di voce on one string, say the A string. Begin 
pianissimo and let the tone grow gradually more powerful 
until fortissimo is reached, which should be practised with 
up and down bows. . . . Remember, too, that this 
is not only the most important, but also the most difficult 
study. ... In regard to the placing of the fingers 
on the finger-board I can recommend one rule that 
applies throughout : — Take a first or second violin part 
from a concerto or mass or psalm — anything — the 
violin part of a symphony, of a trio and so forth — will 
do. Do not place the fingers in the ordinary positions 
but in the half positions, that is, the first finger on G on 
the E string, and play the w^hole part in this position so 
that the hand never lets itself be drawn from it as when 
A must be played on the lowest string and the upper D 
on the highest string. If this should occur you must 
return at once to the aforesaid position. This exercise 
must be practised with much diligence, until in fact you 
are in a position to play at sight any violin part. Then 
proceed further, with the first finger on A, and practice 
this as diligently as the first. When safe with this, 
proceed to a third, with the first finger on B, and later, 
when this is accomplished, even a fourth can be practised. 
With, the first finger on E on the E string. Thus you 
have a scale of positions which gives you a perfect com- 
mand over the whole finger-board." 


With similar accuracy and thoroughness as that with 
which he taught he went into the development of 
musical theories, only that here, for example, in the 
exposition of the origin of so-called combination-tones 
(a third tone heard when a double-stop is played), neither 
his own theoretical knowledge nor that of the scientific 
world at that time was sufficent to arrive at the right 
explanation. In his " Trattato di musica second o la vera 
scienza deiravmonia,'" and in "D^' principU deiravmonia 
musicak,'' etc., he closely examined and discussed the 
most difficult physical acoustic questions and often came 
in contest with his learned contemporaries. Yet it was 
not until the present day that Helmholtz solved those 
questions clearly and correctly ! 

Tartini's capacity for writing was for his time of such 
importance that the distinguished musical historian, 
Charles Burney, could say with Socrates : " What I 
understand of it is excellent, and therefore I am inclined 
to believe that that which I do not understand is also 
none the less excellent." 

On February 26th, 1770, the great artist died at 
Padua, tended at the end by his young pupil Nardini. 

He was buried in the church of Santa Catarina, and 
the choir, to which he had belonged, performed a requiem 
mass under his pupil and successor, Meneghini, in the 
Servite church, written by the director, \'alotti. 

As a composer Tartini surpassed in quantity and 
quality almost all of his artistic contemporaries. Some 
writers declare that he wrote upwards of 200 concertos, 
and as many sonatas, but others say the half of this. 
Fetis said that he left 120 violin concertos and forty- 
eight sonatas for violin and bass besides the printed 
works. Since 1734 upwards of fifty sonatas and eighteen 
concertos with quartet accompaniment have been pub- 
lished in Amsterdam, Paris and London. 

For teaching purposes he wrote " L'Arte dell' Arco," 
fifty variations on a piece by Corelli, and a school of 
ornaments, " Trattato delleappogiature." 

Part of a work he was writing during the last years of 


his life (in six books) ^^ Delle ragioni e delle proporzioni'' 
which the Paduese professor, Colombo, was to complete 
and publish, is lost. 

Tartini's manuscripts were bequeathed to his pupil, a 
Count Thurn and Taxis, but a number of hitherto quite 
unknown compositions have been found recently in 
Italian libraries, and several have already been published. 


Wx\S born of poor parents at Warsaw on the 22nd 
December, 1840. No information is forthcom- 
ing as to his eadiest musical studies, but he 
-very soon aroused considerable interest in himself by his 
talent, for when he was but twelve years of age some 
well-disposed and wealthy friends of music gave him the 
means to proceed to Paris to study in the Conservatoire, 
where he had Massart and Reber for his teachers in 
violin-playing and composition. 

When he had completed his course of study in the 
French capital hejgave a concert in Paris with undeni- 



able success, and then travelled to Leipzig and other 
German towns, where he was warmly welcomed. In 
Weimar he became (in iS62)solo violinist and chamber 
virtuoso to the Grand Duke. He was appointed pro- 
fessor of the violin in the Conser\-atorium at ^^'arsaw^ 
whence he made many successful concert-tours. In 
1872 he became professor of the violin at the Conserva- 
torium at Strassburg. Immediately afterwards, how- 
ever, he was attacked by a severe illness which prevented 
him entirely from following his profession during a whole 
year. On regaining his health he returned to Warsaw 
where he still lives. 

All w^ho heard Lotto on his first appearance in Leipzig, 
will agree with me when I declare that he had even then 
attained the highest point in technique reached by the 
French School, and that in spite of the advance of violin- 
playing quantitatively at least, he has not yet been 
surpassed in this respect. His unfailing accuracy in all 
conceivable difficulties, his double-harmonics, his won- 
derful staccato — such as \\'ieniawski alone has equalled 
— all made so great an effect that the Leipzig public were 
astounded, and Lotto appeared no less than three times 
in the theatre as well as in concerts. 

A few brilliant concert and drawing-room pieces^ 
written by Lotto, have appeared in print (but one never 
sees his name on an English concert programme). 


UNDER the firm guidance of Massart and with 
the high ideal of Joachim to emulate, Marsick 
has raised himself to a position among the fore- 
most solo and quartet violinists of the day. His tech- 
nique is as complete as his performances are full of 
intelligence, power and fire. Not only did the musically 
educated part of the public feel the deep impression 
he makes by his solo performances, and by his leading 
of the classical masterpieces of concerted chamber music, 
but also such masters as Vieuxtemps and Joachim 
recognised his very great ability. 


There was an element of romance in his youth. Born 
at Jupilie near Liege on the 9th March, 1S48 (according 
to Wasielewski, 1849) Marsick showed early so great an 
inclination and talent for music that when eight years 
old he became a pupil of the Music School at Liege. 

Two years later he gained the first prize in the pre- 
paratory classes, and in 1864 the gold medal, given only 
for phenomenal talent, became his. 

At this point a music-loving lady (whose name is not 
now forthcoming) interested herself in him, and found 
the money to defray his expenses of study in the Brussels 
Conservatoire, where from 1865-67 he studied the violin 
under Leonard, and composition under Kufferath. In 
1868-9 he studied at the Paris Conservatoire under 
Massart ; 1870-1 he studied (through the instrumentality 
of a Government subvention) under Joachim in Berlin. 

Next he travelled in France, Belgium, Germany and 
England, making for himself a great and distinguished 

In 1877 he instituted a quartet of himself, Remy, 
Waefelghem and Delsart in Paris, which has become 
famous throughout Europe. 

Marsick has published several compositions, some of 
which are well-known and popular. His three concertos 
and solo pieces with pianoforte accompaniment as well 
as his series of songs are all well worthy of mention. 


BORN on the 4th February, 1853, in Berlin, Walde- 
mar Meyer exhibited in his earUest youth so 
decided a talent for violin playing as to draw to 
himself the notice of Joachim, who, in fact, looked after 
his studies without any financial remuneration for no less 
than four years. Then he obtained for the youth, who 
had done him so great credit, a post among the first 
violins of the Berlin Court band. His large, full and 
noble tone and the genuinely musical intelligence of his 
performance stamped him at once as a virtuoso of high 
rank ; and his concert-tours, at first with Pauline Lucca 
and later by himself, through Germany, Belgium, France 


and England, were everywhere attended by success. 
The best and most eminent concert institutions have 
invited him to take part in their performances, and no 
doubt his share has always been a prominent and 
worthy one. 




THE sisters Milanollo came as violinist prodigies 
prominently before the public towards the end of 
the first half of last century, and no doubt the 
■outward appearance of two such charming girls on the 
concert platform helped materially to increase their suc- 
cess. Their life developed in a very simple and ordinary 
fashion. Therese was born on the i8th August, 1827, 
her sister on 18th June, 1S32, at Savigliano in Piedmont, 
where their father was a manufacturer of silk spinning 
machines. Therese was taught in Italy by three masters, 
Ferrero, Caldeon and Morra, but in 1836 she went to 
Paris where she became a pupil of Lafont, later of 
Habeneck, and still later in Brussels of De Beriot, so 
that she acquired the best traditions of the French and 
Belgian schools. 


From her ninth year she appeared as a concert player 
in pubHc. She was also her sister's teacher, and met 
with such success that Marie, too, acquired a superb 
technique. In 1840 the pair travelled in France, Holland, 
Belgium, Germany and England, everywhere arousing 
great interest and sympathy. There was a marked con- 
trast between their two natures which enhanced the 
general interest in them. Therese, the elder, was 
sentimental and serious, while Marie was happy and 
light-hearted. Yet it was the latter who, suftering from 
a weak constitution, was the first to be taken away by 
death. She died in Paris on the 21st October, 1848. 

After Therese had mourned her sister for a long time 
she travelled alone, and made almost greater success 
than before by reason of her improved performance. 
From 1853-6 she was in the zenith of her powers. Then 
Cupid crossed her path, and she forsook the artistic for 
the married life. She married in 1857 a French officer 
named Parmentier, who had won his spurs in the Crimea,, 
and w^ho later became general in the French Army. 


^^ AT ARDINI was Tartini's greatest pupil, a violinist 
j\ of Love, shaped in the womb of the Graces. 
The delicacy of his playing it is impossible to 
describe — each comma seemed a declaration of love. 

" The power of moving others was his in quite a re- 
markable degree. Princes and Court dames of the iciest 
of natures were seen to weep when he played an adagio. 
Even he himself often shed tears as he played. Every 
feeling of his soul he could interpret by means of his 
bow. His melancholy manner, however, was the cause 
of his not always being heard with pleasure ; he was 
capable of calling up the most extravagant fancies, 
reeking of the charnel house, as it were, from the most 
playful of dance measures. His bow was slow and 
dignified; but he never tore out the notes, as Tartini 


tore them, by the nut — rather did he persuade them 
gently with the point. His staccato was quite slow, 
each drop seemed a drop of blood flowing from souL 
o'erladen. It was supposed that unrequited affection 
was the cause of this melancholy character, and people 
who had heard him previously, said that in his youth 
his style was brilliant and light-hearted." 

In this poetical fashion Schubart characterised the 
violinist's art clearly enough in his collected works, \^ol. 
5, page 70. He had a finely trained technique, and he 
owed his undeniable right to be accounted an artist of 
the very highest rank to his phenomenal power of 
moving and impressing people with the instrument 
w^hich is said to approach nearest in tone to that of the 
human voice. It is impossible to say if there is any 
truth in the story of unrequited affection referred to 
above. To move his hearers and to conquer their 
hearts by the sheer beauty of his tone belonged to his 
particular virtuosity, and it must be recollected that he 
lived and laboured in a day when solemnity and eccle- 
siasticism were influential factors in every-day life, and 
so not unlikely to affect the tone of a violinist. 

Nardini's compositions are, generally speaking, not 
melancholy in character, but rather are happy and fresh. 
His D major sonata especially (edited by David, Sitt 
and others) is a beautiful and effective work. 

It is often said that the Allegro movements of his 
sonatas are overloaded by the too powerful sweetness of 
his cantilena. 

Nardini was born in 1722 at Fibiana in Tuscany. At 
Livorno, whither his parents removed, he received his 
earliest lessons in violin playing ; but later he was a 
pupil of Tartini in Padua. 

When four and twenty years of age, he began to 
appear in public, and he travelled throughout Italy and 
the neighbouring countries. In 1753 he was received by 
Duke Charles (not Grand Duke as usually stated in " the 
books "), the famous intellectual tyrant at Stuttgart, to 
whom he became solo violinist. There he remained 


until 1767, and there Schubart heard him before he 
(Schubart) was incarcerated in the Hohenasperg for- 
tress. During this — the Stuttgart period — Nardini 
made several concert tours, and visited Berlin among 
other places. 

When the Stuttgart Court band was remodelled, 
Nardini returned to Italy and took charge of his old 
sick teacher Tartini in Padua until his death. 

Once he played at Pisa before the Emperor Joseph II. 
of Austria. In 1770 the Grand Duke Leopold II. of 
Tuscany (of the Lothringen-Habsburg House) created 
him musical director and solo violinist at his Court, in 
which post he died on the 7th ]\Iay, 1793. 

Of his numerous compositions but few have been 
published. There are six violin concertos, sonatas, 
solos, quartets, duets and flute-trios. Two of his 
sonatas will be found in Alard's " Classical Masters " 
and David's " Hohe Schule des Violinspiels." 


EDUARD RAPPOLDI, the Royal Court leader 
in Dresden, has long since made a reputation for 
himself, not only as a thoroughly sound and 
earnest violin player, but also as a teacher and con- 
ductor. He was born in Vienna, 21st February, 1839, 
and studied in his native city under Leopold Jansa and 
Joseph Bohm (violin), and theory under Simon Sechter. 
After passing with credit through the Conservatorium, 
he became a violin member of the Vienna Royal Opera 
Orchestra (1854-61) ; then leader of the orchestra at 
Rotterdam, after which he was conductor at the Opera 
at Liibeck, Stettin and Prague. In later years he 


became professor of the violin at the Hochschule in 
BerHn — a post he exchanged in 1877 for that of leader 
at Dresden already referred to. 

Rappoldi has written and published a number of 
chamber-music compositions (but so far as I have 
been able to ascertain, they are unknown in London 


THIS artist must rightly be reckoned among the 
best of the virtuosi of his day whether as soloist, 
orchestral leader or teacher. He was born on 
the 5th April, 1836, at Leyst, near Utrecht, and received 
his earliest education in violin playing from his father, 
principal oboist in the Utrecht town orchestra. After 
his father's death the local leading violinist, Dahmen, 
continued teaching him, until in 1871 he went to Joachim 
in Berlin, with whom he stayed three years, means 
therefor being provided by King William of Holland. 
After his student period in Berlin, Petri spent a year 



and a half in Brussels to learn the Belgian side of his 

He first appeared in London (through Joachim's 
influence) in 1877. Then he went as leader of the 
orchestra to Sondershausen, where he remained three 
and a half years, and next occupied a similar post for a 
year and a half at Hanover. In October, 1882, he was 
called to Leipzig as co-leader of the Gewandhaus and 
theatre orchestra with Engelbert Rontgen. 

He was a member of the orchestra at the sixth Silesian 
musical festival in 1883, ^"^ soloist in 1886 and 1887. 

On Lauterbach's retirement in 1887 Petri succeeded 
him as leader of the Royal Saxon orchestra at Dresden, 
from which post Damrosch (in New York) tried hard but 
vainly to induce him to go to America to fill the post 
ultimately occupied by Brodsky. Petri has made many 
highly successful tours in Germany, Russia, Holland 
and Hungary, and is always warmly welcomed in his 
fatherland, and his son has attained a very distinguished 
position among modern pianists. 




THE brothers Alfred Holmes (born in London gth 
November, 1837) and Henry Holmes (born, also 
in London, 7th November, 1839) must be counted 
among the most distinguished English violinists of recent 
times. They received their education from their father 
(a self-taught musician), on the lines of Spohr's Violin 
School and the instructive works of Rode, Kreutzer and 
Baillot. In July, 1847, the brothers made their first 
appearance together on the boards of the Haymarket 
Theatre, but immediately afterwards they disappeared 
from the surface, as it were, in order to devote them- 
selves to further study. After their re-appearance in 
London in 1853 ^^^y niade a concert-tour in 1855 of 


Belgium, Germany, Austria and Sweden, making more 
or less prolonged stays in both Brussels and Stockholm. 
In 1S60 they went to Copenhagen, in 1861 to Amsterdam 
and in 1864 to Paris, where Alfred, the elder, took up 
his permanent abode, occasionally making a tour by 
himself. He composed a number of symphonies, over- 
tures and an opera Inez de Castro. He died in Paris, 
4th March, 1876. 

Henry Holmes wTote a violin concerto, two string 
quartets, a number of pieces for the violin solo, four 
symphonies, concert-overture, and two cantatas, and 
he also edited the violin sonatas of Corelli, Tartini, 
Handel and Bach. For some time the brothers Holmes 
were pupils of Spohr (who talks of them in his delightful 
" Autobiography "). The Cassel Capellmeister dedicated 
to them one of his last duets — a sufficient testimony to 
his belief in their gifts. 

Henry Holmes lived in London as professor at the 
Royal College of Music until 1888, when he went to 
California. He died in San Francisco in December 


WAS sixteen years of age when he made his first 
public appearance on the concert platform, and 
obviously he may be regarded as one of the 
most distinguished of the rising generation of violinists, 
since after the aforesaid debut Hanslick and Schelle, two 
of the shining lights of musical criticism in Vienna, 
declared that of the numerous young virtuosi who have 
appeared during the past few years, none stands upon 
so high a level as Rose, who combines an absolute 


mastery over all possible technical difficulties, with a 
perfect tone and intonation, and great expressive power. 

Arnold Josef Rose, born October 24th, 1863, at Jassy 
in Roumania, began at the age of seven to study the 
violin and at ten entered the first violin class of the 
Vienna Conservatorium under Professor Karl Heissler. 

In 1881 he made his first appearance at a concert in 
Vienna of the Philharmonic Society, when he played 
Goldmark's violin concerto ; and in the same year he 
was engaged by Director Jahn as solo violinist and leader 
of the orchestra at the Royal Court Theatre, which post 
he still holds. The year after the signing of the contract 
for this engagement he founded the Rose Quartet, w^th 
whom he travelled in Austria, Hungary, Siebenbiirgen, 
Italy, etc., and everywhere made his mark. 

In 188S-9 he made a most successful tour in Roumania 
and Germany, playing at — among other places — the Leip- 
zig Gewandhaus (Ernst's " Otello " Fantasia); Schwerin 
(Bruch's first violin concerto) ; Cassel (Wieniawski's 
"Faust" paraphrase). For some years Rose officiated 
as leader of the orchestra at the Bayreuth festivals, in 
the band of which he played for two years before rising 
to the higher position. 


THIS violinist, highly distinguished among modern 
virtuosi, who came of a German family named 
Hoffmann, was born at Heves in Hungary in 1830. 
From his twelfth to his fifteenth year he studied the 
violin under Joseph Bohm (Joachim's teacher) at the 
Vienna Conservatorium ; but in the insurrection of 1848 
he temporarily converted his fiddle-stick into a sword, 
and having changed his name or rather Hungarianised 
it, he became adjutant to the distinguished General 
Gorgey, and fought under Kossuth and Klapka in 
the war with Austria. When the insurrection was 
quelled he had perforce to flee his native land, when he 


took refuge in America and exchanged his sword for a 
fiddle-stick once more. In 1853 he returned to Europe, 
visited Franz Liszt, ever ready to help the needy- 
musician, at Weimar, and next came over to England 
in 1S54, when he was appointed aoio violinist in the 
Queen's band. It was to Remenyi that Brahms in 1853 
owed one of his earliest introductions to the public, the 
violinist having engaged the other — then a pianist — as 
accompanist on a concert tour. In 1857 he was again 
in London, for he appeared in that season at a Phil- 
harmonic concert, but as to his success Hogarth is 
silent in his " History of the Philharmonic Society." 
In i860 he was graciously permitted to return once 
more to his fatherland, where shortly afterwards the 
Austrian Emperor created him solo violinist in the 
Court band, from which it would appear that Remenyi 
had forsaken his radical tendencies ! For some con- 
siderable time he lived in private on a small estate he 
possessed ; but in 1865 he was once more, metaphorically, 
on the war-path. He visited Paris then for the first 
time, and completely conquered the French capital as 
represented by its salons. After several European tours 
he settled down in Paris, but in 1877 he took London 
drawing rooms by storm, and appeared in a " Hugue- 
nots " Fantasia at Mapleson's benefit at the Crystal 
Palace. In the following year he also appeared at the 
Popular Concerts while making a passing visit here en 
route for America, where he remained some years. 
From i888-go he made further tours to the Cape and 
elsewhere, and paid in 1891 yet one more flying visit 
to London, when he appeared at the late Colonel 
North's house at Eltham and at the old Lyric Club. 
The former of these concerts was said to close a series 
which had lasted no less than twelve years. Remenyi is 
reported to have been in his prime master of an enormous 
technique, very impulsive and poetical. His compositions 
are of little moment, but more than one of his " Hungarian 
melodies " has been mistaken by other composers for a 
genuine old folk-tune, and as such " annexed." 


ONDRICEK. a member of the recent army of ex- 
cellent virtuosi was, while a youth, in danger of 
becoming nothing better than a village fiddler, 
whose time would be employed in fiddling for the village 
hoydens to dance. 

He was born at Prague on the 29th April, 1859. His 
father, a violinist at the Landestheater there (who also 
was a member of a dance-music band), undertook his 
early musical education, and taught him so effectually 
that quite soon he was able to take the lad to the 
dance performances. Finally, when the latter was four- 
teen years of age, he entered the Prague Conserva- 


torium, where he remained studying during three years. 
After this he received the means from a wealthy 
merchant at Prague to visit Paris, where he studied 
further under Massart. 

Two years after completing his studies there he went 
out into the world a finished virtuoso, the proud owner 
of a first prize from the Paris Conservatoire. Pasde- 
loup's Popular Concerts afforded him his first oppor- 
tunity ; thence he travelled to Brussels, London, etc. 
In the winter of 1882-83 he appeared for the first time 
in Berlin and Vienna where he aroused considerable 
enthusiasm by his fine playing. He appears never to 
have sought a permanent engagement. 


