The Hector Berlioz Website

Berlioz Photo Album : Friends and acquaintances (3)

Unless otherwise stated all pictures on Berlioz Photos pages have been scanned from engravings, paintings, postcards and other publications in our own collection. All rights of reproduction reserved.

 

Cherubini

Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842)

Cherubini settled in Paris in 1788 and was the director of Paris Conservatoire from 1822 until his death. He was 70 by the time the young Berlioz came into contact with him. Cherubini’s behaviour as director of the Conservatoire made him the butt of Berlioz’s scorn (cf. Berlioz’s Memoirs).

 

Habeneck

François-Antoine Habeneck (1781-1849)

Habeneck held the position of conductor at both the Opéra and Conservatoire for two decades. He conducted the first performances of the Symphonie fantastique, Lélio, the Requiem and Benvenuto Cellini.

 

Auber

Esprit Auber (1782-1871)

Auber succeeded Cherubini as director of the Conservatoire in 1842, a position that he held until his death. According to Hugh Macdonald the work of Auber that most influenced Berlioz was the opera La muette de Portici, also known as Masaniello.

 

Girard

Narcisse Girard (1798-1860)

Girard conducted some of Berlioz’s early concerts, including the first performance of Harold en Italie. The overture to Les Francs-Juges is dedicated to him.

 

Bénazet

Édouard Bénazet (1801-1867)

Bénazet, the director of the casino at Baden-Baden since 1848, was responsible for inviting Berlioz to conduct a major concert at the resort in 1853 and then annually from 1856 to 1861. In 1858 he commissioned him to write an opera for the inauguration of a new theatre he was building; Berlioz did not fulfil the original commission but eventually wrote the comic opera in two acts Béatrice et Bénédict, his last major work, which was accepted by Bénazet instead and premièred in Baden-Baden on 9 and 11 August 1862.

 

Charton-Demeur

Anne Charton-Demeur (1824-1892)

Madame Charton-Demeur sang in Roméo et Juliette in 1852 in London and again in 1858 in Baden-Baden, the role of Béatrice in the première of Béatrice et Bénédict at Baden Baden in 1862, and that of Didon in the première of Les Troyens in 1863. She retired in 1869, but continued to sing Berlioz’s works in concerts. She and her husband were staunch and loyal friends of Berlioz. She was present at Berlioz’s death-bed.
A copy of this lithograph is in the library of the Paris Opera.

 

Fétis

François-Joseph Fétis (1784-1871)

A native of Belgium, Fétis was an eminent critic and musicologist who studied and lived in Paris between 1800-1811 and 1818-1832, then became director of the newly-founded Brussels Conservatoire from 1833 to the end of his life. Outraged by his ‘corrections’ to Beethoven’s symphonies, Berlioz famously attacked him in the Mélologue, later renamed Lélio ou le retour à la vie, at its first performance at the Paris Conservatoire in December 1832, with Fétis present in the audience. Later in life the relationship between the two men gradually improved from one of hostility to mutual respect. See Berlioz in Brussels page for Berlioz’s concerts in that city and his long relationship with Fétis.

© (unless otherwise stated) Monir Tayeb and Michel Austin for all the texts and images on Berlioz Photo Album pages.
All rights of reproduction reserved.

 

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