THIS quondam " Concertmeister " at Hano\er and' 
now (since 1888) at Buckeburg, proved by a 
highly successful concert-tour in 1873 through 
many of the chief German and Austrian towns that he 
was a virtuoso on the violin in the very best sense of the 
term, and as such he earned the praises of all the 
leading critics. Side by side with the classical master- 
pieces he studied the works of Paganini, and in these 
brought himself to a high pitch of excellence. It goes 
without saying that he, too, was described as a " second 
Paganini." There is no doubt, however, that Sahla 


has conquered and brought into complete subjection all 
the technical difficulties of violin playing. 

Sahla was born at Graz, 17th September, 1S55, and 
from his seventh year he studied the violin, at first 
under Ferdinand Caspar, pianoforte under Hess and 
Hoppe, and composition under Dr. Meyer (W. Remy). 
In his eighth year he played Ernst's " Carnaval " in 
public, and in three years he passed through all the 
violin classes of the Styrian T^Iusical Society, for which 
on four occasions at various times he was rewarded with 

In the autumn of 1868 he entered the Conservatorium 
at Leipzig, where he remained till the spring of 1872, 
and on leaving, received a written testimony from the 
directors especially praising him, and was at the same 
time awarded the Helbig prize, Beethoven's string 
quartets. His teachers had been David and Rontgen, 
and he was even described as the former's "favourite 
pupil " ! At the final examination concert before he left 
the Conservatorium he played Paganini's E fiat concerto 
" with sensational effect " according to a local journal. 

In February, 1873, he appeared for the first time 
in the Leipzig Gewandhaus concerts, when he played 
a concert allegro by Bazzini, and immediately after- 
wards he set out on his first tour, to which reference 
has already been made. 

In the winter of 1875-76 he was solo violinist in 
the Schaumburg-Lippe Court band; from 1876-77 
leader of the Musical Society at Gothenburg; 1878-80 
a first violin at the Vienna Grand Opera. In the 
Austrian Capital he played in concerts with great 
success. In 1880-81 he travelled through Hungary 
and Germany with Aglaja Orgeni and Dr. Kienzl, and 
appeared in, among other towns, Dresden and Berlin. 

From 1882-88 he was leader of the orchestra at the 
Hanover Opera, in which town he formed an excellent 
string quartet with Mencke, Kugler, and Lorleberg, 
and was leader and conductor as well of the Richard 
Wagner Society, which he founded. 


Since iS8S Sahla has been leader of the band at 
Buckeburg, where he has effected many improvements, 
such as enlarging the orchestra. He is an admirable 
composer, among his best works being a Reverie, a 
fantasia on Karntner folk-tunes, a Roumanian rhapsody, 
a ballade for violin, and some songs. 


KARL PRILL, the present leader of the Gewandhaus 
and Opera orchestras in Leipzig, belongs to the 
by no means large band of intelligent artists of 
the fiddle and the bow. His sound schooling and his 
earnest zeal for all that is noblest and best in Art afford 
the best hopes for his future. It is little short of wonder- 
ful that so busy an orchestral leader, busy each day in 
theatrical and concert rehearsals, is so capable an artist. 
It is, of course, manifestly impossible to expect the very 
highest virtuosity from such a one, since his whole time 
is occupied. Nevertheless Prill has already reaped many 
laurels both as a soloist and quartet player. 

He was born in Berlin on the 22nd October, 1S64, the 


son of the Royal Conductor there, also Karl Prill. In 
his sixth year he began to learn to play the violin under 
his father's guidance, and the pianoforte under the 
musical-director Handwerg. When nine years of age 
his father took him and his brothers, Paul and Emil, on 
a prolonged concert tour through Germany, Russia, 
Denmark, Sweden, Holland, etc., after which Karl, the 
younger, studied further in Berlin under Hellmich and 
Wirth, and later in Joachim's High School for Music. 
While studying under Joachim he also acted as leader in 
Brenner's and Laube's bands, and as solo violinist in 
Bilse's orchestra: in 1S85 and 1886 he was engaged 
in a similar capacity in the Hlawacz orchestra at 
Pawlowsk in Russia. 

Then he received an engagement as leader of the 
theatre orchestra at Alagdeburg, where he taught and 
conducted as well ; and thence he went as leader to 
Leipzig in the autumn of 1891. 

At Magdeburg already he had effected a good deal as 
a quartet player, excelling principally in classical 
chamber-music ; on his advent in Leipzig he succeeded 
Hilf as leader of the quartet once presided over by 
Petri (w^ith /Vlwyn Schroder as violoncellist). 

As a soloist Prill has appeared with no little success 
in recent years at Dresden, Prague, Hamburg, Bremen 
and other large towns. 




WAS born at Pampeluna, loth March, 1844, ^"^ 
very early in life gave promise of great excel- 
lence as a violin player. He was, in fact, a 
youthful prodigy. At the mature age of ten years he 
performed before the Spanish Court at Madrid, and with 
such success that Queen Isabella presented him with a 
Stradivarius violin. In 1856 he went to Paris to study 


under Alard ; and at the end of his first year he won 
the first prize for violin playing at the Conservatoire. 

In 1859 his school career closed, and Sarasate began 
to travel, first in Spain, then in Italy and the East, in 
America, and after 1S76, in Germany. 

Even in his early days Sarasate's bent was towards 
the career of a virtuoso, that is more towards brilliance 
than depth, which, no doubt, was largely due to his 
southern temperament. So far as regards technique 
Sarasate is and was then fully equipped, his left hand 
being quite marvellous in its flexibility, while with his 
right, or arm-bow, he can command so clear, limpid and 
sweet a tone as to be in some degree unrivalled, unique. 

IMost honours conferred upon iPiUsicians have been 
conferred upon Sarasate — not the least prized being the 
title of honorary Professor of the Conservatoire at 



THE family name of this whilom virtuoso is Hark- 
ness — which she, for professional purposes — in- 
verted, dropping the final "s." She was born on 
the 6th June, 1864, ^^ New York, and, after learning 
the elements of music from her mother, was sent to study 
in Brussels and Paris under Wieniawski, Massart and, 
it is said, Vieuxtemps. Apparently she was, too, a 
pupil of Arno Hilf at one time. If Arma Senkrah was 
ever a pupil of Vieuxtemps it must have been just before 
her public appearance as a " finished artist," since in 
1873 Vieuxtemps was superseded by Wieniawski, and 
only a year or two later began anew to teach. The 



young violinist v/on the first prize at the Paris Conserva- 
toire in 1881. 

Arma Senkrah combined distinct individuah'ty with 
very advanced technique and an expressive style. From 
1877 to 1 888 she travelled much in European countries 
generally with a decided success that equalled that of her 
rival Teresina Tua. In December, 1882, she appeared 
under her proper name at the Crystal Palace, London. 

After appearing at Weimar she was created a chamber 
virtuoso by the Grand Duke, and here, once more, Eros 
got the better of Polyhymnia, and she married one Hoff- 
man, a lawyer, in the eighties, and vanished, apparently 
for ever, from the concert platform. Further particulars 
of the circumstances of her life and artistic career, if any 
exist, are not forthcoming. 


MORE than half a century has passed away since 
Professor Edmund Singer first appeared in 
pubHc in Buda-Pesth in the year 1840, when 
he was barely nine years of age. Helped often by the 
artistic giants of his time he by dint of hard work and 
real diligence proceeded on his upward way to the 
highest rungs of the ladder. As a practical artist no 
less than as a teacher and leader he laboured with con- 
spicuous success, and, moreover, he enriched the litera- 
ture of his instrument by several compositions of good 
repute. Those critics whose opinions are valued have 

o 2 


long ago borne witness to his complete mastery over 
the technique of the violin, and to his possession of an 
individual, beautiful, clear and full tone, and a power 
of expression and intellectual insight into the deeper 
mysteries of his noble art as becomes a child of the gods 
and a veritable master. 

Edmund Singer was born on the 14th October, 183 1, at 
Totis in Hungar3^ As in his early youth he exhibited 
a delight in the violin, his parents took thought for his 
musical education with the result that when he counted 
but six years, his family removed to the chief town of 
Hungary, where Professor Ellinger became his teacher. 
Three years later, on the loth April, 1840, he made his 
first public appearance, playing De Beriot's first con- 
certo w4th very conspicuous success. 

Next he came under Professor Ridley Kohne, for 
violin playing, at the Pesth Conservatorium, who in 
1842 undertook wath him a concert-tour through Hungary 
and Transylvania, which afforded the young player an 
opportunity for seeing something of the world, and his 
critics for forming a judgment of his promise. The prize 
he valued most with which he returned home from his 
travels was a diploma from the Conservatoriums at 
Hermannstadt and Klausenburg. 

But Singer's heart was set on Vienna, the Mecca of 
all musicians, but especially of instrumentalists ; and 
thither he repaired to study under Bohm, the teacher of 
Joachim, Hauser, Ernst, Auer and a host of other 
distinguished violinists. With Preyer, organist of the 
Church of St. Stephen, he studied composition. When 
thirteen years of age Singer returned home to Pesth 
where he gave an immensely successful concert ; im- 
mediately afterwards he went to Paris, where he came 
in contact with many famous musicians, by whose aid 
as well as by his own great diligence he made a great 
advance in his art. 

When in 1846 he once more returned to Pesth he 
was, though but fifteen years of age, appointed leader of 
the orchestra and solo violinist in the German theatre 


there. In 1851 he began a series of prolonged tours 
throughout the length and breadth of Europe, meeting 
with Lipinski in Dresden, then leader of the Royal band 
there, and the rival on more than one occasion of 
Paganini. On the iSth December, 1851, Singer made 
his debut at the Leipzig Gewandhaus where he played 
Lipinski's then inordinately popular " Military Con- 
certo " in a manner that the local Allgemeine Zeitung 
said positively was " all too rare in the annals of the 
Gewandhaus concerts." In consequence of this success 
Franz Liszt claimed Singer's services at Weimar in suc- 
cession to those of Laub who had just come to London, 
and he was promptly appointed leader of the Court 
band and a chamber musician to the Grand Duke. 

In Weimar Singer married in 1859, and found himself 
in the happiest of circumstances, yet, on the recommen- 
dation of jNIeyerbeer, he went in 1861 to Stuttgart as 
professor of the violin in the Conservatorium, leader of 
the Court music, and chamber musician. Here he was 
thoroughly in his element — he had ample scope for his 
great ability as a teacher, and in addition was able to do 
much for the benefit of his art. This latter he accom- 
plished chieliy by the quartet concerts he founded, which 
met with triumphant success that reached its climax 
when in 1886 Singer celebrated (in true German 
fashion) the five and twentieth anniversary of his 
artistic career. 

To Singer was primarily due the institution of the 
Stuttgart Musical Artists' Society in 1878, the opera 
conductor, Seifriz, being an able and willing coadjutor 
here and elsewhere in his efforts to advance art in 

During the years of his sojourn in the Swabian 
capital, Singer made many concert-tours. He took a 
prominent part in the famous festivals at Aix-la- 
Chapelle, Magdeburg and Basle ; in the first perform- 
ance of Liszt's " Granermesse " at the dedication of 
the Basilica at Gran, and, on Wagner's invitation, at 
the laying of the foundation stone of the Bayreuth 


opera-house. He took part, too, in the " Ton- 
kunstierversammlung " at Dessau, played in the Phil- 
harmonic Concerts in \'ienna with Otto Dessoff, and 
gave concerts with Liszt, Griitzmacher and Cossmann 
the violoncellists, and Biilow. 

As a composer for the violin. Singer has shone at least 
as regards quantity, the list of his works including 
concert-pieces, fantasias, studies, caprices, transcriptions 
and arrangements of the classics, and a " Great Violin 
School" which he compiled in conjunction wdth the 
already mentioned Seifriz. 

Singer is the fortunate owmer of one of the finest 
Maggini violins in Germany, or indeed anywhere. He 
bought this instrument from one of his earliest teachers, 
Ridley Kohne, who had obtained it from a Venetian 
family. It is said to have a beautiful silv^ery tone, the 
equal of the best Strads. 


BELONGED in his best day to the highest order of 
devotees to the noble art of vioHn playing, and 
he excelled in the poetical translation, as it were, 
of the meaning of the composition which he played. He 
was born at Pressburgon the 28th March, 1835 ; entered 
the Vienna Conservatorium in 1842, and quitted it on 
the breaking out of the revolution in 1848. He studied 
the violin under Hellmesberger and Joseph Bohm, and 
composition with Preyer and Nottebohm, and made his 
first public appearance at a concert in the hall of the 
Musik-verein at Vienna in June, 1850. It should^ be 
stated that on the closing of the Vienna Conservatorium 
during the revolution Straus studied privately with Bohm. 


For some years after 1851 Straus travelled in various 
countries giving successful concerts, at one of v;hich 
he met Liszt, who helped him as he did the majority 
of young artists in those days. In 1857 Straus and 
Piatti became acquainted and made a prolonged tour 
together in Germany and Sweden; their acquaintance- 
ship thus began, becoming riper in after years when 
each had a permanent place in the Popular Concert 
quartet at St. James's Hall, London. In 1859 Straus 
was appointed leader of the opera orchestra at Frankfort 
where he also led the INIuseum concerts, and in the latter 
year he first visited England to play at the Popular 
Concerts, and those of the Musical Union. In the follow- 
ing year he returned again and played at many of the 
principal concerts including those of the Philharmonic 

In 1864 he finall}^ quitted Germany and took up his 
residence in England, living at Manchester, where he 
led the Halle band. For many years he was a member 
(viola) of the Popular Concert quartet, a position he 
resigned a year or two before his death. 


BIOGRAPHICAL details of this distinguished 
professor at the Conservatorium in Brussels are 
scarce and difficult to obtain, owing to his modesty. 
He was born at Liege towards the end of 1859, and 
early began to learn to play the violin from his father, 
the conductor and violinist there. After studying at the 
Liege and Brussels Conservatoriums, he entered the 
Paris Conservatoire, where he completed his course of 
study in 1881, and immediately started on a series of 
concert tours, when he proved above all things the 
possession of an extraordinarily flexible left hand, and a 
powerful and free bow^ 


Ysaye is a violinist in all branches of the art of the 
highest ability, who perhaps better than any other of his 
contemporaries has the best knowledge of how to com- 
bine the styles of the P>ench and German schools to the 
greatest advantage of each. 

(Ysaye has frequently visited England ; in point of 
fact he seems now to have settled down into a " hardy 
annual." And none can deny him a hearty welcome 
whensoever he elects to appear. None who heard him 
a year or more ago at the Queen's Hall in London when 
he played the violin concertos of Mendelssohn and 
Beethoven in the same concert, can fail to have appre- 
ciated the masterly genius of his interpretation. Person- 
ally we are disposed to think Ysaye leads the whole 
violin world in the matter of beauty and purity of 
expression. He has passed successfully through the 
stage of extremxC sentimentality and now sails placidly 
along in the sea of real sentiment. To his great gifts as 
a violinist and teacher he combines that of a conductor, 
his own orchestral concerts in Brussels being perhaps 
the chief features of musical life there now, while he has 
often officiated as orchestral conductor in London, 


WHEN de Beriot heard Meuxtemps in Brussels 
for the first time, he recognised immediately 
in him the capacity of a great artist, and there- 
upon instead of allowing him to take his chance of a 
sufficient musical education, he himself undertook to 
teach the boy what he could. This interest on the 
master's part brought its own reward ; Vieuxtemps 
earned the title of de Beriot's best pupil, and there 
came a time when the w^hilom pupil almost surpassed 
his teacher as virtuoso, as professor of the violin and as 


composer, for Vieuxtemps is undeniably to be reckoned 
among the elect of his contemporaries. 

His playing was remarkable for his broad, singing 
tone, great poetry in his reading of a work and com- 
plete technical equipment, so that difficulties hardly 
existed for him. His compositions, too, are among the 
best in modern violin literature. 

Henri Meuxtemps was born 20th February, 1820, at 
\'erviers on the Belgian frontier. His father taught him 
the elements of violin playing ; after him one Lecloux, 
who seems to have been very thorough and earnest 
as well as successful in his methods. When the youth 
w^as barely eight years of age this teacher took him on 
tour through his native land. He reached Brussels in 
1828, where at that time the six-and-twenty year old de 
Beriot was living. 

In 1830 when de Beriot was compelled by the revolu- 
tion and the disruption of the Netherlands to resign his 
office of Royal Chamber-musician, \'ieuxtemps went 
with him to Paris, where his wonderful technical 
dexterity (having regard to his youth), created a great 
sensation. Three years later he began an important 
concert tour which extended through a great part of 
Germany. Notwithstanding his success he found several 
weak spots in his artistic armour, to rid himself of which 
he remained for some time in Vienna to study com- 
position under Sechter. In 1835 he continued these 
studies under Reicha in Paris. 

Next he began again to travel, this time wandering 
over the greater part of Europe ; and in 1844 ^e visited 
the chief towns of America. In 1846 he became a royal 
Russian chamber-musician and solo violinist in the 
Czar's orchestra — a post he held for six years. After 
resigning it he began yet once more to travel, and in 1857 
he visited America for the second time. It is stated 
that this journey and the general artisan-like condition 
of musical life over there at that time effected more 
harm than good to Vieuxtemps, artistically at least. 
That the fault was not his is proved by his phe- 


nomenal triumph in Europe immediately after his 
return home. 

In 1 87 1 he received the post of first violin-professor at 
the Conservatorium in Brussels, rendered vacant by the 
retirement of de Beriot owing to blindness ; curiously 
enough a mishap occurred also to him on his taking up 
his new duties, for in 1873 he was maimed and unable 
to play any more. Nevertheless he continued to teach, 
hoping eternally but in vain for convalescence, which 
finally he sought in Algiers, where he died on 6th June, 

His wife, Josephine Eder, a distinguished pianoforte 
player, who had accompanied him in his concert tours 
throughout the world and shared with him his joys and 
sorrows, died in 186S. 

Vieuxtemps's compositions, which are of great service 
to the concert player as well as to the student, include 
five grand concertos (in E, F sharp. A, D minor and A 
minor) : a number of smaller concertos, a fantasia (with 
orchestra), a fantasia caprice, two Slavonic fantasias, an 
introduction and rondo, a caprice " Hommage a Paga- 
nini," a violin sonata, variations on "Yankee Doodle," 
a duo concertante on themes from Don Giovanni, a duo 
brilliante, a suite, cadenzas to Beethoven's violin con- 
certo, and endless studies and smaller pieces. 



ALTHOUGH Sainton came of an old southern 
French stock he belonged entirely to the English 
musical world. Of his youth little enough is 
Icnovvn. He was born 5th June, 18 13, at Toulouse and 
entered the Paris Conservatoire (where he was a 
pupil for violin of Habeneck) on the 20th Dec, 1831. 
His own diligence speaks volumes for his clever teacher, 
and soon after the completion of his course in the music 
school and after a brief period of orchestral playing at 


the Grand Opera, Sainton undertook a lengthy concert- 
tour through Southern Germany, Upper Italy, Russia, 
Sweden and Denmark. In 1840 he became professor 
of the violin at the Toulouse music school, but in 1844 
he came to London where the purity and elegance of 
his playing, far more, by the way, than the grandeur 
of his tone, won for him the admiration of all the friends 
of music and connoisseurs. He was appointed violin 
professor at the Royal Academy of Music in 1845, 
leader of Her Majesty's band, and of the orchestra at 
Her Majesty's Theatre, and a chamber musician to the 
Queen, a post he held till 1856. 

He married in i860 Charlotte Dolby, the eminent 
contralto singer, who for years was known throughout 
the length and breadth of the land as Mme. Sainton- 

After many busy years Sainton retired into private 
life, and died in London, full of years and honour, 17th 
October, 1890. 

[It is worthy of note that at the last Birmingham 
Festival before his death, every violinist in the orchestra 
had been either a direct pupil of Sainton's or a pupil of 
a pupil] . 


A BRILLIANT success followed immediately upon 
the first appearance of this artist after he had laid 
a solid foundation for a career as a virtuoso in 
Paris and Brussels. 

Wieniawski was born at Lublin on the loth July, 1834, 
but while still a small child his mother took him to Paris, 
where, in 1843, Clavel became his earliest violin master. 
In the year following he entered the Conservatoire where 
Massart, who had only recently been appointed professor, 
took him into his class. In the second year after his 
entry Wieniawski began to show the full benefit of this 
tuition, for he w^as awarded the first prize in the violin 
classes. Then he set out for Russia, but soon returned 


to Paris, where he continued his studies during 1849-50, 
and paid particular attention to harmony under Colet's 
guidance. In the concert-tours upon which he imme- 
diately set out his brilliant execution and warmth of 
style, and his absolute indifference to all technical 
difficulties, made for him at once the reputation of one 
of the foremost violinists of the day. 

In i860 Wieniawski visited St. Petersburg yet once 
more, where he obtained a billet as Imperial chamber 
musician, a post he continued to occupy until 1872, when 
he made a grand tour of the United States of America 
with Rubinstein (for which, it may be stated, he alone 
received 100,000 francs — Ed.). On the return to Europe 
of Rubinstein, Wieniawski remained in America (and 
made a "big bag " of fame as well as of gold) until 
1874. ^^ t^^'is time Vieuxtemps fell seriously ill in 
Brussels ; Wieniawski was telegraphed for to succeed 
the former as professor of the violin in the Conservatoire 
there. This offer he promptly accepted, and as promptly 
returned to Europe, where, in Brussels chiefly, he 
remained from 1875 to 1877. 

When Vieuxtemps became convalescent, Wieniawski 
had to go, when he began again to travel. His 
numerous friends, however, all hoped and wished that 
he would renew his connexion with the Brussels Con- 
servatoire on Vieuxtemps's permanent retirement. 

In 1880 he was carried off by heart-disease in a 
hospital at Moscow, where, curiously enough, he died 
absolutely unknown and without means. This is all the 
more remarkable in view of the enormous sums of money 
that must have passed through his hands. That he 
had received all possible attention from those who were 
able to help him is amply proved by the fact that at 
one time or another he was decorated with orders by the 
rulers of Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Holland 
and Meiningen, to mention but a few. 

Although Wieniawski reached the highest altitudes 
through his brilliant technical equipment, in which even 
in his own day he was probably unrivalled, yet he com- 



bined with this much more than the characteristics of a 
mere virtuoso. His fire made his playing thrilling, and 
his numerous compositions testify to his possession of 
real musical feeling and beauty of ideas. His D minor 
Concerto, the two polonaises and his " Legende " will 
probably never vanish from the violinist's repertoire. 
(To which we may add the " Airs Russes," which we 
imagine is more often played in the concert room than 
any other of Wieniawski's compositions). 

Wieniawski left behind him two and twenty original 
compositions ; two concertos in F sharp and D minor ; 
three volumes of studies, the " Legende " and the two 
polonaises, as well as a fantasia, at one time very 
popular, on themes from Gounod's " Faust." 


IN the first half of the eighteenth century Veracini 
and Tartini passed for the masters pav excellence of 
vioUn playing ; but beyond their virtuosity they 
had nothing in common. For whilst Tartini was the 
personification of modesty, Veracini was at his best only 
in the full glory of public appreciation. Born towards 
the end of the seventeenth century in Florence (probably 
about 1685) he began early to travel, and only after a 
prolonged stay in Poland did he return to Italy, 

His first appearance in Venice occurred in 17 14, 
or so it would appear, when he met with such suc- 



cess that Tartini, who had recently arrived, hurriedly 

INIany characteristic anecdotes are related of this 
period of \^eracini's career. Once it was customary in 
Lucca on the Feast of the Cross (14th September) for 
all the first singers and instrumentalists of Italy to 
repair thither. A'eracini on one such occasion announced 
his intention of playing a violin solo, but on entering the 
church in which the performances were to take place 
he saw that the place of honour was occupied by Father 
Girolamo Laurentio of Bologna, wdio promptly enquired 
of \^eracini what he desired. 

" The place of the first violinist," said Veracini. 

" That I have already taken as usual," replied 
Laurentio, " but if you are to play a concerto at \ espers 
or at High IMass, no doubt a place will be found for 

To this Veracini made no reply, but, turning his back 
upon the reverend father, he seated himself in the lowliest 
seat. Whilst Laurentio played he listened carefully. 
Then on being asked to play a concerto, he hesitated, 
but expressed his willingness to play in the choir and 
invited Lanzelli, a violoncellist from Turin to accom- 
pany him. This request being granted, he played so 
beautifully that the congregation shouted evviva ! with 
one accord. When he had finished Laurentio came to 
him and said, " Thus plays the first violin ! " 

From ^'enice Veracini went to England direct, but 
the precise date is apparently doubtful. 

According to one English source he first visited 
England when the famous singer, Farinelli, was here. 
He however came in 1734. More correct is probably 
the statement that he was here as early as 17 14 and 
gave concerts then in London. While in Venice he 
was heard by the Crown Prince Frederick Augustus 
of Saxony, who invited him to Dresden. In 171 7 
Veracini followed up this invitation, presented the Prince 
with three new violin sonatas, and was promptly ap- 
pointed chamber musician. Thereupon Concertmeister 


Pisendel and other German musicians immediately 
began a series of intrigues against him and so cleverly 
were they carried on that once Veracini was bested by 
an ordinary fiddler in a battle royal, each playing the 
same piece, which, however, the latter had previously 
studied, but \'eracini had not seen before. Veracini 
was thus humbled before the whole court, and in a fit 
of chagrin and shame he flung himself from a window 
and sustained a fracture of the leg which left him lame 
for the remainder of his life. As soon as he was con- 
valescent, he turned his back on Dresden, and is said to 
have spent a long time with Count Kinsky in Prague. 
According to some reports he went in 1730, in others 
in 1736 to London once more, where he shared with 
Festing, a pupil of Geminiani's, the leadership of the 
orchestra at the Haymarket Theatre. 

Handel is said to have valued him highly and to have 
helped him greatly. Yet at this period Handel himself 
was being out-done by Hesse, another German, as an 
opera composer, and had already turned his attention 
to oratorio writing. 

In 1744 when the Haymarket Theatre was empty, 
Handel took it for oratorio performances, wherein 
Veracini often took part and shone brilliantly. Veracini 
had a beautiful full tone that penetrated in the largest 
room through the most powerful orchestra. These 
grand performances lasted from the 3rd November, 
1744, to the 23rd April, 1745. Immediately afterwards 
Veracini quitted England. He had passed his zenith. 
On the voyage he had the misfortune to lose all his 
goods and chattels, including his pair of fine Stainer 
violins by shipwreck. These violins, which were be- 
lieved to be the best in the world, Veracini had chris- 
tened Peter and Paul. He died at Pisa in 1750. 

\''eracini, a prolific composer, wrote twelve violin 
sonatas with bass ; violin concertos and symphonies for 
strings and piano. One of the sonatas was edited and 
published by Ferdinand David with accompaniment ; 
another was issued in its original form by W asielewski. 


He also wrote several operas, one of which, Afonso, was 
played for twelve consecutive nights at the Haymarket, 
while another, UErrorc di Solomonc sur\-ived but two 

■V ^ 


■«St^ : 


A BRILLIANT "star" in modem violin art is this 
eminent artist, who by the success which has 
attended her concerts in all the more important 
European cities, has given abundant evidence of her 
great gifts. She was born at Briinn on the 21st March, 
1838, and received a sound beginning of a training from 
her father, Josef Neruda, a useful violinist well known at 
Brunn. Later Leopold Jansa became her teacher. In 


1846, when she was barely seven years of age, she made 
her first public appearance in \Tenna with her sister 
Amalie (a pianist). According to Edouard Hanslick, 
the date should be 1849. This eminent critic adds, in 
speaking of "the little Neruda"; "she is wonderful 
indeed in bravura music, in musical intelligence, and 
finally in her remarkable accuracy." He quotes 
Goethe's famous dictum, too, — " If we develop propor- 
tionately when grown up as in childhood, we must all 
be geniuses." Lady Halle has certainly developed as 
she grew up, and became proportionately greater in the 
enlargement of her gifts. Therefore she is a genius. 
(On the occasion under notice Fraulein Neruda played 
an " empty fantasia " by Alard, lead an equally empty trio 
by Zach and wound up with the " Carnival of Venice." 
— Ed.). After this preliminary canter her father took 
her on tour with her sister and brother, and in 1849 
she first appeared at the Philharmonic in London. 

In 1864 she created a sensation in Paris, and in the 
same year she married Normann, a conductor from 
Stockholm, where she went to reside, and where in 1869 
she became professor of the violin at the Royal Music 

Notwithstanding this, however, she still continued her 
concert tours, and since 1869 she has been a prime 
favourite of the London musical world, not merely as a 
soloist, but as one of the leaders of the Popular Concert 

On the death of Normann, Mme. Neruda married Sir 
Charles Halle. In 1 890-1 the pair of distinguished 
artists made a grand tour in Australia (and only a short 
time before Sir Charles Halle's death, they toured in 
South Africa). 

Lady Halle is equally great as soloist or quartet player 
and w^orthy to stand by the side of any other player. 
In spite of the enormous number of lady violinists who 
have appeared in the last few years, none has attained 
the same high level as that reached long ago by Lady 
Halle. She is the happy owner of Ernst's Strad. 



After Sir Charles Halle's death Lady Halle retired for 
a time into private life, but later undertook the duties of 
a professorship in Berlin. 


THE great Italian violin school which died out tem- 
porarily with Tartini and Pugnani, was revived 
again by \'iotti, an exceptionally gifted pupil of 
the latter. To Viotti then belongs the credit of founding 
the new French School. He, like Pugnani, was a 
thorough master of his instrument. His broad, full 
tone, his immaculate purity of intonation, the passion 
of his playing, its power, sympathy and expression, were 
the talk of the whole musical world. Although Viotti 
gave up travelling as a concert player long ere his 
powers failed, yet his fame spread without ceasing. 


Moreover A^iotti is one of those artists whose Hfe is full 
of outvv^ard change and not free from adventure. He was 
born at Fontana in Piedmont on the 23rd May, 1755, as 
the son of a blacksmith, and, like all other famous violinists, 
he took delight in music at a very early age. He was 
at one time given a small toy violin, such as may be pur- 
chased for children in any market for a mere song, and 
with this he amused himself so advantageously that his 
father, who played the horn in his leisure moments and 
was an amateur of music, decided to make him a musician. 
A lute player who lived in the same town was his first 
master, but on the latter changing his domicile a year 
later, the lessons came to an alDrupt end. It happened 
that \^iotti's father, who as has been said was by way of 
being a horn player, was summoned with a flautist from 
Fontana to go to Strambino to take part in a church 
festival there. Little Viotti went with his father, and 
after the festival a symphony was played at the palace 
of the Bishop Francesco Rosa, in which the lad played 
the violin. This attracted the prelate's attention and he 
decided to help the youth. A prominent citizen in Turin, 
the Marchesa Voghera, had asked the bishop to seek a 
fellow-student for her little son, and Rosa recommended 
Viotti. The latter went to Turin, bearing with him the 
bishop's letters of recommendation, but he came near to 
being "returned with thanks" since he was much 5^ounger 
than the Marchioness's eighteen-year-old son. He was 
saved, however, by giving proof of his great talent, and 
ultimately he was allowed to stay, and was treated like 
the son of the house, who later became Prince of Cisterna, 
and also was permitted to take lessons from Pugnani who 
was already famous. The Prince himself tells the story 
of the trials the thirteen year old Viotti had to undergo, 
how he was shown a sonata by Besozzi by a violinist 
named Celognetti, a member of the Ducal Orchestra, 
which he played at sight. On being praised, he replied 
that this was but a trifle, whereupon Celognetti placed a 
much more difficult work by Ferrari before him. This 
too was brilliantly read. The examiner then took him 


with him for the first time to the theatre to the perform- 
ance of an opera. Motti played in the band without 
any previous rehearsal, and after it was over he repeated 
many of the loveliest passages from memory. 

\'iotti was then appointed a member of the Ducal band 
at Turin, where he remained until 1780, when he travelled 
in Germany, Poland and Russia. He was in Berlin, but 
King Frederick was already too old to interest himself 
further in budding talent. In St. Petersburg Viotti had 
a great triumph, the Empress Augusta heaping honours 
upon him and wished to retain him. But he left to 
come with Pugnani to England where he created a 
profound impression, and according to report, quite put 
Geminiani in the shade. 

From London he went to Paris, where in 1782 he 
appeared in one of the Concerts Spirit ncls, playing his own 
compositions so well as to arouse the greatest enthusiasm. 
Connoisseurs especially praised the fine taste exhibited 
in his compositions, which lead to some revulsion in 
feeling. After Motti had played for two consecutive 
years in the Concerts Spirituels, he discovered that one 
evening he was rather coolly received by a public who 
on the following evening warmly applauded an unimpor- 
tant player who created furore by a commonplace rondo. 
This decided Viotti not to appear again. He remained, 
however, in Paris for nine years, but never again ap- 
peared in public. In 1784 iNIarie Antoinette, the Queen, 
appointed him her musical accompanist, with a pension 
of 6,000 francs. The famous Marshal Soubise (who died 
in 1787), created him conductor of his excellent private 
band. In his own dwelling Viotti organised a small band 
with which he tried over his owm and his pupils' com- 
positions, especially his concertos, which ultimately 
became known throughout the world. 

In 1788 when Leonard, the Queen's barber, received 
the privilege of building an Italian opera, N'iotti joined 
hands with him, went to Italy, and collected together 
an extremely good operatic ensemble. He also engaged 
an excellent orchestra. Assisted by Cherubini the per- 


formances opened with great brilliance in 1789. Then 
Viotti erected the Theatre Feydeau — with the money of 
the "intendant " of this name — which he opened in 1791. 
But the breaking out of the revolution completely upset 
all these artistic undertakings, and Viotti lost the whole 
of his hard-earned savings. He then went to London to 
try to make money by giving concerts. Unfortunately 
for him he was there regarded as a spy of the French 
Revolutionary party, denounced and prosecuted. The 
affair was an intrigue of a party of poverty-stricken 
emigrants, who had " learnt nothing, forgotten nothing." 

Viotti then had to quit England, when he settled for 
a time in the neighbourhood of Hamburg, where he 
rem.ained till 1795. Here he was Fredrich Wilhelm 
Pixis's teacher, and here he composed his violin duets. 
Next he returned again to England, where he remained 
upwards of twenty years. He became a partner in a wine 
shop, which produced sufficient for his main expenses. 

According to some chroniclers Motti had little luck 
with this wine-shop ; but this hardly seems true since 
after he owned the shop he did not give lessons in 

Industrious habits were, and still are, peculiar in 
Italy, and it is interesting to think that had necessity 
not compelled \'iotti the artist, he is not very likely to 
have happened upon the idea of turning shop-keeper. 
The lives of several other great artists of that time, e.g., 
Haydn and Mozart, tell us that it cost endless trouble 
to obtain a livelihood such as a common artisan had no 
difficulty in obtaining. \'iotti never more appeared in 
public, but during this period of time he composed his 
second series of concertos. 

He visited Paris in 1802, 1814 and 1819, undertaking 
in this last year the direction of the Grand Opera, which 
at that time was in a weak state, which Viotti was 
unable to alleviate. In 1822 he once more resigned 
the post, but received a pension of 6,000 francs. Bent 
by misfortune and illness he became chronically unwell 
and died in London on the loth March, 1S24. 


Among his most promising pupils were Rode, Libon, 
Pixis and Robberechts ; through the last-named \'iotti's 
school passed to de Beriot. 

Of his works there are nine and twenty concertos, two 
concertantes for two \iolins, fifteen quartets, twenty-one 
trios, fifty-one duets, six serenades, five sonatas, three 
divertissements. A number of the quartets and trios 
exist in an arrangement for violin and pianoforte. 


IN the same sense in which Schiller, Goethe, Shake- 
speare, are called the princes of poetry. Bach, 
Beethoven, Mozart, Weber are spoken of as princes 
of the Art and Science of Music. Spohr, too, belongs to 
the elect. He was a poet in lone as they were in words. 
His talent was not the result of good schooling but of 
born genius. This is easily seen in his life, since al- 
though he was the son of a skilful physician and of a very 
musical mother, (both of whom came of gifted stock, 
belonged to good families, and taught their child well 
the elements of learning), yet his regular professional 


education was moderate at bottom and Louis unquestion- 
ably reached his kingdom in his knowledge of music and 
his mastery as a technical artist more autodidactically 
than through any regular, solid schooling. INIoreover, 
since he possessed a very elegant style of writing and a 
certain philosophical, contemplative nature, there is no 
doubt of his chief indebtedness to self. 

In violin playing he had no famous teacher. In theory 
he only had a few desultory lessons from a petty 
nonentity — an organist to boot. When barely fourteen 
years old he was made by his father to stand on his own 
feet. Yet all the same to what heights did he not attain ! 
Undeniably accurate reports describe him as " the last 
truly chosen representative of violin composition, among 
German violinists the only important composer," and 
" of great influence through his creative faculty as well 
for the present as the future musical world." 

Only a truly heaven-born genius could rise from such 
simple artistic circumstances as those of the Bruns- 
wickers of the beginning of the century to the high 
musical point reached actually by Spohr. 

Spohr's Ant ohio graph)', a deeply interesting work, which 
deserves to be very generally known, gives the best idea 
of the man. Here he appears with all his delightful 
naivete and candour, with his strongly conventional yet 
noble mode of life, his respect for all that was good and 
beautiful in man, and all his leaning towards the highest 
in art. 

Louis Spohr was born at Brunswick on the 5th April, 
1784. Two years later his father removed to Seesen, 
a small township in the Duchy. There there was no 
other artistic excitement than that furnished by the 
musical practices of his father at home, in which Spohr 
pere played the flute, while his wife played the piano- 
forte and sang. Next the little Louis learnt to sing, and 
about his fifth year he was presented with a diminutive 
violin upon which he learnt to play without the aid of 
a teacher. As he showed an uncommon penchant for his 
little instrument, the local School- Director, Riemen- 


•Schneider, was asked to give him some instruction. But 
quicker than he learnt to wield his bow did he learn to 
read his notes. He progressed so rapidly as to be able 
very soon to take part at home in performances of Kalk- 
brenner's trios for pianoforte, violin and flute. 

The family circle was increased when Louis was but 
six by the advent of Dufour, a French refugee, who 
played both violin and violoncello, and who naturally had 
some effect on the little lad. When Dufour recognised 
Spohr's talent and noticed his budding efforts at com- 
position without his ever having had one single lesson 
in harmony, Dufour persuaded old Spohr to send his son 
to Brunswick for further and better tuition. There was 
an objection to this in that his son had not yet been con- 
firmed, and so Louis was promptly trotted off to his 
grandfather at Woltershausen that the objection might 
be removed. This old gentlemen, however, proved a 
violent opponent of the scheme for making his grandson 
a violinist. The latter was on no account to fiddle in the 
parsonage. However, he was permitted to go twice a 
week to the Cantor at Alfeld with his fiddle. Spohr, in 
his Autobiography, declares that this Cantor could not 
play so well as he himself played. 

Soon after returning home from Woltershausen, Spohr 
went to Brunswick, where the chamber musician, 
Kunisch, gave him violin lessons, and the organist Har- 
tung taught him harmony and counterpoint. " I still 
remember," said Spohr, " how Hartung once did me a 
wrong, when one day just after I had begun my lessons, 
I showed him one of my compositions." 

" There is plenty of time for this," said he. '' First we 
must learn something." 

" After a month or two, however, he himself invited me 
to try to write some little thing, which he corrected so 
pitilessly and scratched out so many (what I thought) 
beautiful ideas, that I lost courage and my desire to 
show him anything further. Not very long afterwards 
these lessons ceased owing to Hartung's ill-health. Yet 
he was the only teacher for theory I ever had. I was 



now compelled to seek lessons elsewhere. I derived my 
chief benefit from reading good full scores which I pro- 
cured through my teacher Kunisch from the theatre 
library. In this way I soon learnt to write correct har- 
mony, and I was emboldened to make my first public 
appearance in one of my own compositions in Bruns- 
wick. This occurred in a concert at the St. Catherine 
school, which I attended as a scholar of the second 
class. I met with so great success as to receive an in- 
vitation to take part in the subscription concerts of the 
' Deutsches Haus,' for which I received a miserable fee."^ 

Acting on his teacher, Kunisch's, advice Spohr then 
had lessons from " the best violinist in the Brunswick 
band," Concertmeister Maucourt, whereby he progressed 
gradually towards becoming for his years a really excel- 
lent soloist. But as his father was no longer in the 
position to afford any more money for his education, 
owing to the fact of his having also two daughters to 
educate, he sent his son into the world as a " travelling 
artist," first to Hamburg, at which Frau Spohr shook 
her head doubtfully. 

Spohr pd re gave his son a letter of recommendation to- 
the well-known professor Biisching, who, having read 
the letter with increasing astonishment, cried out : — 
" Your father is the same old — ! What folly to send a 
boy to take his chance in the world." An artist whO' 
was desirous of appearing publicly in Hamburg, must 
already enjoy a reputation, or at least have the means to 
bear the great expense of a concert. In summer all the 
rich folk were in the country, wherefore such a concert 
was quite without any prospects of success. 

Without saying a word Spohr turned his back on Ham- 
burg to return on foot to Brunswick, and only when he 
had left the great city some way at his rear did the idea 
strike him that he had been very foolish to run away so 
quickly, whereby he had shown little confidence in his 

In his distress he determined to go for help straight to 
the Duke of Brunswick, who was himself a violinist- 



Having reached Brunswick he wrote a letter of request, 
placed ^himself in a pathway in the court garden which 
the Duke was known to frequent daily, and presented 
his petition. His success was favourable ; the Duke 
allowed him to play in one of the weekly Court concerts. 
Having played, the Duke came to Spohr, tapped him on 
the shoulder and said : " The talent is there ; I will look 
after you. Come to-morrow morning to me." 

When on the following day Spohr presented himself 
at the castle, the Duke said graciously : " There is a 
place vacant in my band, which I offer you. Be diligent 
and behave yourself. If you make proper progress in 
the next few years, I will send you to one or other of the 
great masters, for here we have no good example for you 
to copy." 

Thereupon Spohr at fifteen years of age was duly in- 
stalled a chamber-musician on the 2nd August, 1799. 
His salary was one hundred thalers ; and his duties 
were to play at the Court concerts and in the opera. In 
the latter there was at that period a company of French 
singers and actors. " I learnt there," wrote Spohr, 
" French music before I learnt German, which no doubt 
was not without its influence on my taste and composi- 
tions." Ultimately, however, he had an opportunity of 
hearing Mozart's operas; "and now," said he, "Mozart 
became once and for all my ideal and model. I recollect 
perfectly well still my wonder and dreaming charm at 
hearing the Magic Flute and Don Giovanni for the first 

In a quartet-party he learnt the early quartets of 
Beethoven and worshipped henceforth at the shrine of 
Beethoven hardly less assiduously than at those of 
Mozart and Haydn. 

After some time the Duke invited him to select a 
famous master under whom he would like to study. 
Spohr chose Viotti, who, however, had recently become 
a vine-grower, and would take no more pupils. Next he 
chose Ferdinand Eck, who then was the most famous 
violinist in Paris. Yet here again he met with no luck, 



for Eck had just run away with a rich Countess whom 
he married, and with whom he Hved happily and well. 
Ferdinand, however, recommended his brother Franz as 
teacher. Franz Eck then was travelling in Germany, 
and was promptly invited to play in Brunswick ; he 
came, and Spohr was equally promptly handed over to 
him as his pupil under the condition that he should ac- 
company Eck on his tour. This tour extended then to 
Hamburg, where Eck began his lessons. Of this Spohr 
wrote in his diary: "To-day, 30th April, 1802, Herr 
Eck began to teach me. But oh ! how discouraged I 
w^as ! I, who even then believed myself to be one of the 
finest virtuosi in Germany, couldn't play one single bar 
so as to please him, but had to repeat each at least ten 
times, in order to get at any sort of satisfactoriness. 
For choice it was my bowing that annoyed him, and 
even I saw for myself that it was necessary to alter it." 

In Hamburg Spohr became acquainted with J. L. 
Dussek, who had a difference with Eck. Then they 
went to Ludwigsbest, w^here the Court wished to hear 
Eck play ; and on to Strelitz, where Spohr completed 
his first violin concerto, op. i, and the violin duets, 
op. 3. 

Very interesting are Spohr's remarks made about this 
time in his diary. " When studying these duets with 
Eck it became quite clear to me that my teacher, like so 
many violinists of the French school, w^as not a thoroughly 
cultivated artist, for in spite of the completeness of his 
performance of concert-music and a few other pieces 
learnt from his brother, he little understood the art of 
getting to the bottom of music that was strange to him. 
And so when w^e were studying my duets we exchanged 
voles, the pupil showing his teacher how they should be 
played. I found, too, in Eck's attempts at composition, 
that he could not have been the author of the violin- 
concertos and quartets which hitherto he had given out 
as his own. Later these concertos were issued as by the 
elder Eck, and the quartets bore the name of Danzi in 


Continuing his journey, Spohr again found in Mitan 
an opportunity of showing in his diary his position in 
regard to his teacher. A musical friend, von Berner, 
who had often heard him, said when making his adieux, 
" My young friend, you are on the right path : follow it 
up. Herr Eck as a virtuoso is still far above you, but 
you are already a far better musician than he." 

At that time Spohr came across the firm of Breitkopf 
and Hartel when his first concerto (dedicated to the 
Duke of Brunswick) was being printed. " I had bar- 
gained for no pay," he wrote, " and only asked for a few 
free copies. But our agreement was that I was to buy 
a hundred copies at half-price ! At first my budding 
artistic pride rebelled against this, which seemed to me 
a paltry condition. But the desire to see the concerto 
printed as soon as possible, so that I might present it in 
print to the Duke on my return to Brunswick, and the 
hope that he would make me a present, helped me to 
overcome my scruples and to let the condition pass. 
The concerto was ready on the day fixed, and was in 
the hands of a music-seller as soon as I returned to 
Brunswick ; but the balance was not delivered until the 
sum was paid for the hundred examples referred to." 

In his autobiography this story is told without any 
irritability; but in it is some food for reflection. A year 
or two later music publishers were delighted to be able 
to do business with Spohr. 

The diary kept then by the sixteen year old artist is 
very interesting in showing his musical development ; 
it betrayed especially an uncommon knowledge of human 
nature and a rare critical faculty. Not rarely had young 
Spohr cause to speak discreetly of men and things, 
especially of his teacher, and indeed he often wrote of 
them with a ripeness of judgment and a feeling for 
aesthetics that did him great credit. As Eck had been 
appointed soloist to the Czarina in St. Petersburg, with 
a salary of 3,500 roubles, Spohr had to leave him and go 
home alone. Very touching is Spohr's description of his 
brotherly friendship with the young French violinist 


Remi in St. Petersburg. On Spohr's birthday Remi 
embraced him, saying, " You must exchange violins with 
me that we have a souvenir of each other." " I was 
astonished and overjoyed," says Spohr, "for his violin 
always seemed better than mine. But as his, a genuine 
Guarneri, was worth at least as much again as mine, 
I had to decline his offer. He, however, would not be 
put off", saying, ' Your violin I like because I have heard 
you play on it so often, and if mine is really better, take 
it as a birthday present from me.' " 

Of his last meeting with Remi he says, "On the ist 
June (20th ]\Iay) I packed my things and then went out 
to take leave of my friends and acquaintances. The part- 
ing from my good Remi was painful and cost us both 
many tears." 

Of his teacher Eck (whose ultimate end was an 
unhappy one, for he became mad), Spohr said that he 
had much to thank him for. But on his return home it 
was Pierre Rode who exercised the greatest influence 
over his artistic life. On July 5th, 1803, he arrived once 
more at Brunswick. " The first happy news I received 
there was that the famous Rode was in the city and was 
down to play shortly before the Court. I therefore 
lost no time in making my arrival known, that I might 
be invited to the concert." Spohr was received " with 
every kindness " ; shortly after his audience with the 
Duke the Court Chamberlain presented him with what 
remained of his travelling money as a gift and added 
twenty golden Friedrichs in return for the dedication to 
the Duke of the violin concerto. 

" I was burning from anxiety," continued Spohr, " to 
appear at this concert as violinist and composer before 
the Duke and the public, to give him proof of my 
diligence and progress. But things did not go so 
quickly as Rode had already announced his intention of 
giving a concert in the theatre. Moreover I was a little 
uneasy at having to appear so soon after the famous 
player. For the oftener I heard him, the more was I 
affected by his playing. Aye, I never hesitated one 



moment to put Rode's playing — then an exact reflection 
of his great teacher Viotti — over that of my own master, 
Eck ; and I worked hard to make Rode's compositions 
my own. 

" This I found not very difficult, and I had just got to 
a point when I was gradually acquiring an individual 
style, probably the truest of all copies of Rode among the 
young fiddlers of the time. The eighth concerto, the first 
three quartets and the world-renowned variations in G I 
managed exceptionally well in Rode's style : and with 
them in Brunswick as well as later on my concert-tours 
I earned a good deal of applause." 

Spohr describes his first appearance as a " complete 
violinist" in Brunswick in a very characteristic manner, 
he could not quite rid himself of the idea that shortly 
before a great violinist had stood on the same spot. 

" Now I had to put those who were envious of me to 
shame, who had declared that when I left, the Duke 
would once more squander his charity on some incapable 
and ingrate. I collected, therefore, all my courage, and 
it so happened that during the tiitti of my concerto all 
round me was forgotten and I played with my whole 
soul. The success was beyond all expectations, for just 
after the first solo the applause burst out generally and 
spontaneously, and increased with each piece so that it 
seemed it would never cease at the end of the concerto. 
The Duke, too, who had called me to his box during the 
interval, assured me of his high satisfaction. Wherefore 
this day ever remained fixed in my memory as one of 
the happiest." 

Spohr then entered the Royal Band as chamber- 
musician, sitting among the first violins. His salary 
was two hundred thalers in addition to the hundred he 
had already been in receipt of; and his "pickings" 
from outside sources were considerable. 

Spohr suffered a serious loss when travelling to 
Gottingen to give his first concert outside Brunswick, 
for while approaching the former town at fall of evening 
his box was cut away from the back of the carriage and 


stolen. The contents of the box were not only his 
clothes and money, but also the violin which Remi had 
given him. All went, and he never saw any thing of it 
again. The bow alone — a genuine Tourte — was left 
unnoticed by the thieves. Spohr then had to borrow 
clothes from a student and a violin, a Jacob Stainer, in 
order to be able to put in an appearance at his own 

Spohr's first concert-tour began in the autumn of 
1804. In Halberstadt, Magdeburg and Halle he gave 
concerts that were artistically if not financially success- 
ful. Then he went to Leipzig. His account of life 
there then and-the taste of the great commercial centre 
is interesting. First of all, he says, he had to conquer 
many difficulties in order to bring about a concert. 
The rich merchants to whom he had letters of introduc- 
tion, knew nothing of him, and received him " politely 
but coldly." " I was very anxious," wrote Spohr, " to 
be invited to play at one of their music-parties in order 
to draw attention to myself ; and my wish was fulfilled, 
for I was invited to a grand party and asked to play 
something. I chose one of the loveliest of the six new 
quartets of Beethoven, with which I had often charmed 
my hearers in Brunswick. But after a few bars I 
already noticed that my accompanists knew not the 
music and were quite incapable of playing it. This dis- 
turbed me, and my dismay increased when I observed 
that the assembled company paid little attention to my 
playing. Conversation became general, and ultimately 
so loud as almost to drown the music. I rose in the 
middle of the music, hurried to my violin-case without 
saying a word and was on the point of putting my 
instrument away. This made quite a sensation in the 
company, and the host approached me questioningly. I 
met him with the remark — which could be heard e\ery- 
where — * I have always been accustomed to be listened 
to with attention. As it has been otherwise here, I 
thought the company would prefer that I should stop. 
The host did not know at first how to reply, and retired 


somewhat discomfited. As I made preparations for 
leaving, after having excused myself to the other 
musicians, the host came up and said quite amicably : 
* If you could but play something else, something more 
suitable to the taste and capacity of the company, you 
would find them a very attenti\e and grateful audience.' 
It was clear to me before that I had chosen the wrong 
music in the first instance for such a company, and was 
glad enough now to have an opportunity to change it. 
So I took up my violin again and played Rode's E flat 
quartet, which the musicians already knew and accom- 
panied w^ell enough. This time there was perfect 
silence, and the enthusiasm for my playing increased 
with each movement. At the end of the quartet so much 
flattery was heaped upon me that I trotted out my 
hobby-horse — the G variations of Rode. With this 
piece I made quite a sensation, and for the remainder of 
the evening I was the object of the most flattering 
attention." This was much talked of in Leipzig — the 
youth with the head of a Jupiter had taught the com- 
pany a lesson w^hich did not fail of its effect. The con- 
sequence was that the musical amateurs took some 
notice of Spohr and came in a swarm to the rehearsal as 
well as to the concert. With his D minor concerto 
Spohr created quite a sensation ; at the end of the 
concert he was warmly invited to give a second. In 
this he played for the first time in Leipzig the above 
mentioned quartets by Beethoven. 

Roeblitz said of these in the Musik-zeitung that " Herr 
Spohr gave two concerts in Leipzig, on the loth and 17th 
December, 1804. In both he gave us more pleasure than 
any other violinist except Rode. Spohr unquestionably 
is one of the finest of contemporary players, and, 
although so young, he astonishes us if w^e can get away 
from warm enthusiasm to cold astonishment . . . . 
His concerto is one of the most beautiful now available ; 
in fact we know of none we prefer to his in D minor either 
in inspiration, beauty of idea, or powder and solidity. 
His individuality leads him towards greatness ; his 


playing is superb. He can do everything, but he does 
most with purity of intonation, accuracy, briUiant 
technique, every kind of bowing, every quaHty of tone- 
colour, perfect command over all difficulties — all this 
gives him high rank among the greatest of virtuosi. But 
the soul which permeates his playing, his flights of fancy, 
his fire, tenderness and depth of feeling, his taste, and 
his insight into the works of others — that makes him a 
grand artist." 

Such recognition made Spohr very happy, and 
weighed much with him then. He gave two concerts in 
Dresden with similar great success. 

In Berlin he knew the most distinguished musicians 
— Radziwill, Romberg, Moser, Seidler, Seminler ; but 
when he played Beethoven to them they were as ignorant 
as those of Leipzig. They praised Spohr's playing, 
but thought little of Beethoven. Bernhard Romberg 
actually said, " But, dear Spohr, how can you play such 
dull stuff!" 

When he gave them more of Rode, they were posi- 
tively delighted. 

In Berlin he gave one concert, but in spite of every 
effort he could not bring about a second. On the other 
hand, however, he played at a number of musical parties, 
among others at the banker's, Beer, where he made the 
acquaintance of Meyerbeer, then a youth of thirteen, and 
heard him play. Of this he wrote : " The clever lad 
already aroused such enthusiasm by his virtuosity on 
the pianoforte that his relations and co-religionists 
regarded him with great pride. It is related that one 
of them, returning from a popular lecture on astronomy, 
called out to his friends : " Think you, they have already 
put our Beer among the stars. The Professor showed us 
a map of the heavens containing a picture of ' the little 
bear,' so-called in his honour ! " 

An apparent success attending Roeblitz's generous 
notice in the Leipzig Musik-zeitimg occurred when Spohr 
returned to Brunswick. He received an invitation to fill 
the place left vacant by the death of the leader of the 


orchestra at Gotha. He was almost rejected by the 
director owing to his youth — this quaint gentleman 
apparently not recognising the fact that genius does not 
require a ripe old age for its development. He asked 
Spohr to give out that he was older than his real age, and 
so the latter was taken, after a brilliant success at a court 
concert, to be twenty-five years of age, and as such he 
was appointed with about 500 thalers of pay. 

The Duke of Brunswick, Carl Wilhelm Ferdinand, 
showed a strong disposition to help him. As Spohr left, 
the Duke offered his hand, saying : " If, dear Spohr, your 
new billet does not satisfy you, you will always find a 
place in my service ready for you." " I left my bene- 
factor," wrote Spohr, " deeply moved, and unhappily, I 
never saw him again, for he fell, seriously wounded, at 
Jena, and died a refugee in England. I mourned him as 
a father." 

The musical Prince Louis Ferdinand, with whom 
Spohr had often made music in Berlin, died heroically 
at Saalfeld. 

At Gotha Spohr was on very friendly terms wath the 
opera singer, Frau Scheidler, whose eighteen year old 
daughter became his wife. His first Gotha composition 
was a grand vocal scena written for the mother, and a 
sonata for violin and harp for the daughter, a clever 
harpist who subsequently often appeared with him in 
public. During his first year at Gotha he composed his 
concerto in C, which, with the harp sonata, afterwards 
made quite a sensation at Leipzig ; he also wrote, 
shortly after Jena, whose far-reaching effect he appears 
not then to have fully appreciated, his 5th Concerto, 
Op. 17. 

In October, 1807, Spohr and his wife started on a 
wide concert tour, beginning in Weimar. " Among the 
audience in the Court Concert were Goethe and Wieland, 
the latter of whom expressed himself most amiably 
towards me ; the former was cold." 

In Leipzig Spohr introduced on the 27th October his 
E flat Concerto, his Op. 22 and some harp pieces. The 


Mnsih-zeitun,^ said that he had now entirely freed himself 
from some mannerisms \Yhich formerly had been notice- 
able, and that now his tone, expression, accuracy and 
technique, whether in allegro or adagio, but especially in 
the latter, gave him a right to a place among the fore- 
most of living violinists. 

The Spohrs next visited Dresden, Prague, Munich 
(where the new King Max made much of them), 
Stuttgart (where Spohr broke through Court etiquette 
and forbad the King to play at cards during the music), 
where Spohr made Weber's acquaintance. Next they 
went to Heidelberg, where they gave a concert of which 
the Musikalische Zeitung said : " Eisenmenger's violin 
would have remained unforgotten had the Heidel- 
bergers not had the pleasure of hearing Louis Spohr in 
their last concert, with his Rode manner, firm, lissom 
bow." Spohr himself wrote : " It pleases and surprises 
me that my method is always described here as Rode's, 
since I never believed that I had quite conquered his 

This tour ended at Frankfort. On returning to Gotha, 
Spohr spent much time in composition ; in 1809 he gave 
up a salary of two hundred thalers, not on account of his 
violin playing, but because he was a good chess player, 
and in October he and his wife set out on another tour, 
which Spohr intended should extend to St. Petersburg, 
but this was abandoned by desire of the Duchess of 
Gotha and because of his wife's homesickness. 

At last in November, 18 12, he reached Vienna. I have 
already said how Spohr feared a meeting with Rode ; 
while his oratorio Das Jiingste Gericht (composed by com- 
mand to celebrate "Napoleon Day" at Erfurt) made 
almost a fiasco, Spohr made a triumph as a violinist. 
The critics of standing said " Spohr is unquestionably a 
master of violin playing. In tender passages he is a 
very nightingale among contemporary players. His is 
the finest of tastes, and he conquers the greatest difficul- 
ties with consummate ease." 

After having "fought" in friendly combat all the 



violinist celebrities in Vienna, and being content with 
the result and desirous of departing, he received from 
the Count Palffy, proprietor of the Theater an der Wien, 
the offer of a place as conductor and orchestral 
director with a salary more than three times that he 
received at Gotha, and more even than at that time 
Salieri and Weigl received in Vienna. This offer he 
accepted. For the orchestra he obtained many talented 
young artists, among others Moritz Hauptmann from 
Dresden, who was seeking a settlement in Vienna, and 
his own brother Ferdinand, whom he had taught to play 
the violin. 

Very interesting is Spohr's account of Korner written 
at that time (18 13). Korner had promised to write him 
an opera libretto. " Yet suddenly Korner wanted to go 
as a volunteer in Liitzow's coyps to hght for the freeing 
•of Germany. I hurried to him and tried to dissuade 
him, but in vain. Soon afterwards he left. Later it 
became known that a desire to free Germany was a 
secondary consideration, and that the first was an 
unhappy, unrequited affection for the famous Viennese 
actress, Adamberger." [This story is quite different 
from that usually told in the life of Korner.] 

But of far greater interest is Spohr's account of his 
friendly intercourse with Beethoven, whom he had often 
tried vainly to see, until at last he met him accidentally 
in a restaurant. " Beethoven knew of me through the 
papers, and greeted me in an uncommonly friendly 
manner. We sat down together at a table ; Beethoven 
was very talkative, which surprised our neighbours, for 
as a rule he sat silent. It was a troublesome business, 
however, to make him understand, for one had to shout 
at him loud enough to be heard three rooms away. He 
often came to this restaurant, and also visited me in my 
lodging. So we soon became well acquainted. He was 
a trifle rough, not to say gauche ; yet a clear eye shone 
from under his shaggy eyebrows. He was very well 
disposed towards Dorette and the children. Of music 
he spoke but seldom. But when he spoke his judgments 


were very strong and so determined as to render a reply 
almost impossible. For the work of others he had no 
interest whatever ; wherefore I had never courage 

enough to show him mine Beethoven's 

short, uncouth manner arose partly from his deafness^ 
which then he had not learnt to bear quietly. Partly, 
too, it was due to his slender financial resources. He 
was not a good host, and besides was unfortunate 
enough to have his goods stolen. So the very necessities 
of life were often wanting. At the beginning of our 
acquaintance I once asked him when he had not appeared 
at the restaurant for several days, ' You were not ill ? ' 
* My boots were, and as I own only this pair, I had to 
stay at home,' was his reply." 

Everything else that Spohr has to say of Beethoven, 
of his laughable style of conducting, of the efforts of his 
friends to help him, of his compositions in the last period 
(when he wrote the 9th symphony) and of his anything 
but beautiful pianoforte playing, is extremely interesting, 
but cannot unfortunately be quoted here, as space is 
necessarily somewhat limited. 

Spohr made a great sensation by his playing at the 
diplomatic Congress in \"ienna where he was heard as 
a quartet player and as a soloist in his own composition. 
At this time he was often with Weber before the latter 
became opera-director at Prague, and with Hummel^ 
Fesca, Moscheles, Pixis and others. 

Meanwhile he had given up Count Palffy, and resigned 
his contract at the end of two years in order to go again 
on tour. The most important of his souvenirs of Vienna 
was a canon written by Beethoven which ended as 
follows : — 

May you, dear Spohv — ivlievesoever you find true art and 
true artists — always rememher your friend 


^ Vienna, 3 March, 1815. 

After concerts at Briinn and Breslau, a summer 



holiday with the Royal family at Karoleth, and more 
concerts in Hanover and other places, the Spohrs retired 
for rest to Thierachen, near Berne. But on the 2nd 
September they began their travels again, going this 
time to Italy. On the 8th they were in Milan where 
Spohr met RoUa, and gave a concert in conjunction 
with his wife at La Scala. In October they went from 
Brescia, etc., to Venice. Of Spohr's meeting at Venice- 
with Paganini is a full account in the latter's biography. 
The German master gave a concert to a crowded house,, 
who recalled him many times. The population of Venice 
w^as divided into two factions, those for Paganini and 
those for Spohr. 

In Florence Spohr gave a concert on November 7th 
at the Pergola Theatre, but received his bare expenses 
therefrom ; and a second had a very similar result,. 
" because," said he, " the Italians don't care much for 
instrumental music, and the cost of seats is far too low." 

In Rome he met Meyerbeer. He wanted to meet 
Rossini, but the latter's manager with whom he livedo 
and for whom he was writing an opera, would admit 
no visitors lest the course of the composition should not 
run smooth ! 

On the I St February, 1817, Spohr arrived at Naples,, 
where he remained nearly tw^o months. Here it was 
that, to his astonishment, Zingarelli, director of the 
Conservatorium, made the following extraordinary 
remark : " Mozart was not without ability, but did 
not live long enough to be properly trained. Had he 
survived another ten years it is probable that he would 
then have done something good." Spohr, in his diary 
drew the portrait of a donkey by the side of this 
wonderful sentence ! 

In Naples Spohr gave two concerts, the second 
between the acts of an opera in the San Carlo Theatre. 
Barbaja, the director of the Court Theatres made 
himself something of a nuisance to Spohr. The concerts 
given on the return journey to Germany, in Florence, 
Lausanne and Geneva hardly covered expenses, so that 


now Spohr and his wife and family were in real need, of 
which Spohr gives a delightful account. When talking 
over their need with his wife in Geneva, wondering what 
they should do, and having determined to sell their 
ornaments and decorations, " Dorette said she would 
prefer to go to Pastor Gerlach with whom she had 
become acquainted — for which I have not yet had 
courage. She took her loveliest jewels, a diadem, the 
gift of the Queen of Bavaria, and w^ended her way to 
the reverend gentleman's house. Never in m^y life have 
I endured such pain as during the few minutes of her 
absence. After an eternal half hour she returned, 
bringing with her the pledge together with a sum of 
money sufficient for our travelling expenses." She was 
suffering from excitement and fright. While relating 
her story to the worthy pastor, with tears in her eyes 
and quivering lips, while she told him of their imrnediate 
need and asked him for an advance of money on her 
jewels, he burst out laughing, and vanished through the 
door into a neighbouring room. But ere she could guess 
the meaning of his strange behaviour, which to her was 
both unseemly and rude, as well as ill-timed, he returned 
bringing with him the necessary sum of money, and 
said, " I am delighted to be in a position to assist the 
brave pair of artists who have given us so many 
pleasures ; but how could you believe that a pastor 
would lend money like a Jew on pledges ? " 

In that year there was a pretty general famine, so 
that the pair were hardly able ever to give a concert. 
Once only, in Zurich, where they had announced their 
intention of devoting half the proceeds of their concert 
to the Poor Fund, did they accomplish anything of note, 
while at Freiburg, Carlsruhe, Wiesbaden and Ems they 
hardly recovered their expenses. At Aix a series of 
three w^ell-attended concerts helped them to some extent, 
and following this came more success at Rotterdam and 
Diisseldorf. The journey was continued through Hol- 
land. From Frankfort Spohr received the offer of a 
place as Opera and Musical director at the Aktien- 


theater, which was promptly accepted. Here there was 
no lack of subjects for quarrels with the directors and 
the public taste, which looked far more readily to Rossini 
than to Spohr's more solid music; and so in 18 19 he 
resigned his post after the financial director of the con- 
cern had stated at a general meeting that "we don't 
want a famous artist, but a willing worker." Dorette 
was very upset, since further journeying meant separation 
from her children, who were then old enough to go to 

Ferdinand Ries, in the names of himself, Clementi, 
the Cramers, Moscheles, Potter, Smart and other 
musicians, had offered Spohr an engagement for the 
Philharmonic season in London for 1820, which he 
accepted. On the way to London, concerts were given 
at liamburg, Berlin, Leipzig, Cassel, Brussels, Lille, etc. 

Soon after the master had appeared at a concert of 
the Philharmonic Society, at which his Gesang-Scene 
and his solo quartet in E flat received universal applause 
— amongst others from Viotti, who was present — one of 
those incidents occurred w^hich so well serve to show 
up the characteristic and stupid superciliousness of the 
plutocracy. Spohr brought wath him to England a letter 
of recommendation from the house of Rothschild in 
Frankfort, and a letter of credit from the banker Speyer 
on the Rothschilds in London. He visited the bank of 
the latter, and sent in his name to one of the firm, who 
hurriedly glanced through his letter of credit, and then 
said, in a patronising tone of voice, " I have just read " 
(pointing to the Times) " that your affair has been a 
great success. I know nothing at all about music ; this 
is my music," and he rattled the money in his pocket ; 
" they understand that on the Exchange ! " And the 
great banker laughed loudly at his own wit. " Then," 
Spohr tells us, "without ever asking me to sit down, he 
called one of his clerks, handed him the letter of credit, 
and told him to ' give the gentleman his money.' Then 
he gave a short nod to intimate that the interview w^as 
at an end. When I was going out at the door he called 


after me and said, ' You may come and dine with me 
once at my country seat ! ' " But Spohr did not go ! 

The subsequent appearances of the artist in London 
were so emphatically successful, and aroused so much 
attention, not only on account of his solo playing, but 
also in respect to his compositions and his mode of 
conducting, that this visit may be looked upon as the 
keystone of the arch of his fame. Pupils fiocked to him 
for lessons, and as each paid a guinea an hour, these 
brought him great profit. Spohr ran hither and thither, 
as he says, almost the whole day gi\'ing lessons, and 
allowed himself to grow quite sore in spirit because the 
majority of his pupils had no talent or industry, and only 
came to him in order that they might be able to boast 
that they had received instruction from him. 

Spohr gave a lesson of another kind — to wit, in good 
manners — to distinguished members of London society, 
who were accustomed to invite musical artists to their 
gatherings, and to treat them in a very off-hand style, 
keeping them waiting in a room by themselves until 
called to do what they were paid to do, and then having 
them separated from the company whom they had been 
entertaining. Spohr and his wife had been invited to 
the house of the Duke of Clarence, the King's brother, 
and on entering the ducal mansion Spohr declined to 
put himself under the care of the Duke's servant, who 
wanted to take him into the room where the artists 
waited their turns, but handed his violin case to his own 
servant whom he had brought with him, and, with his 
wife on his arm, walked straight up the staircase. The 
servant who guarded the door leading to the guest 
chamber hesitated to open it, but seeing Spohr was 
about to open the door for himself, flung it wide and 
called out aloud the names of the arrivals. The Duchess 
took Dorette and placed her amongst the ladies, and the 
Duke did a similar office for Spohr. The servant, how- 
ever, according to their custom, on handing round tea 
and refreshments passed by Spohr and Dorette with- 
out offering them any. But the Duke, seeing this,. 


beckoned the head footman to him and whispered in his 
ear a command, and this mistake was rectified. The 
musical artists invited were all of the first rank, and as 
they each came forward in turn and went through their 
allotted performance, Spohr observed that the conversa- 
tion never flagged for a moment ; and here also he 
resolved on effecting a change. When his turn came he 
did not play, and it was not until the Duke had person- 
ally requested him to give the company some music that 
he sent for his violin case. He began to play, and did 
not make the expected obeisance to the chatterers, but 
this omission caused so much surprise that his perfor- 
mance was listened to in perfect silence. As soon as he 
had finished the whole company, following the example 
of the Duke and Duchess, loudly applauded — proof of 
appreciation which had not been bestowed on any of the 
other executants. Moreover, instead of following the 
example of the rest of the artists by leaving as soon as 
they had finished, Spohr and his wife stayed to supper — 
a thing quite unprecedented to English notions, and 
which, was the subject of universal comment. The result 
was that society learned to treat the German artist with 

At Spohr's benefit concert in London on June the i8th, 
1820, his wife played upon the harp for the last time. The 
exertion had become too severe a tax upon her strength, 
and she was, to her great sorrow, compelled to relinquish 
that instrument. 

The journey from London was by way of Dover and 
Calais ; and at Gandersheim the artist pair again em- 
braced their children, whom they had perforce to leave 
behind them. 

The next important event in Spohr's life was his 
journey to Paris in December, 1820. Here he was 
brought in direct contact with Cherubini, Kreutzer, 
Habeneck, Baillot, Lafont, Viotti, Guerin, the pianist 
Herz, and other famous musicians. Habeneck played 
with Spohr at a concert which he gave, and which 
met with only a doubtful reception from the Parisian 



critics, Spohr's style being very different from that of 
the French School. Spohr himself, in some valuable 
letters written about that period, commented very 
severely upon the style of the chief violinists whom he 
heard in Paris ; even in Habeneck and Kreutzer he 
finds much to censure, although he places their superiority 
in a strong light. 

On his return from Paris he took up his abode in 
Dresden, in which affair Moritz Hauptmann, who knew 
the place thoroughly, was of great assistance. Karl 
Maria von Weber came to him and told him that he 
had received an offer to go to Cassel as Kapellmeister, 
but that he had declined it and would rather Spohr 
should have it. Spohr fell in with Weber's idea, and 
received the appointment, and on the ist of January, 
1822, entered on his duties, which only ended with his 
life. Here it was that he brought into full activity his 
powers as a conductor of the Electoral orchestra, as 
concert-giver, as teacher, and as composer. 

On July 28th, 1823, at Cassel, his masterpiece, the 
opera " Jessonda," was produced for the first time. 
*' The result was grand," he wrote on the 2nd of August 
to the editor of the Leipzigev Musikzeitung ; " the leading 
artists, the orchestra, the scenery, the dances, the stage 
combats, the storms, the decorations, the dresses — all 
were excellent ! This work has brought me great 

On the gth of February, 1825, "Jessonda" was pro- 
duced at the Leipzig Stadttheater. Spohr himself, at 
the invitation of Councillor Kustner, conducted on the 
occasion. Loud cheers greeted him on his entrance into 
the orchestra, the overture was clamorously encored, 
each number was received with the liveliest tokens of 
appreciation, while four were redemanded, the most 
vociferous encore being accorded to the duet between 
Amazili and Nadori. At the close of the first act some- 
one in the first row of boxes addressed Spohr, describing 
him as the master of German art, and calling upon the 
house for a triple " Hip, hurrah ! " This was done with 



loud acclaim, and at the fall of the curtain on the last 
act the whole house arose and shouted, " Da capo 
Jcssouda!'' Kiistner paid Spohr double the intended 
fee, but Peters, the publisher of the pianoforte edition of 
the opera, said that after such a success that recompense 
was far too low, and Spohr was to fix it for himself. 

The opera ran its victorious course over the entire 
German stage. Unfortunately it has gradually dropped 
out of the repertoire at most of the theatres, which maybe 
partly attributed to the change in modern taste, and 
partly to the severe demands which it made upon the 
leading singers. " Jessonda " required not merely singers, 
but consummate artists, in the solo rules. 

An intimate connection was formed in Cassel with 
Ivloritz Hauptmann, whose appointment in the Cassel 
orchestra Spohr had brought about. Hauptmann was 
even at that time a notable theorist, and Spohr sent to 
Hauptmann all his own pupils who were at all behind- 
hand in their theoretical studies, which was for the 
theorist an excellent preliminary step to the prominent 
part he afterwards took as a teacher in Leipzig. 

Cassel furnished to the great German master a richly 
productive field of labour, and one in which he was able 
for the first time to give free scope to his full powers. 
He bought a country house near the Cologne- Gate, in 
the midst of a beautiful garden, which he personally 
cultivated. Pupils crowded in upon him, most of whom 
were people well advanced in their art studies ; he gave 
instruction to close upon two hundred, of whom a 
hundred and fifty were Germans, and amongst these 
were Hauptmann, Ries, Pott, David, Hartmann, 
Kompel, Lubin and Schon. 

In the spring of 1831 he completed his "Violin 
School," in which are to be found the clearest directions 
and explanations on the art of violin playing, while its 
musical examples set forth a vast mass of material for 
securing certain progress. 

It was to be expected that the liberal-political move- 
ment which in 1830 passed over the whole of Germany 


would not transpire without leaving its traces upon a 
man like Spohr, open hearted, highly cultivated, and 
full of esteem for the true dignity of man as he was — 
especially as a mischievous female society was formed 
for political purposes at the Electoral court ; and his 
extant writings show how largely he was affected by 
this movement, although as an official of the court, 
with whom art was of chief importance, he had to 
maintain an attitude of reserve on the subject. But 
his very position was threatened, for in April, 1832, the 
Court Theatre was ordered to be closed for an indefinite 
period, and the members of the orchestra were com- 
manded to give up their places for a money consideration. 
It was only by the firm attitude of the whole orchestra, 
with Spohr at its head, that the consequences of this 
blow were averted and the men reinstated for life. 

In the year 1834 Spohr lost his beloved wife Dorette, 
who had with him passed so many joyful as well as 
sorrowful days, and who died after a year's severe suffer- 
ing from a nervous disease. In the following year Spohr 
married Marianne Pfeiffer, and the Elector only permitted 
the marriage to take place after the lady had formally 
given up all claim to her future pension. 

In September 1839, Spohr accepted an invitation to visit 
England for the second time, for the purpose of conducting 
his oratorio "Calvary " (" D^s Heilands letzte Stunden ") 
at Norwich Cathedral. Before Spohr's arrival in Norwich 
certain of the clergy, with genuine but mistaken zeal, had 
offered great opposition to the performance of this work 
in the cathedral, on the ground that it was a profanation 
to represent the sorrows and death of the Saviour in a 
musical work. On the morning when the Mayor of 
Norwich led Spohr into the cathedral, which is one of 
the finest in England, the preacher thundered against 
the performance of the oratorio, while Spohr, who under- 
stood little of English, sat wrapt in admiration of the 
grandeur of the service to which he had just listened, all 
unconscious that the preacher was beseeching his hearers 
not to stay to hear the oratorio lest they should thereby 



imperil their souls. The Norwich Monthly Chronicle saXdy 
writing on this strange affair : — *' We saw, sitting directly- 
opposite to the fanatical denouncer of' Calvary,' the great 
composer thereof, happily oblivious of the vials of wrath 
which were being emptied upon his head, but with so 
noble a bearing, with eyes full of the purest goodwill, and 
with such mildness and humility of aspect that the very 
sight of him spoke to the heart like a sermon. Without 
wishing to institute any comparison between the preacher 
and the composer, we have no doubt as to which of the 
two was the abode of the true religious spirit, or which was 
the truest reflection of Christ." The same paper, the 
day after the performance, wrote as follows : — " The 
minds of many were in a state of great tension, because 
it was feared that there would be opposition on the part 
of the clerical party. But right feeling and a better 
spirit prevailed, and some hours before the doors opened 
the issue was practically decided. From near and far 
came thousands of hearers in whom interest was excited 
and enthusiasm aroused, while during the progress of the 
oratorio ' these feelings were constantly on the increase, 
until at length all expectations were overpassed and a 
great triumph secured ; and we may truly say that the 
divine afflatus pervades the entire work.""'' 

At the performance of " Calvary," as well as at concerts 
given by the master during this visit (at one of which he 
played a duo concert ante with his old pupil Blagrove), such 
honours were accorded to Spohr as had never before 
ibeen given to any composer in England. A similar 
enthusiastic reception awaited him when he came to 
England for the third time in 1843. Storms of applause 
and abounding distinction were the result of his public 
appearances, and especially in the reception of his 
oratorio, which already at Norwich had moved many of 
the audience to tears. 

* For an account of Spohr's visit to Norwich, see " Annals of 
the Norwich Festivals." The performance referred to above 
formed a part of the Norwich Festival and took place in St. 
Andrew's Hall. 


The honours which during his later years crowded in 
upon Spohr, combined with the artistic and other 
triumphs he had previously made, and which constantly 
increased, establish his fame as one of the best German 
masters of all time. Amongst those with whom he came 
into contact, and whose united testimony place upon his 
head a crown of celebrity on account of his exalted 
position among the musicians of his epoch, the follow- 
ing may be mentioned : — Alexander von Humboldt, 
Ludwig Tieck, Taubert, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Schumann,. 
Reissiger, Richard Wagner, Heinrich Laube, Tichat- 
scheck, Gade, Robert Prutz, Immermann, Benedict^ 
Taylor, Joachim, Sainton, Ernest Moritz Arndt, Simson^ 
Costa, Smart, Theodor Formes, Holmes, Hiller, and 

On the 1 2th of November, 1857, the master, to his 
great sorrow, and contrary to his will and wish, was 
pensioned off. In the same year he had the misfor- 
tune to break one of his arms. In the spring of 1859 
he acted as a conductor, at Meiningen, for the last time^ 
and on the 22nd of October in that year, surrounded 
by his children and grandchildren, he died in his wife's 

Spohr was in character and personality lovable in the 
highest degree ; self-conscious, yet at the same time 
modest ; pure and noble in mind as well as in his art, 
disdaining all frivolity and superficiality ; his tall and 
commanding figure corresponded with his extraordinary 
and abundant bodily vigour, which led him, even in old 
age, to indulge in exercises demanding strength, such as 
longs walks, swimming, etc. ; and he was noted for his 
unflagging industry. His compositions include the 
following operas — " Faust," " Zemire und Azor," 
"Jessonda," " Alruna," " Der Zweikampf," " Der 
Berggeist," " Pietro von Albano," " Der Alchymist," 
and " Die Kreuzfahrer " ; the oratorios " Die letzten 
Dinge" ("The Last Things"), " Des Heilands letzte 
Stunden" ("Calvary"), " Der Fall Babylons " ("The 
Fall of Babylon "), " Das jungste Gericht " (" The Last 


Judgment ") ; '■' a number of masses, cantatas, hymns,, 
psalms, and songs ; ten symphonies ; four concert over- 
tures ; two clarinet concertos ; two piano quintets with 
flute, clarinet, horn, and bassoon ; a septet for piano, 
violin, violoncello, flute, clarinet, horn, and bassoon ; five 
trios for piano, violin, and violoncello ; three duets for 
piano and violin ; four pot-pourris for violin with orches- 
tra ; several compositions for the harp, with and without 
violin ; drawing-room pieces for violin with piano accom- 
paniment ; a nonet for violin, viola, violoncello, flute^ 
oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon, and double-bass ; an octet 
for violin, two violas, violoncello, clarinet, two horns and 
double-bass. He also wrote fifteen violin concertos, 
thirty-three string quartets, four double quartets, a string 
sextet, and seven string quintets. 

* The literal translation is "The Last Judgment, ' but this is 
the title of an early work composed in 1812, and performed but 
three times. "The Last Judgment " known in this country is 
" Die letzten Dinge," and was first heard in England at Norwich. 


^^ 'T^HE greatest violinist of modern times." In this 
J^ sentence is the gist of all critical judgments of 
this artist, unique in his line. If one read 
existing biographies of him one will find the same remark 
in each, the same glorification, " All comparisons fail : " 
and for the simple reason that they are impossible, 
notwithstanding the repeated efforts that are made. 
Wasielewski, for instance, says, *' Joachim's incompar- 
able violin playing is the true chef d'ceuvve, the ideal of 
a perfect violinist (so far as we present-day critics can 
judge). Less cannot, dare not, be said, but, at the same 
time, more cannot be said of him or of anyone, and it is 


enough. But that which raises him above all other 
contemporary violinists and musicians generally is the 
line he takes in his professional life. He is no virtuoso 
in the ordinary sense, for he is far more ; before all he 
will be a musician. And that he unquestionably is — a 
magnificent example to young people who are to some 
extent possessed of the demon of vanity of what they 
should do and of what they should leave undone. 
Joachim makes music, and his pre-eminent capabilities 
are directed towards serving the one true, genuine art, 
and he is right." It seems impossible to characterise 
Joachim better. He is from each and every point of 
view the most eminent violinist, and between him and 
the next is a very great gulf fixed. 

In a similar manner an English writer speaks of 
Joachim in reference to his first appearance on these 
shores. " When he first appeared among us as a youth 
of thirteen his already good reputation helped him, and 
in a similar way every successive visit increased his 
popularity and made his assured musical position among 
us doubly sure. It is impossible to over-estimate the 
good part he has played in the musical education of 
young England. Only a star of the first magnitude 
could have done that which he has done, and there 
exists probably no other at present who could have done 
as much as he. It is obvious that it requires an artist 
of a very brilliant kind to captivate millions at a first 
hearing, but if their esteem and applause be won at 
once, they are undoubtedly in the right mood to have 
their taste formed, developed, refined : this occurred in 
the case of Joachim." Thousands upon thousands have 
been delighted by his wonderful playing, and no better 
interpreter of the w^orks of Bach and Beethoven exists. 
Yet Joachim has individuality of his own which har- 
monises well with the purity of the classical style : these 
qualities are all part of his very nature, for he cannot be 
superficial and self-complacent, and hence arises the 
fact that he never performs that which is musically 


Joachim was born on the 15th July, 1831, at the little 
market town of Kittsee, near Pressburg, in Hungary. 
As he showed very decided inclination for music in. 
general, and for the violin in particular when in his 
infancy, his parents sent him to the Vienna Conserva- 
torium, where he studied under Bohm. In 1843 the 
latter declared his inability to teach his pupil more, and 
the youth of twelve went to Leipzig as a "finished 
artist " to play in a Gewandhaus Concert. He played 
the " Otello " fantasie of Ernst ; the public applauded 
loudly, and the critics spoke favourably, laying especial 
stress on the soundness of his school. Immediately 
after this success (for it was an unquestionable success 
for a lad of twelve to take a place like Leipzig in the 
old days by storm) his parents determined to leave 
Joachim in Leipzig to study under David, while Haupt- 
mann gave him instruction (and to very good purpose) 
in theory and composition. Mendelssohn was particu- 
larly fond of the boy and helped him with practical 
advice on many occasions. In 1845 the great composer 
brought the great violinist to London, and soon after 
his arrival he captivated the English public by his fine 
performance of the Beethoven Concerto, and he began 
to make his mark as a quartet player. (The author 
is here wrong in his dates. Mendelssohn conducted the 
last five Philharmonic concerts in 1844, and in that year 
Joachim, Piatti, Ernst and Sainton made their first 
appearance at the famous concerts. — Tr.) 

On his return to Leipzig he played at the Gewandhaus 
a composition of his own, which took the form of an 
Adagio and Rondo with orchestral accompaniment. He 
was next teacher at the Leipzig Conservatorium and 
member of the famous Gewandhaus orchestra, but in 
1850 he went to Liszt at Weimar, where he became 
leader of the Court orchestra. At this period Liszt 
exercised great influence over him, and probably to that 
is due the great pains Joachim took to perfect his 
technique, a quality upon which the eminent pianist 
laid great stress. But when the Wagnerian question 


began to assume large proportions, Joachim withdrew 
from Weimar, for he had little sympathy with the " new 
school," and in 1854 he was appointed to the leader- 
ship of the royal band at Hanover, a post which gave 
him great freedom for travelling and making concert- 
tours. The year 1866, with its attendant troubles, 
closed Joachim's career in Hanover, but he soon 
obtained a post in Berlin as member of the Royal 
Academy of Arts, and Professor (and later Director) of 
the " Hochschule fiir Musik." 

He was at the head of two splendid quartets, that of 
the London Popular Concerts, and that which he founded 
in Berlin with Hausmann and others. He has fre- 
quently conducted the great music festivals, too, at 
Dusseldorf and Kiel, for instance. 

Joachim now stands at the head of the great European 
field of violinists, and as a composer he has enriched 
the literature of music by several works, such as the 
Hungarian concerto, and his arrangement with Brahms 
of the Hungarian dances, the former of which will pro- 
bably long continue to hold its place as one of the very 
finest concertos in existence. 

Joachim possesses three of the most beautiful Stradi- 
varius violins, one of which was presented to him by a 
number of his English admirers and friends. 

In spite of increasing age Dr. Joachim still visits 
England annually, and in this year of grace, 1906, he 
will give a series of concerts in London. He has 
suffered much at the hands of too amiable and too 
bitter critics, but in spite of both he remains the same 
ideal artist, even if now his flesh is hardly strong 
enough to express the wishes of his great spirit. 


THIS young artist, by means of the usual hard and 
persistent practice in the modern school of violin- 
playing, aided moreover by a few favouring cir- 
cumstances, has been able to attain to a great pitch of 
virtuosity, in the best sense of that word ; and an 
impartial critic, though he may not, as some thoughtless 
writers have done, place her above all other lady violinists, 
must yet assign her a position on a level wath the best 
of them. Amongst the fortunate circumstances referred 
to, must be reckoned the advancement she has obtained 
through her connection with tw^o great masters, Joachim 
and Brahms. 


Marie Soldat was born in Gratz on the 25th of March, 
1863 ; another account says 1864. ^^^ father was a 
professional pianist, organist and choirmaster, and gave 
her instruction from her fifth year on the piano, and 
from her seventh year on the organ. She made such 
progress on the latter instrument that she was occasionally 
able to take her father's place in church ; and with the 
view of securing for her the very best tuition as a 
pianist, her father sent her in her sixth year to a piano- 
forte institute in Gratz. In her eighth year she began 
to take violin lessons with Eduard Pleiner, teacher of 
the Steier Musical Union in her native town, and from 
the age of eleven to thirteen she had a course of harmony 
under Kapellmeister Thieriot. The fact that at the time 
she was twelve years old her youthful energies were 
divided between the study of the piano and the violin, 
would not at first sight appear to have been a favourable 
omen for her future career as a virtuoso ; but Pleiner 
pressed her forward with all earnestness in her course 
on the violin. At ten she played Vieuxtemps's Phantasie- 
Caprice at a concert of the Steier Musical Union : and 
at thirteen she played Bruch's G minor concerto at a 
concert on tour. 

The death of her father, w^hich occurred soon after, 
left his family in such circumstances that Marie was 
compelled to earn her daily bread : and as Pleiner, her 
violin-master, died in 1878, the violin fell for a time 
into the background. In the same year Joachim played 
in Gratz, and his extraordinary performances so 
fascinated the young lady that she made bold to consult 
him as to her career, and, acting on his advice, she 
placed herself as a violin student in the hands of 
August Pott at Gratz. 

In 1879 she made another artistic tour, and went to 
several Austrian cities. W^hile on her journey she 
visited Brahms, who took great interest in her, and 
through his influence it was that she finally decided to 
devote her energies entirely to the violin. Brahms 
arranged an interview between Marie and Joachim, and 


through him she was nominated to the Berlin High 
School for Music. She entered that institution in 1879, 
remained there till 1882, and later on took private lessons 
with Joachim, by which means her artistic success 
became assured. On leaving the High School she took 
the Mendelssohn Prize, and from 1882 onwards travelled 
as a virtuoso in Germany, Holland, England, and other 
countries. In 1885, at \"ienna, under Hans Richter's 
baton, she played Brahms's Violin Concerto with brilliant 
success. She also appeared before the old Emperor 
William at a concert at Baden-Baden. In Berlin she 
formed a string quartet with three of the High School 
lady students — Agnes Tschetchulin, Gabrielle Roy, and 
Lucie Campbell, and the lady string quartet appeared in 
several German cities. 

In 1889 she married a lawyer at Vienna, and then 
appeared under the name of " Soldat-R5ger," but has 
since her marriage still remained true to her favourite 




ANY are called ; few are chosen," is almost truer 

of English artists than of any other English 

classes of men. We have abundance of well 

trained young and old musicians — enough and to spare^ 

say how many of them are artists by the 

John Dunn surely is an exception to the 

musical artists, for he seems to have the 

But who shall 
grace of God ? 

general run of 
divine spark. 

John Dunn, who was born at Hull in Yorkshire on the 
loth February, 1866, early achieved distinction as a 
violinist, and when but twelve years of age he was sent 
to study at the Conservatorium in Leipzig, though before 



this he had already been assistant leader of the orchestra 
at the Theatre Royal in Hull. His teachers at Leipzig 
were Schradieck, Jadassohn and Richter — a great trium- 
\irate of masters for* any pupil — and after undergoing a 
thorough course of training at their hands Mr. Dunn 
travelled in Saxony before returning to England, where 
he made his debut in London at a Co vent Garden pro- 
menade concert under the late Mr. Gwyllym Crowe, the 
work he selected on the occasion being Vieuxtemps's 
Concerto in E. 

His success here led to his immediate re-engagement, 
and during the same winter Mr. Dunn appeared in 
Glasgow and elsewhere, at the Leslie concerts, and at 
those of the Royal Amateur Orchestral Society's concerts. 
On one occasion while playing before some members of 
the Royal family the Duke of Edinburgh lent Mr. Dunn 
his famous Stradivarius violin. 

On the 25th November, 1886, Mr. Dunn created a fine 
impression by his playing at the Crystal Palace of Gade's 
D minor concerto, and from that time to the present he 
has gone on up the ladder until now he has " gained a 
place among the finest violinists of the day." He made 
his first appearance at the Philharmonic concert in 
London 27th February, 1896, in Spohr's gth Concerto. 

It is worthy of note that Mr. Dunn narrowly missed 
the fate of an infant prodigy, for which his first master, 
his own brother, thought him well fitted ; and as a proof 
of Mr. Dunn's extraordinary command of technique it 
may be said that he has actually played in public 
Paganini's Moto PerpeUto m octaves. He has written a 
few compositions, including cadenzas to many of the 
most famous concertos, and a series of articles on violin 
playing, containing much practical information, from 
Mr. Dunn's pen appeared in The Strad. 

Mr. Dunn was at one time professor of the violin in 
the Royal Irish Academy of Music. 



"''**^. il 


IT is only a few years ago that Gabriele Wietrowetz has 
been added to the few briUiant stars in the female 
musical firmament. Judging by the events of her 
artistic career, it is clearly manifest that although the 
veclauie which follows so easily and so assiduously the 
footsteps of the virtuoso has not troubled itself much 
with her name, she can rely much more upon the sym- 
pathy of a musically-cultured public, upon the true and 
discriminating critics, and, above all, upon the thorough 
grounding she received at the hands of the greatest of 
living masters, Joseph Joachim. She plays, with the 



consummate and masterful ease of an artist who com- 
pletely dominates all her resources, the most prominent 
works of the latest school of violin composers, which 
demand not only the highest class of technical training 
but also a powerful and brilliant tone ; and has met with 
the fullest acceptance and recognition in all those cities, 
where she has hitherto appeared, including London,. 
Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig, Frankfort-on-the-Main, 
Breslau, Cologne, Aachen, Bremen, Gratz, Amsterdam, 
Magdeburg, Miinster, Wiesbaden, Posen, Stockholm, 
Gotha, Greiz, etc. It therefore goes without saying 
that she has attained to the highest rank in the art of 
violin playing, and there is no mistaking the aim of her 
earnest and energetic exertions, viz., to be a truly 
worthy follower of pure art. 

Gabriele Wietrowetz was born at Laibach on January 
15th, 1866. Her father was a military bandsman, a 
player on the covnet-a-piston, who at the same time under- 
stood the violin, and for three years gave his little daughter 
her first instructions on that instrument, and afterwards, 
when her father left Laibach to settle in Gratz, she took 
lessons from A. Geyer. 

At eleven years of age she entered as a student at the 
Musical Institute at Gratz, and played with brilliant 
success at a concert before a large audience. As a 
result of this, and in coYisequence of her rapid and mani- 
fest progress, she was soon leading pupil in the upper 
division of the Musical Union, then under the conductor- 
ship of Ferdinand Casper. At the annual trial concert 
she made the most striking success, and took the first 
prize. In her fourth year of instruction this prize 
amounted to twenty-five ducats, and at the same time 
Count Aichelburg, a member of the Directorate of the 
Musical Union, presented her with a very valuable 
violin. The Directorate assigned her a yearly salary, by 
the help of which she was able, in the autumn of 1882, to 
go to Berlin in order to obtain the great advantage of 
Joachim's tuition in the High School for Music. She 
became a pupil of Joachim, and also received some 


instruction from Professor Wirth. At the end of her 
first year she took the Mendelssohn Prize of 1,500 marks, 
and at the end of her third year took it for the second 

Her three years at the High School being ended, she 
played, with great success, at the St. Cecilia festival at 
Munster, the concerto by Brahms ; and then undertook 
extended tours in Switzerland, Sweden, and Norway. 
In 1892 she made her first appearance in London, play- 
ing at the Crystal Palace and the Popular and Phil- 
harmonic concerts with great acceptance. Her greatest 
effects are produced with the Concertos by Mendelssohn, 
Beethoven, and Brahms, the second of Bruch, and 
Joachim's Hungarian concerto. 


THOUGH a Frenchman by birth M. Sauret has 
made his name famous by his fiddle in almost 
every other country, and is probably better known 
in England than in his native land. He was born at 
Dun-le-Roi, in the department of Cher in France on the 
22nd May, 1852, began to learn the violin at the age 
of six, and shortly afterwards he became a pupil at the 
Conservatorium at Strasburg. Though not exactly 
what we call a prodigy now-a-days, young Master 
Sauret began his public career w^hen only eight, and 
almost immediately afterwards he made a prolonged 


tour which extended to England. After this he became 
a pupil of Vieuxtemps in Paris, and in 1872 he was one 
of the artists engaged for the tour organised by the 
French President for the relief of the sufferers by the 
Franco-German war. Twice in the sixties did M. 
Sauret visit England, when he played at Alfred Mellon's 
Concerts, and during one of these visits he met Maurice 
Strakosch, who engaged him promptly for a tour in 
America, which was so great a success that another one 
quickly followed. 

In America M. Sauret became acquainted with Von 
Billow, on whose advice he went to Germany, and after 
a brief stay in Leipzig to study composition under Dr. 
Jadassohn, he made a great tour from Sweden and 
Denmark to Portugal. 

But in 1879 M. Sauret gave up touring to settle down 
as a teacher, and nine years later he joined the staff of 
the Stern Conservatorium in Berlin, a post he resigned 
in 1891 to accept an invitation to succeed Sainton as 
principal violin professor at the Royal Academy of 
Music in London, a position he filled with immense credit. 

M. Sauret's compositions are numerous, numbering 
some fifty or more works, nearl)^ all of which are for 
the violin. 

At the present time (1906) M. Sauret is resident in 


THE life of Paganini is an illustration, and of the 
most astounding kind, of what is possible to inborn 
genius pushed to the very limits of self-training. 
It is very probable that the harsh and almost barbarous 
treatment to which in his early years he was subjected 
by his father had the effect of spurring on his industry, 
but so far as concerns his mysterious inclination towards 
art, as well as the unexampled development of his 
technique, his father's hard slave-driving took as much 
from him as it gave to him. Thus it is that the peculiar 
art of Paganini was but little influenced by the stern 
and unbending school in which he took his early lessons. 


As if by magic, his genius developed itself in all its 
magnificence and with all its errors, by the strong pres- 
sure of a mighty power within him. If Costa's"'' pedantic 
training had been able to control the boy so far as to 
lead him along the ordinary path of artistic development, 
Paganini would doubtless have become a player of some 
note, but he would never have been the great magician 
who carried everything before him, and whom the world 
has placed higher in the temple of fame than all others. 
By reason of this peculiar innate force of genius, ever 
pressing forward his own native powers, and mocking at 
all accepted rules, Paganini was subjected to the most 
opposing criticisms ; while he was adored and idolised 
by the ignorant throng, the severe masters of the art 
shook their learned heads, and stigmatised as artificiali- 
ties and carefully-studied tricks those surprising flights 
which stupid blockheads set down as done by the aid 
of the devil. 

Highly interesting are the observations made upon 
Paganini by Spohr, the great German master of the 
violin, at a time when the magician had never played 
-outside Italy. On the i6th of October, 1816, during 
his Italian tour, Spohr wrote as follows : " Yesterday 
Paganini came back here (Venice) from Trieste, and 
has thus, it would seem, given up his projected journey 
to Vienna. To-day he called to see me, and at last I 
made the personal acquaintance of this wonderful man, 
of whom people have spoken to me nearly every day 
since I came to Italy. No instrumentalist ever before 
enraptured the Italians as he has, and though they are 
not usually very fond of instrumental music, he gave 
over a dozen concerts in Milan, and has already given 
five here. Without staying to enquire into the particular 
means by which he bewitches the public, one hears on 
all sides his praises sounded by those who are not 
musical, that he is a true master in the art of witchery. 

* For six months Paganini took instruction from G. Costa, the 
leading conductor and violinist of Genoa, his native town. 


and that he brings out tones which have never before 
been heard on the vioHn. The connoisseurs, on the 
other hand, assert that his enormous dexterity with the 
left hand, in double-stops and all kinds of difficult 
passages, is not to be denied, but that the qualities 
which enchant the great multitude are debased by a 
charlatanism which cannot compensate for his lack of a 
fine tone, a long bow-stroke, and a tasteful singing style. 
But that which satisfies the Italian public, and which 
has gained for him the title of ' The Inimitable ' which 
we see beneath his portraits, is found, on closer examina- 
tion, to consist of a series of dazzling tricks such as 
those with which the once famous Scheller''' used to 
excite the wonder of the country folk, and also of the 
townspeople, viz., flageolet tones (harmonics) : variations 
on one string, in which, to produce the greater wonder^ 
he removed the other three strings ; a certain kind of 
pizzicato with the left hand only, without the aid of right 
hand or bow ; as well as tones quite foreign to the 
violin, such as imitations of the bassoon, the voice of an 
old woman, and other noises. The people were accus- 
tomed to say of Scheller, ' one God, one Scheller,' but 
as I had never heard this wondrous player, I wanted to 
hear Paganini play in his own peculiar style, and the 
more so, as I presumed this marvellous artist would be 
at least as clever as him to whom the above saying was 
applied. The opportunity of attaining his present vir- 
tuosity was afforded him through a four years' imprison- 
ment to which he was sentenced for having strangled 
his wife in a fit of anger.f So at least the story runs,. 
both here and at Milan. As his education was so utterly 

* Jakob Scheller was born in 1759. He was a clever player, but 
relied more on trickery than genuine playing. He so excited 
admiration that people used to say, " One God, one Scheller." 
Spohr was rather hard on Scheller, who, after all, only did what 
Paganini and Ole Bull (far greater artists) were not ashamed to do. 

t We shall return to this story, and others told of Paganini, in 
the course of this sketch. 


neglected that he knew neither the art of reading nor of 
writing, he found time by tedious ways to invent, and by 
hard work to acquire, the feats with which he has 
known how to astound the Italian public. His rude and 
uncultivated manners had estranged several of the best 
musicians of the day, and these sought to induce me to 
exalt myself at Paganini's expense, which would not merely 
have been unjust, as no one would even think of drawing 
a parallel between two artists of such totally different 
styles, but would also have been an injury to myself, as 
it would have turned Paganini's friends and admirers 
into my enemies. His antagonists have had a letter 
inserted in one of the papers to the effect that my playing 
revived the style of the old artists Pugnani and Tartini, 
whose great and worthy manner of handling the violin had 
become a lost art in Italy, and that the petty and childish 
style of the virtuosi of the present time must stand back, 
because the German and French artists knew how to 
adapt the noble and chaste style of those old masters to 
the cultivated tastes of our own day. This letter, which 
was without my knowledge printed in the papers, did 
me as much harm as good with the public, because the 
Venetians are firm in their conviction that Paganini is 
not only not to be surpassed, but cannot be equalled." 

Two days later, in reference to Spohr's concert in the 
San Lucca Theatre on October i8th, the 'papers took 
occasion to draw attention to this letter ; and referring 
to a very favourable report of his concert, Spohr writes 
that " it may with truth be said that it is unjust and one- 
sided to attempt to exalt one style of playing at the 
expense of another, and that, in art, no one genius what- 
ever can be permitted to enjoy a monopoly. The papers,, 
writing of my concert, said that my playing combined 
the Italian sweetness with all that depth of study which 
was peculiar to my country, and that I must be placed 
in the front rank of all living violinists. Surely such 
praise as this would content the vanity of any artist." 

Once more Spohr reverts to the great magician of the 
violin, and on October 20th he wrote: — "To-day 


Paganini came early to see me, and said some very fine 
things about my concert. I pressed him \ ery earnestly 
to play something for me, and several musical friends 
who were with me joined their entreaties to mine. He 
however declined to do so, and excused himself on the 
ground that he had had a fall,- the effects of which he 
still felt in his arm. But when we were alone together, 
and I again pressed him to play something for me, he 
told me that his style suited the public, and never failed 
to produce upon them its wonted effect, but that if he 
played before me he would have to adopt another style, 
and one for which he was not at all in training. We 
should, he said, no doubt meet again in Rome or Naples, 
when he would no longer refuse to comply with my 
request. It thus seems that I shall have to leave this 
place without hearing this wonderful performer." 

This turned out to be the case : and it was not till 
many years later that an opportunity occurred, in his 
own theatre at Cassel, for Spohr to hear the great artist, 
and it is plain that there was but little sympathy between 
the two. In Spohr's " Selbstbiographie " we find the 
following passage: — "In June, 1830, Paganini came to 
Cassel, and gave two concerts in the theatre, which 
aroused the keenest interest. His left hand, and also 
his always accurate intonation, appeared to me worthy 
of the highest admiration. But in his compositions and 
in his delivery I found a singular mixture of the highest 
;genius and utter want of taste, which now attracted and 
now repelled me, so that after hearing him often I could 
not feel satisfied. As his visit occurred at Whitsuntide, 
I took him on the second day of the holiday to Wil- 
helmshohe, where he was my guest at dinner, when he 
was cheerful, and even jubilant in spirits." 

The last remark about Paganini is characteristic of 
Spohr's kindly disposition, as many judges of the 
personality of the Italian describe themselves as repelled 
by him, and it is a question whether the intoxicating 
effect of his performances was not influenced by the 
mysterious and highly-coloured stories which w^ere told 


about his life history. If we look closely into the nature 
of those performances, we find that the mystery of his 
art depended upon his own peculiar application of all 
available technical means, which by his own individual 
industry and practice he developed to an unheard-of 
extent, and knew how to use in producing the most 
astounding effects. His double-stops in harmonics, his 
pizzicato, and his playing on one string were all carried 
by him to the very limits of possibility, in which he 
was assisted by a large, thin, sinewy, but extraordinarily 
flexible hand. He certainly did not introduce any 
absolutely novel kind of technique. 

So far as regards his cultivation of pure technique, and 
particularly the flexibility of his hand, everybody who 
plays the violin will easily understand that continuous 
hard work tends to conquer the most extreme difficulties; 
and one need only to learn the history of Paganini's early 
life, and hear what is said by the ablest and most expert 
amongst his contemporaries, to understand the great 
advantages of his technical cultivation. No biography 
or criticism of the great player can afford to ignore this 
point, for without this never-ending hard work no artist 
will ever win his laurels. From his earliest childhood 
this boy, who was born on February i8th, 1784, was by 
the rapacity of his father kept by the scourge, as it were, 
to his work, and his own ambition was also a spur which 
ever urged him forward to work until there were no 
longer any difficulties left for either his left hand or 
bis right to overcome. He played ten or twelve hours 
every day, often sinking down from sheer exhaustion, 
the result of his efforts to play pieces of the greatest 
difficulty and to conquer the boldest flights on his 
instrument. But even when he had attained to the 
highest pitch of fame, and his violin had grown, so to 
speak, to be a part of his hand itself, he never ceased 
his work and his endeavours. 

Of Paganini's early days the following characteristic 
story is told. When he had already given proof of his 
vast technical attainments, and had for a short time 


received instruction from Costa, who was at that time 
Kapellmeister at the leading church in Genoa, his father, 
acting on Costa's advice, took him to Parma for the 
purpose of placing him under the famous violinist 
Alessandro RoUa. RoUa was at the time ill in bed, 
and Paganini gives''' the following account of what 
occurred : " When we reached Rolla's house we found 
he was laid up. He seemed to have but little inclination 
to see us, but his wife asked us to wait in a room next to 
his bedroom while she went and spoke to him. There 
was a violin lying on the table, and the music of Rolla's 
latest concerto, and I took up the instrument and played 
the work at first sight. Rolla was astonished at what 
he heard, and asked who it was who had played his 
music. On being told it was only a lad he would not 
believe it until he saw it for himself. Pie then told me 
there was nothing that he could teach me, and advised 
me to go to Paer and take lessons in composition." 

Meanwhile Rolla gave him some lessons, and as Paer 
was absent on a journey, Paganini took some lessons in 
composition from Ghiretti at Parma. But it does not 
appear that the youth much cared about being tied 
down by strict rules, though on Paer's return he did 
have some instruction from that master : but as Paer 
again left Parma in 1798, the fourteen-year old artist 
took no more lessons from anybody. In the year 1801 
he began his artistic tours to Milan, Bologna, Florence, 
Pisa, and Leghorn. He was at this time so greatly 
advanced that he could play at sight the most difficult 
and intricate pieces, and he everywhere by his playing 
aroused intense enthusiasm. At Leghorn, a gentleman 
of culture who heard him play sent him a magnificent 
Guarnerius as a present. 

The stories told about Paganini at this period are so 
contradictory that it is best to believe none of them. 
Some accounts say that his tyrannical father kept such 
a tight hold upon him as to leave him no personal 

* The account appeared in a periodical published at Vienna. 



freedom; others that he went on his journeys without 
any control ; while yet other tales aver that he gave up 
the violin for the guitar, went to live a retired life with 
a lady who fell in love with him, and that he devoted 
himself to agriculture. 

It is however certain that in 1805 he went to Lucca, 
where the Princess Elise Bacchiochi, Napoleon's sister, 
devoted herself enthusiastically to promoting his 
interests, and appointed him her solo violinist and 
orchestral director. It was at Lucca that he wrote 
many of these pieces which aroused the frantic enthu- 
siasm of the public — for example, the solos on the G 
and E strings and upon the G string alone, for the latter 
of w^hich he composed a sonata. At the court of the 
Princess Bacchiochi he was pampered and fondled as 
the rarest genius of his time : and in particular, he was 
the special idol of the lady in question. He remained 
fixed in Lucca till the year 1808, when he left that city 
and gave concerts during a number of years all over 
Italy, winning the applause of his hearers everywhere. 
During his travels he was on several occasions very ill, 
and nearer death than life. In Rome he was compelled 
by illness to remain silent for an entire year. In 1824 
he became acquainted with the singer Antonia Bianchi, 
who for five years (some accounts say still longer than 
that) was his constant companion on all his travels. 
The result of their union was his son Achille, who became 
his idol and almost his god, but it is said by some that 
in return for his father's devotion he later on thoroughly 
tyrannised over him, and treated him with shameless 
ingratitude. It was this son Achille, however, to whom 
he left everything at his death. 

In the year 1828 he for the first time trod on German 
soil, and gave concerts in Vienna. The enthusiasm 
which he aroused in that city was without limit ; a medal 
was struck in his honour, on which was a violin sur- 
rounded with a laurel wreath, and with the inscription, 
" Vienna, 1828. Pevituris sonis non peritnv a gloria.'' 

From Vienna he went to Prague, Berlin, Dresden, 


Munich, Frankfort, and other German cities, being 
everywhere alike received with astonishment, transports^ 
and storms of admiration. Young geniuses, amongst 
them Schumann and IMendelssohn, praised him in soar- 
ing language, while the severest critics recognised in him 
the superlative degree of virtuosity. If, from their 
standpoint, they could not allow that his own peculiar 
style would permit of his giving a proper rendering of 
the compositions of Beethoven and Mozart, or even of 
the concertos of \"iotti and Kreutzer, they were yet forced 
to admit that he was an extraordinary and altogether 
unique being, exceptional in every respect, and that in 
all his performances and effects he could only be viewed 
in that light. It was impossible to do\etail him in with 
any existing plan. Whatever piece of another style than 
his own he might take part, the Paganini characteristics 
overlaid everything else. His method was so entirely 
his own that he handled the violin like no other man, 
living or dead. A. B. Marx said of him : — " That is not 
violin playing, it is not music — it is magic ; thus, though 
music, it is entirely out of the usual line." 

Magic ! Such a word, cast amongst a crowd filled 
with superstition, and utterly unable to comprehend or 
to account for either the singular technical pow-ers or 
the absolutely unique artistic spring of music in the soul 
of the artist, w^ove about this man, who was in everything 
a whimsical fellow, the most fanciful reports and grue- 
some legends. He was to the ignorant masses a sorcerer, 
who had entered into league with the devil to stand at 
his elbow^ and guide his hand through all those miraculous 
and complicated shakes, pizzicati, runs, springs, caprices, 
exultings, and whinings upon his noble instrument. 
Now-a-days we look upon the superstition of the mob 
in 1824 as ridiculous and childish in the extreme; but 
at that day it was so powerful that the poor virtuoso 
deemed it necessary to give a flat public denial to these 
mischievous tales and these accusations of murder. 
This he did soon after his first appearance in Paris in 
1830, in the form of a letter in French, which Fetis, on 



statements out of Paganini's own mouth, composed for 
him, and which in 1830 and 1831 appeared in a number 
of French and Italian papers. That letter ran as follows : 
" Dear Sir, — -The tokens of good will which my suc- 
cesses with the Parisian public have brought me, induce 
me to believe that I have not lost in Paris any of the 
reputation which preceded my visit to your capital. If 
any doubt had remained in my mind on that head, it 
w^ould have been removed by the friendly zeal of your 
artists as manifested by the great number of portraits of 
myself with which the walls of your city are covered. But, 
Sir, this artistic zeal has not confined itself to portraits; 
for to-day, as I went along the Boulevard des Italiens, 
I noticed in a picture-shop a lithograph representing 
Paganini in Prison. ' Good,' said I to myself, ' these 
worthy people use to their own profit the vile accusation 
with which I have for fifteen years been persecuted.* 
While I was still laughing at all the mystification and 
all the multiplicity of detail with which the artist has 
invested his picture, I noticed that a numerous circle of 
people had gathered around me, and that each one was 
comparing my face with that in the lithograph, and was 
endeavouring to trace the changes which time had 
wrought upon me since my incarceration. I could see 
that these people, whom I believe you call gapers, took 
the matter in real earnest, and I could tell that on this 
account the speculation would turn out to be not at all 
a bad one. It therefore entered my head, seeing that 
all the world must live, that I could perhaps myself give 
to the designer who has so busied himself about my 
person a few anecdotes of the sort treated in the said 
picture ; and in order to give to these anecdotes the 
widest possible circulation, I beg, Sir, that you will 
favour me by inserting my letter in your musical journal. 
These gentlemen know as little as I do myself, or as 
those who first set the story in circulation know, of the 
cause which brought me to prison. Several tales may 
be mentioned as furnishing the materal for this fabrica- 
tion ; for instance it has been said that I surprised a 



rival with my beloved, and courageously stabbed him in 
a moment from behind before he had the chance to 
defend himself. Another story tells how, in my furious 
rage, 1 slew my beloved herself, only the accounts are 
at variance as to the mode in which I put an end to her 
days. One maintains that it was by the dagger ; another 
that I availed myself of poison. Now just as each of 
these stories follows its own inclination, the litho- 
grapher has gone to work with similar freedom. I will 
here tell you what occurred to me in this respect in 
Padua fifteen years ago. I had given a concert there, 
which was attended with some success. The next day 
I was sitting at the table d'hote^ where no one, as it 
seemed, recognised me. A fellow-diner gave utterance 
to some flattering expressions as to the effect w^hich had 
been produced on him at my concert the night before. 
His neighbour joined him in his praises, and added, 
*■ Paganini's skill is not to be w^ondered at, as he passed 
eight years in gaol, and had no companion but his violin. 
He was condemmed to imprisonment for having, in a 
dastardly manner, killed a friend of mine who was his 
rival.' You can imagine. Sir, the nature of their com- 
ments upon the horror and wickedness of this crime. I 
now took up the word, went over to the gentleman who 
knew so much of my life, and demanded that he should 
tell me when and where this adventure had occurred. 
All eyes were fixed upon me, and you may judge of the 
astonishment with which I was recognised as the chief 
actor in this tragic history. The narrator was dumb- 
founded. Now, it was not his friend who had been 
murdered, but he had ' heard it said,' he had ' been 
assured,' he had * believed,' ' there was possibly some 
mistake,' and so on. You see therefore, dear Sir, how 
the reputation of an artist may be played with, and all 
because the indolence or the ignorance of people does not 
permit them to understand that a man can study quite 
as well in his own room as behind iron bars. 

" In Vienna a much more laughable report gained 
currency, which shows how easily people wdll give ere- 



dence to rubbish. I had played the variations on ' Le 
Streghe,' and with some success. A gentleman, who 
described me as having a wan countenance, a melan- 
choly face, and an inspired glance, stated that he could 
not be surprised at my execution, for whilst I was 
playing my variations he distinctly saw the devil stand- 
ing behind me, with his arm linked in mine, and that he 
had guided each motion of my bow. His likeness to me 
accounted for my hellish origin : he was clothed in red, 
had horns on his head, had a tail, and so on. After so 
circumstantial a description the accuracy of the story 
could not be doubted, and thus many people deemed 
that they had found out the secret of what they called 
my tours de force. 

" For a long time I was disquieted by these and similar 
stories. I sought to demonstrate how laughable they 
were, and showed that as I had been giving public 
concerts ever since I was fourteen, and that I had been 
at Lucca for fifteen years as chief of the orchestra and 
music director, and therefore, if it were true that I had 
spent eight years in prison for slaying my lover or my 
rival, I must have had a lover and a rival when I was 
seven years old. I produced in Vienna the testimony 
of the Italian Ambassador that he had for twenty years 
known me as an honourable man, and stated that I could 
at any moment produce proof of the baseless character 
of these slanders ; but I find they still stick to me, and 
I cannot therefore wonder that they have preceded me 
here. What is to be done ? I see no possible course 
open to me but to remain quiet while these evil rumours 
circulate at my expense. I must tell you yet another 
anecdote before I conclude, which with offensive noise 
has been spread abroad concerning me. A violinist 

named D i, who in 1798 lived in Milan, 

joined himself with two base and slanderous vagabonds 
for the purpose of visiting a neighbouring town to 
murder the priest, who was reported to possess a good 
deal of money. Fortunately one of the accomplices lost 
heart, and told of the plot beforehand. The police went 



to the place and arrested D i and his 

companion just as they reached the parsonage. They 
were condemned to three years' imprisonment, and cast 
into gaol ; but as General Menou had just become 
governor of Milan, he set the artist at liberty after two 
years' confinement. Would you believe. Sir, that the 
credit of this meditated crime has been set down to my 
account ? A violinist was concerned ; his name ended 
in ' i ' ; it must of course be Paganini. To the fact of 
the murder was added the lover and the rival, and it was 
I who had been in prison ; but because it was found that 
I had developed a new style of violin playing, they had 
the grace to unloose the fetters which had bound me, and 
set me at liberty ! Yet once more — because I am not 
able to fight these reports, I must perforce let them stand 
as true. But one hope is left to me, viz., that after my 
death my slanderers will cease from their infernal machi- 
nations, and that those who have been so distressed at 
my success will at least allow my bones to rest in peace! " 

The tragic story told by this letter did not in the least 
abate the success of the artist before the public, but on 
the contrary, each fresh tale only served as a means to 
enhance the interest which his playing awakened. 

The accounts of Paganini's performances in England, 
when he was at the height of his fame, are elaborately 
precise and critically keen. The artist gave his first 
concert in London in His Majesty's Theatre on the 
3rd of June, 1 83 1, and an orchestra was erected for the 
purpose on the stage of the theatre. Paganini played 
his concerto in D major, to which he added a composi- 
tion based on Mozart's " Non piu andrai," played on 
the fourth string. Although expectation was at its 
highest pitch, the pecuniary success did not reach so 
high, the house was moderately filled, the entire receipts 
being only £joo, the very high price put .upon the seats 
keeping away many who would otherwise have attended. 
His reception was rapturous, the musicians in the 
orchestra joining in the applause. Mori said, " I may 
as well go home and smash up my fiddle ! " Lindley 


•stammered out, "That agrees well with the devil!" 
And Dragonetti growled, in a voice as deep as his own 
-double-bass, " A mighty spirit ! " 

The second concert, on June loth, 1831, brought forth 
" La Clochette," from Paganini's second concerto, in 
which the constantly repeated tone of a silver clock 
produces a great effect; the " Carnival of Venice:" a 
sonata on the fourth string ; and the Introduction and 
Finale from " Moses in Egypt," with variations. This 
concert brought in /'i,2oo. The third concert, on June 
13th, produced ;f90o, and the fourth and fifth, on June 
1 6th and 22nd, were quite as successful. The effect 
produced by the cantabile on two strings, the " Rondo 
Scherzoso " of Kreutzer, a " Larghetto gajo," and the 
Andante Cantabile with variations on the Rondo in 
*' Cenerentola," was enormous. " The first surprise 
which Paganini created," wrote one of his contem- 
poraries, " consisted in the simultaneous production of 
bowed and pizzicato notes. While the bov/ played the 
aria on the first string, he produced on the other strings 
harmonies in two and sometimes three parts, and with 
such deftness of fingers that the legato passage on the 
first string was not interfered with. His second source 
of astonishment lies in his harmonic notes. Instead of 
producing these in the usual way, he introduces an 
entirely new method, and by a single, sudden, and skil- 
ful pressure produces a rotary motion which imparts to 
the string quite a different quality of tone. But this 
is not all, for by moving from one position on the strings 
to another with the speed of lightning, he brings into 
operation a new tone generator, as it were, which enables 
him to play harmonics in every scale and in unlimited 
number. These he plays in thirds, sixths, and entire 
octaves. He also executes a double shake in harmonics ; 
while his staccato is perfected to an extent hitherto un- 
known. Smiting the string with the bow, the latter 
rebounds and produces a series of sounds all over the 
finger-board. His bow seems to move with the elasticity 
-of a string which is fixed at one end and set in vibration. 


This species of technique is entirely his own, but in 
double-stop playing of every kind, rapid arpeggios, and 
passages of every possible description, he is a perfect 
master. His intonation in any and every form of play 
is absolutely pure. His ear is so keen, that the least 
suspicion of a false tone causes him pain. It has become 
the fashion to speak of this man as a monster of avarice,, 
a charlatan in his art, a heartless father, and a false 
friend. Evil tongues and the press have dosed him 
Vv'ith false reports and articles. So far as concerns his 
love of money, I have always found the opposite to be 
the case. Speaking French, 1 had abundant opportunities 
of seeing a good deal of him, and acting as his secretary 
in regard to his concert work in England, I heard him at 
every concert, and lived with him in the same hotels, and 
he threw off with me that reserve which, because of his 
mistrust, he always showed to stragners. He was friendly, 
courteous, and full of forethought, and he knew how to 
show thanks in another w^ay than by words. 

" While he confined himself in public entirely to his 
own compositions, which, though in some respects 
extravagant and immature, were expressly framed to 
exhibit his own style, he would in private — he always 
had his violin in his hand — sit down and play the music 
of the best masters. One morning, for example, while 
I sat and wrote, he began the first motif of Beethoven's- 
Concerto. To write under such circumstances was out 
of the question, so I laid down the pen. He asked 
whether I knew what it was, which I assured him I did,, 
and he promised me that if he could find time he would 
play the whole for me before we parted. I^or some time 
he seemed to have forgotten his promise, but on the last 
evening, after his final concert, a few gentlemen came to 
bid him farewell. At a sign from the master one of 
them sat down at the piano, took from his coat pocket a 
roll of music, and began to play. From that moment I 
was all ears, for I knew what was coming. Never shall 
I forget the smile on his pale, thin, weary face, in w^hich 
every line spoke of pain, for during his stay in England 


Paganini was a martyr to bodily suffering. He played 
the Beethoven concerto from beginning to end, and 
every one of his hearers seemed to be lifted right into 
the heavens. As soon as he had finished he went into 
his bedroom without bidding good-bye to any of those 
who had visited him. I did not see him again, for 
although he had instructed me to call him early, I found 
he had risen before me, and had taken his departure in 
the postchaise. I always believed he left thus in order 
to spare me the effects of a painful leave-taking. 

" It is true that Paganini liked money, and the more 
he had the more he wanted ; but that on this account he 
is to be regarded as a degraded miser I most emphati- 
cally deny ; he gave ample proofs of his generosity — as 
witness his magnificent gift to Berlioz. His motto was, 
* Take me or leave me,' and although he always took 
the lion's share of the profits of his concerts, those who 
engaged him never had reason to complain that they 
did not do good business with him. After Paganini left 
England, he returned to Italy and retired from public 
life. Acting on the advice of his doctor he went early 
in 1839 to Marseilles, where he only lived a few months. 
He died on the 27th of May in that year, of consumption 
of the throat." 

This otherwise accurate and sympathetic writer is in 
error as to the place and time of Paganini's death ; 
according to all other accounts he died on May 27th, 
1840, at Nice, at the palace of the Conte di Cessole, 
whose guest the suffering invalid was. When dying he 
took up his beloved violin, and " played as only an angel 
can." Yet the great artist seemed to have had no idea 
how near death was. He was suffering intensely from 
consumption of the larynx, and could scarcely speak 
audibly, but he was nevertheless, arranging, with almost 
childish pleasure, plans for further concert tours. It thus 
happened that the priest, who visited him three days 
before his death to administer the final consolations of 
religion, was put off on the ground that the patient was 
not yet ready, and would send for him when the time 


came. Death however prevented this. The priest then 
maintained that as Paganini had refused the last sacra- 
ments, he had put himself outside the pale of the Church. 
Burial in consecrated ground was therefore refused, and 
the bishop upheld this hard judgment. Astonishment 
was universal. In vain were all the petitions of the 
Conte di Cessole, as well as many other friends of the 
artist, backed up by the request of King Carlo Alberto ; 
the priests stood firm, and the body must remain above 
ground. An appeal was made to a spiritual tribunal, 
but as the result would not be known for some time, the 
earthly remains of Paganini were embalmed, and 
deposited in a hall in the Count's palace. 

And now commenced a pilgrimage, people coming 
from all parts of Italy to pay honour to the dead artist. 
This angered the bishop and priests, and an order was 
obtained from the governor of Nice that the corpse 
should be taken away. The body was removed, under 
military escort, to a small place near the sea shore, at 
Villafranca, where it was lodged in a room and a seal 
placed upon it. In a quiet corner rested the man who 
had had the world at his feet, and became a source of 
terror to the ignorant peasantry. The country people 
who passed the place, and the fishermen as they went 
to and fro, crossed themselves as they glanced towards 
the spot where lay the condemned of the priesthood. 
Legends grew around the spot ; in the dead of night the 
spectre of Paganini was said to appear and play his 
violin outside his resting place. At last the spiritual 
tribunal decided that Paganini had died a good Catholic. 
Nevertheless the Bishop refused to acknowledge the 
judgment, and even an appeal to the Archbishop was of 
no avail. Ultimately the highest court was approached ; 
the friends of the deceased applied to the Pope himself, 
who overruled the decisions of three Archbishops and 
ordained that Christain burial should be accorded to the 
artist. On the 21st of August, 1843, the Conte di 
Cessole brought away the coffin from its rest at Villa- 
franca, and interred it in the churchyard near his old 


residence at Villa Gavona, near Parma. If similar 
cases had not often happened, it would be almost in- 
credible that such harsh treatment should be meted out 
to a harmless artist, who had added a new glory to his 

Of all his written compositions, he only recognised 
his twenty- four caprices, twelve sonatas for violin and 
guitar, and six quartets for violin, viola, guitar and 
violoncello, as authentic. At the time of writing these 
lines Sivori is his only living pupil.* 

Paganini's violin, a Joseph Guarneri del Gesu, is in 
the museum of Genoa, in a glass case, and is seldom 
played upon ; Sivori used it, fourteen years after 
Paganini's death, for the first time. This is the violin 
already mentioned as presented to him at Leghorn. He 
was to give a concert there, but some accident had 
happened to his violin which made it doubtful whether 
he would be able to play. An amateur heard of this, and 
begged Paganini to accept the loan of his Guarneri for 
the concert. On his returning it, the owner said he 
would never play on it after Paganini had used it, and 
begged him to accept it as a gift. 

Sivori died on i8th February, 1894. 


THERE is no one who has contributed so largely to 
the requirements of the budding violinist as the 
subject of this sketch, whether for instruction or 
pastime. In each field of artistic labour he has shown 
himself zealous, conscientious and — true type of the 
perfect artist — modest. 

Born in Florence, he comes down to us in the " grand 
line " of violinists, being a pupil of Giorgetti who was 
himself a pupil of Rode and he a pupil of that founder 
of modern violin playing, Viotti. Of Giorgetti, Signer 


Papini tells us that he made use of all " methods " in 
teaching, rightly believing that this was the best means 
of making his pupils finished artists in every sense. 
The result is best seen in Papini's comprehensive 
"Violin School." 

At the age of thirteen already Guido Papini made his 
first dehut in his native town with a Beethoven Quartet. 
Subsequently he was court violinist to the Queen of 
Italy, playing frequently at her palace ; and for several 
years also he was the youthful but exceptionally capable 
director of the Societa del Quavtetto of Florence. 

He came westwards and achieved still greater success, 
notably at the Pasdeloup concerts in Paris, where he 
received the enthusiastic plaudits of a vast audience, a 
success only anticipatory of the many that were to follow 
in other towns. In Portugal he so enchanted the King, 
Dom Luis, that his Majesty sent him next day the Cross 
of Merit as a token of his royal appreciation. 

A series of concerts by the Musical Union in 1874, 
under the direction of Professor Ella, was the scene of 
Papini's first English appearance ; the result being 
identical with his continental experiences, in fact 
SUCCESS is " writ large " upon every page of his career. 

Subsequently he appeared at the Crystal Palace, the 
Old and New Philharmonic Societies' Concerts, charm- 
ing his hearers with his equally perfect renderings of 
compositions in varying and opposite styles, for he 
embraced the entire violin literature from Corelli, Vieux- 
temps, and other modern composers with perfect im- 
partiality. He maintained his connection with the 
IMusical Union for several seasons, at first alternating 
with Sarasate and Wieniawski, but later taking sole 
leadership of the chamber music performed at these 

Papini contends that Bazzini wrote the most perfect 
violin music ; he is, to quote the Signor's words, '' the 
Thalberg of the violin." Signer Papini has great faith 
in the future of English music. He gives it as his 
decided opinion that the English have musical talent to 


a marked extent, and that it only needs a little encourage- 
ment to bring English executants to the front rank. 
The Signor's many charming and scholarly compositions 
have done much to assist matters in this way, and 
violinists of every degree of proficiency have much for 
which to be thankful to him ; not only for his works 
themselves, but for the elevating effect they have had on 
the current literature of the violin. 

The Signor now takes an active interest as examiner 
in London at the periodical examinations of the College 
of Molinists, and the services of this sterling artist are 
invaluable to this institution. 









3, 6reen Cerrace, 
Condon, ££. 



Cvoivn 8vo., Cloth, 2/6, Post Free, 2/9. 
" THE STRAD" LIBRARY EDITION is the only Authorised Edition of 

Technics of Violin Playing 





With Folding Plates, containing Fifteen Illustrations. 


My Dear -Mr. Courvoisier : I have read the book on Violin 
Playing j^ou have sent me, and have to congratulate you sincerely 
on the manner in which 5-ou have performed a most difficult task, 
i.e., to describe the best way of arri\ing at a correct manner of 
playing the violin. 

It cannot but be welcome to thoughtful teachers, who reflect on 
the method of our art, and I hope that your work will prove useful 
to many students. 

Believe me, my dear Mr. Courvoisier, to be most faithfully 3-ours, 

Berlin, November 3rd, 1894. ijj^ ^ 

The New and Revised Edition of " Technics of Violin Playing," 
issued by The Strad, is the only authorised edition of mj^ work. 
The several English Editions which have all appeared without my 
knowledge are incomplete and faulty. 


London : 
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Cvoivn 8vo., Cloth, 216, Post Free, 2/9. 



Strings and Tuning. The Bow and Bowing. Faults and ^their 
Correction. Scales and their Importance. Course of Study. 
Advice on Elementary Matters. Concerning Harmonics, Octaves, 
etc. Orchestral Playing. Some Experiences as a Soloist. With 
full page portraits of Carrodus, Molique, Paganini, Spohr, Sivori, 
De Beriot, Blagrove and Sainton, and a photo-reproduction of Dr. 
Spohr's testimonial to Carrodus. 

"An interesting series of articles ' How to Study the Violin,' which 
Carrodus contributed to The Strad, and completed only a week or 
two before his death, have now been collected in cheap book form. 
The technical hints to violin students, which are practical, plainly 
worded, and from such a pen most valuable." — Daily News. 

" But a few weeks before his sudden death the most distinguished 
of native violinists completed in The Strad a series of chats to 
students of the instrument associated with his name. These 
■chats are now re-issued, with a sympathetic preface and in- 
structive annotations. All who care to listen to what were 
virtually the last words of such a conscientious teacher will 
recognise the pains taken by Carrodus to render every detail as clear 
to the novice as to the advanced pupil. Pleasant gossip concerning 
provincial festivals at which Carrodus was for many years ' leader ' 
of the orchestra, ends a little volume worthy a place in musical 
libraries both for its practical value and as a memento of the life- 
work of an artist universally esteemed." — Daily Chronicle. 

" It is surely, hardly necessary to direct the attention of students 
to the unique value of the hints and advice given by so experienced 
and accomplished a virtuoso as the lateMr. Carrodus, so that it only 
remains to state that the ' Recollections ' make delightful reading, 
and that the book, as a whole, is as entertaining as it is instructive. 
The value of the brochure is enhanced by an excellent portrait of Mr. 
Carrodus, as well as of a number of other violin worthies, and the 
printing, paper, and get up generally are good as could possibly 
be." — Musical Answers. 

London : 
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Crown 8vo, Cloth, 2/6, Post Free, 2/9. 


Its History, Manufacture and Use 



WiHh Full Page Illustrations (exact size) by Photo Process 

MONS. EMILE SAURET writes— "I have read it with great 
interest, and think that it supplies a real want in giving musicians 
such an excellent description of all matters referring to this 
important instrument." 

SIGNOR GUIDO PAPINI writes — " Thanks so much for your 
splendid and interesting book. You are quite successful and all the, 
artists and amateurs are indebted to you for so exact and correct a 
' Texte ' on the subject." 

ADOLF BRODSKY writes — " I am delighted with the book and 
find it very instructive, even for those who think to know everything 
about the bow. It is very original and at times very amusing. No 
violinist should miss the opportunity to buy it." 

THE TIMES—" A useful treatise on the Bow, in which the 
history, manufacture and use of the bow are discussed with con- 
siderable technical knowledge." 

DAILY TELEGRAPH— " To the student there is much of 
interest in the work, which has the advantage of being copiously 

DAILY NEWS — " This book seems practically to exhaust its 

London ; 
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Cvoivn 8vo., Cloth, 2/6, Post Free, 2/9. 






iCopy of Letter received by the Author from the great 'cellist, 

Cadenabbia, Lake of Como, March gth, 1898. 
Dear Sir, — I received the book you kindly sent me on "The 
Technics of Violoncello Playing," which I found excellent, particu- 
larly for beginners, which naturally was your scope. With many 
thanks for kindly remembering an old ex-violoncello player. 

Believe me, yours sincerely, 


Copy of Letter received by the Author from the eminent 'cellist, 

Budapest, February 22nd, i8g8. 

Dear Sir, — In sending me your book on "The Technics of 
Violoncello Playing " you have given me a real and true pleasure. 
I know of no work, tutors and studies not excepted, which presents 
■so much valuable material, so much that is absolutely to the point, 
-avoiding — I might say, on principle — all that is superfluous and 
dispensable. Every earnest thinking violoncello student will in 
future make your book his own and thereby receive hints which 
will further and complete the instructions of his master. 

I congratulate you and ourselves most heartily on the new violon- 
cello book. With kind regards, Yours most sincerely, 


London : 
"" STRAD" OFFICE,, 3, Green Terrace, Rosebery Avenue, E.C. 



Croji'u 8vo., Cloth, 2/6, Post Free, 2/9. 




Introductory — Qualities indispensable to the ideal Violinist — 
Hints on the Choice of a Teacher— Some Tricks of pretending 
professors exposed. 

On the Choice of a Violin and Bow — Advice regarding general 
adjustment and repairs. 

On the Choice of Strings — Stringing the Instrument and' 
keeping the Pegs in Order. 

On the General Posture — The manner of holding the Violin 
and Bow as accepted by the leading artists of the day. 

On Fingering Generally — The various positions — Scales 
recommended — The Modern Orchestral " Principal " or (so-called) 

On Gliding— Special Characteristics of some of the most 
Eminent Players. 

Double Stopping — The main difficulty in Double Stopping — 
How to gain Independence of Finger. 

Bowings — Smooth Bovangs — Solid Staccato — Spiccato— Spring 
Bow — Mixed Bowings. 

Tone Production — Character of Tone — Rules and Conditions 
necessary to produce a good tone — Style and Expression. 

London : 
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Crown 8vo., Cloth, 2/6, Post Free, 2/9. 

Chats to 'Cello 5tudents 



" Musicians, devotees of the 'cello in particular, will welcome the 
atest volume of The 'Strad Library,' 'Chats to 'Cello Students,' by 
Arthur Broadley. . . . Mr. Broadley not only knows what he 
is talking about, but has practised what he says. From the choice 
of an instrument to finished delivery and orchestral playing, ' Chats 
to 'Cello Students ' leaves nothing undiscussed. The treatment is 
simple and practical. The exhaustive chapter on ' bowing ' should 
be an invaluable aid to students. In the last chapter of his book, 
' On Delivery and Style ' Mr. Broadley has given a lucid expression 
to a subject which has sadly needed voicing." — The Tribune, 
Nuneaton . 

" Is a brightly written little volume filled with practical informa- 
tion for those who seek to bring out the wealth of expression of 
which the violoncello is capable. The instruction is presented in 
homely, common-sense fashion, and there are upwards of fifty 
examples in music type to illustrate the author's meaning." — 
Lloyd's Weekly. 

" Every kind of bowing and fingering, the portamento, harmonic 
effects, arpeggios and their evolution from various chords, are all 
ably treated, and the work concludes with a few remarks on 
orchestral playing which are of especial interest." — Musical News. 

" As a writer on the technique of his instrument Mr. Broadley is 
known all over the world, perhaps his most successful work being 
a little book published by The Strad, ' Chats to 'Cello Students.' " 
— The Violinist. 

London : 
" STRAD" OFFICE, 3, Green Terrace, Rosebery Avenue, E.C. 



Crown 8vo., Cloth, 2/6, Post Free, 2/9. 




Of the Music Jury, International Inventions Exhibition, South 

Kensington, 1885 ; International Exhibition, Edinburgh, 

1890 ; Expert in Law Courts, 1891 ; 

President oj the Cremona Society. 


" This is the history of the life-work of the great Italian stringed 

musical instrument maker There is a most interesting 

analysis of Stradivari's method of mechanical construction which 
again is illustrated by original drawings from the many Strads 
which it has been Mr. Petherick's privilege to examine. All lovers 
of the king of instruments will read this delightful little volume." — 

"Among makers of violins Stradivari perhaps occupies the 
premier position, and this account of his work, designs, and 
variations in finish of details will afford pleasure to many readers." 
— Morning Post. 

"This is a monograph vv'hich all students of the violin will be 
happy to possess. The author is a connoisseur and expert, and 
his account of the great Cremonese master and his life-work, is 
singularly well and clearly told, whilst the technical descriptions 
and diagrams cannot fail to interest everyone v/ho has fallen under 
the spell of the violin. . . Mr. Petherick traces the career of 

Stradivari from his earliest insight into the mysteries of the craft 
to his highest achievements. Numerous illustrations lend attrac- 
tion to the volume, not the least being a view of Stradivari's 
atelier, from a painting by Rinaldi, the sketch of which was made 
on the premises " — Music. 

" Mr. Petherick is well known in the musical world as a violin 
expert with a special knowledge of the instruments made by the 
Cremonese master, whose biography he has here given us. He 
tells us how the master worked, what his pupils did, and where 
their work differs from that of their preceptor. In fact, the 
volume is as much a dissertation on the violins of Stradivari as a 
biography of the master, and is full of deeply interesting matter." 

— Lloyds . 

London : 
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Crown 8vo., Cloth, 5/-, Post Free, 5/4. 




With Thirty-one Full-page PHOTO ETCHINGS, 

Illustrating the process of Violin-making in every stage — from the 
rough slab of wood to the finished Instrument. 

The text is written by an Actual Violin Maker, in a very clear 

and lucid style. 

"Popular lecture" style, with photographic illustrations." — 
The Times. 

"A feature of the book is the clearness of the illustrations." — 
Morning Post. 

" Describes a very fascinating art from start to finish. — Morning 


"This new booklet, on how to make a violin, is an admirable 
exposition of methods. Mr. Mayson avoids learned terminology. 
He uses the simplest English, and goes straight to the point. He 
begins by showing the young learner how to choose the best wood 
for the violin that is to be. Throughout a whole chatty, perfectly 
simple chapter, he discourses on the back. A separate chapter is 
■devoted to the modelling of the back, and a third to its ' working 
out.' The art of sound-holes, ribs, neck, fingerboard, the scroll, 
the belly. Among the illustrations is one showing the tools which 
the author himself uses in the making of his instruments. To 
learners of the well-known Manchester maker's delicate art we 
commend this little volume." — Daily News. 

London : 
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Crown 8vo., Cloth, 2/6, Post Free, 2/9. 
(Dedicated, by permission, to Dr. JOSEPH JOACHIM) 


Critically discussed, and Illustrated with over 



*^* The book contains analytical and historical notes upon the 
Chamber Music of Beethoven, in which the violin takes part as a 
solo instrument, with some account of the various editions of the 
principal works ; Beethoven's method of working, as shown by 
his Sketch Books, etc. It is dedicated to Dr. Joachim, who has 
furnished some notes respecting the stringed instruments possessed 
by Beethoven. 

Extract from Author s Preface : — 
" Young students often suppose that they ought to admire every 
work which proceeds from a great genius ; an attempt therefore has 
been made to convey some idea of the relative art-value and 
importance of the various compositions discussed in these pages. 
For between the best work of any man and his least inspired, there 
is a wide difference. Certainly nothing annoyed the great master 
more than to hear his least mature works praised, especially at a 
time when many of his greatest creations were too little studied 
to be understood save by a few." 

"Mr. John Matthews— dealing with Beethoven's music in 
pleasant fashion, and at not too great length — gives an historical 
account, and in many instances short analyses, with illustrations 
in music type, of Beethoven's works for this instrument, and 
particularly the sonatas (to which considerable space is devoted), 
the trios, the quartets, and other compositions in which the master 
employed the violin. The book will be found by amateurs both 
interesting and instructive." — Daily Neivs. 

London : 
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Crotvn 8vo., Cloth, 2/6, Post Free,' 2/9. 

Advice to Pupils & Teacliers 
of tile Violin. 



strongly recommended by AUGUST WILHELMJ & GUIDO PAPINl. 

London, March 18th, 1903. 
Dear Mr. Althaus, 

I read your book, "Advice to Pupils and Teachers of the 
VioUn " with great interest, and find it very useful. Hoping your 
book will meet with the success it deserves. 

I am, yours sincerely, 


London, Feb. 19th, 1903. 
Dear Mr. Althaus, 

I have read with interest your admirable book ' ' Advice to Pupils 
and Teachers of the Viohn." I have no hesitation in recomend- 
ing it as an indispensable work to all aspiring violinists and teachers. 
Your remarks on the acquirement of the various bowings, with the 
many musical examples, are excellent. I know of no work on this 
important subject so explicit and exhaustive. Wishing your book 
the great success it deserves. 

Believe me, yours sincerely, 


" I have read the 157 pages that go to form the book in 
question, and can say, without any misgiving, that Mr. Althaus 
has successfully achieved what he set out to do." — Musical 

London : 
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Crown 8vo., Cloth, 2/6, Post Free, 2i9. 

Repairing and Restoration 
of Violins. 



Of the Music Jury, International Inventions Exhibition, South 

Kensington, 1 885 ; International Exhibition, Edinburgh, 

1890 ; Expert in Law Courts, 1891 ; 

President of the Cremona Society. 


The proper sort of glue — Its preparation and use — Loose finger- 
boards — Injuries to the scroll — Insertion of fresh wood — Fracture 
of peg-box and shell — Worn peg-holes — Refilling or boring same — 
Grafting — Lengthening the neck — Treatment of worm-holes — Fixing 
on graft on neck — Ways of removing the upper table and the neck 
— Cleansing the interior — Closing of cracks in upper table — Getting 
parts together that apparently do not fit — Treatment of warped 
lower table — Replacing old end blocks by new ones — Matching wood 
for large cracks — Repairing lost portions — Repairs to purfling — 
Removal of a fixed sound-post — Fitting a fresh part of worm-eaten 
rib — Lining a thin back — Fixing the bar — Varnishing, etc., etc. 

" The author is a man of wide experience, and with him it is 
a labour of love, so that few more suitable hands could be found 
for the task. To him fiddles are quite human in their character- 
istics, needing a, ' physician within beck and call,' and developing 
symptoms capable of temporary alleviation or permanent cure, as 
the case may be, and no remedial measures are left undescribed." — 
Musical News. 

"Mr. Petherick is a man of wide experience in violins, so his 
hints about the treatment and care of the instrument are invaluable. 
His imaginary interviews are both clever and amusing, and more- 
over contain useful information of what to do, and avoid, in the 
treatment of violins." — Hereford Times. 

London : 
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Solo Playing;, Soloists and Solos, 



" Mr. William Henley is an excellent performer, and his book, 
* The Violin : Solo Playing, Soloists and Solos,' is the result of 

considerable practice in the art he discusses The 

opening advice to violin students, the insistence on' tune first, and 
then on tone, the latter depending greatly for its excellence upon 
the correctness of the former, is not only worth saying, but is 
said well, and with conviction. Mr. Henley discriminates well 
between violinists: Joachim, the classic; Carrodus, the plain; 
Sarasate, the neat and elegant ; and Wilhelmj, the fiery and 

bold The list of violin concertos, given in the last 

chapter but one of the book, seems a very complete one, and 
should be useful for purposes of reference." — The London and 
Provincial Music Trades Review. 

" For the student whose intention it is to make the violin a means 
of livelihood — the professional soloist or orchestral player in embryo 
— this little work, written in a spirit of obvious sincerity, is well-nigh 

invaluable The chapters on 'Teaching and Studies,' 

'The Artist,' 'Phrasing,' 'Conception,' and 'True Feeling' are 
very well written, and the whole work is worth careful and diligent 
perusal." — The Musical World. 

" The author of this book has thought much and deeply on the 
fascinating subject of which he treats, and is entitled to a hearing. 
. The author's remarks on ' Tone ' are excellently con- 
ceived, and of no small interest, the subject being less hackneyed 
than that of ordinary technique. In his chapter on ' Style ' he 
reminds the readers of the many factors which go to the making 
of a fine violinist, among which Style — which is the outcome of 
the imagination and the sensibility of the player — is one of the 
most important. The fine executant is common enough now-a- 
days, but the fine stylist as rare as ever." — Musical News. 

London : 
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Crown 8vo., Cloth, 2/6, Post Free, 2/9. 






( Author of "Advice to Pupils and Teachcys of the Violin.'") 

With 283 Musical Examples. 


Crade a. — Elementary' Pieces. 
Grade B. — Easy, not exceeding First Position. 
Grade C. — Easy, using First and Third Position. 

Grade D. — Moderately Difficult, not exceeding the Third Position. 
Grade E. — Moderately Difficult, as far as the Fifth Position. 
Grade F. — Difficult, especially as regards Sentiment and 


Grade G.— Difficult, using all Positions. 

Grade H. — Very Difficult, including Standard Concertos and 

Concert Pieces. 
Grade I. — For Virtuosi. 

London : 
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Crown 8vo., Cloth, 2/6, Post Fvee, 2/9, 




Translated and Adapted from the German of 





' ' The school of Cremona is dealt with at great length , but in the 
most interesting way. Short biographical sketches are given of 
the great exponents of this school, which was founded by Andreas 
Amati. To it belonged Antonio Stradivari, who is said to be the 
greatest of all violin makers, and Joseph Guarnerius. The pupils 
of the Amati and the others mentioned are duly tabulated before 
the schools of Milan and Venice are discussed. Following these 
v/e have the German school, etc., etc. Part III. of the book under 
notice deals with the constitutent parts of the violin, and there is 
nothing that the seeker after knowledge cannot find here, even to 
the number of hairs which should go to the making of a bow. 
Strings, bridges, sound-posts, bars-bars, nuts, pegs — indeed, every- 
thing about a violin is treated in an authoritative way. Not for a 
very long time have we been so interested in a book, and for that 
reason we wish our violin players to share that pleasure by getting 
a copy." — The Ciuiinock Chronicle. 

London : 
^■STRAD" OFFICE, 3, Green Terrace, Rosebery Avenue, E.C. 



The Largest Circulation in the World of any paper amongst Violinists. 


A Monthly Journal for Professionals and Amateurs of all 
Stringed Instruments played with the Bow. 

Published on the First of every Month. Price 2d. 
Annual Subscription, Post Free, 2s. 6d. 

THE STRAD is the only recognised organ of the string family 
and has subscribers in every country of the civilised world. Our 
circulation has increased to so great an extent that we are enabled 
to engage as contributors 


THE STRAD contains technical articles by the leading artists. 

THE STRAD) in the answers to Correspondents column, gives 
minute information by Experts on every detail connected with the 

THE STRAD gives all the important doings of Violinists at 
home and abroad all the year round. 

THE STRAD gives early critical notices of all important New 
Music for Stringed Instruments with numbers to show the grade 
of difficulty of every piece. 

THE STRAD gives every month a beautifully - executed 
Portrait, on fine art paper, of some leading celebrity in the Violin 
world, together with a biographical sketch. 

The following serial articles are now appearing : 

Nicolo Paganini : His Life and Works. By 

Stephen S. Stratton. 

A Complete Course of Instruction in 'Cello 
Playing. By x\rthur Broadley. 

Specimen Copy, 2^d., Post Free. 

All Subscriptions, Advertisements, etc., to be addressed to the 
Manager, Harry Lavender, 3, Green Terrace, Rosebery Avenue, 
London, E.G. 

London : 
"STRAD" OFFICE, 3, Green Terrace, Rosebery Avenue, E.G. 






Music Library 

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