Émile Waldteufel

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Emile Waldteufel Waldteufel.jpg
Émile Waldteufel

Émile Waldteufel (born Charles Émile Lévy, 9 December 1837 12 February 1915) [1] was a French pianist, conductor and composer of dance and concert music.

The French are an ethnic group and nation who are identified with the country of France. This connection may be ethnic, legal, historical, or cultural.

Pianist musician who plays the piano

A pianist is an individual musician who plays the piano. Since most forms of Western music can make use of the piano, pianists have a wide repertoire and a wide variety of styles to choose from, among them traditional classical music, jazz, blues, and all sorts of popular music, including rock and roll. Most pianists can, to an extent, easily play other keyboard-related instruments such as the synthesizer, harpsichord, celesta, and the organ.

Conducting directing a musical performance by way of visible gestures

Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance, such as an orchestral or choral concert. It has been defined as "the art of directing the simultaneous performance of several players or singers by the use of gesture." The primary duties of the conductor are to interpret the score in a way which reflects the specific indications in that score, set the tempo, ensure correct entries by ensemble members, and "shape" the phrasing where appropriate. Conductors communicate with their musicians primarily through hand gestures, usually with the aid of a baton, and may use other gestures or signals such as eye contact. A conductor usually supplements their direction with verbal instructions to their musicians in rehearsal.

Contents

Life

Émile Waldteufel (German for forest devil) was born at 84 Grand'Rue in the centre of Strasbourg. His grandfather and father were both musicians; his mother Flora Neubauer, originally from Bavaria had been a student of Hummel and had met Haydn; she was a keen singer and dancer also. [2] From a Jewish Alsatian family of musicians, [3] [4] the original family surname had been Lévy . His father Louis had a respected orchestra, and his brother Léon was a successful performer. When Léon won a place to study violin performance at the Conservatoire de Paris, the family followed him there.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

Strasbourg Prefecture and commune in Grand Est, France

Strasbourg is the capital and largest city of the Grand Est region of France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located at the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department. In 2016, the city proper had 279,284 inhabitants and both the Eurométropole de Strasbourg and the Arrondissement of Strasbourg had 491,409 inhabitants. Strasbourg's metropolitan area had a population of 785,839 in 2015, making it the ninth largest metro area in France and home to 13% of the Grand Est region's inhabitants. The transnational Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau had a population of 915,000 inhabitants in 2014.

Johann Nepomuk Hummel Austrian composer and pianist

Johann Nepomuk Hummel was an Austrian composer and virtuoso pianist. His music reflects the transition from the Classical to the Romantic musical era.

Waldteufel received his first lessons from his father and the local musician Joseph Heyberger; after his arrival in Paris he was able to take elementary classes from Laurent at the Conservatoire de Paris, followed by advanced studies under Marmontel. [2] Among his fellow pupils was Jules Massenet.

Antoine François Marmontel French pianist, teacher and musicographer

Antoine François Marmontel was a French pianist, teacher and musicographer.

Jules Massenet French composer

Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet was a French composer of the Romantic era best known for his operas, of which he wrote more than thirty. The two most frequently staged are Manon (1884) and Werther (1892). He also composed oratorios, ballets, orchestral works, incidental music, piano pieces, songs and other music.

The young Émile was obliged to halt his studies and work at the Scholtus piano factory owing to the financial situation of the family, but soon took a room in rue de Bellefond in order to concentrate on composing. [2] During his time at the conservatory, Louis Waldteufel's orchestra became one of the most famous in Paris, and Émile was frequently invited to play at important events.

At the age of 27, Émile became the court pianist of the Empress Eugénie. He also led the orchestra at state balls. [5] His appointment by Napoléon III to the musical direction of the balls led him to participation in the events in Biarritz and Compiègne; at the latter he met many other musicians and artists and also accompanied the Emperor playing the violin. [2]

Napoleon III French emperor, president, and member of the House of Bonaparte

Napoleon III, the nephew of Napoleon I, was the first elected President of France from 1848 to 1852. When he could not constitutionally be re-elected, he seized power in 1851 and became the Emperor of the French from 1852 to 1870. He founded the Second French Empire and was its only emperor until the defeat of the French army and his capture by Prussia and its allies in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. He worked to modernize the French economy, rebuilt the center of Paris, expanded the overseas empire, and engaged in the Crimean War and the war for Italian unification. After his defeat and downfall he went into exile and died in England in 1873.

Biarritz Commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Biarritz is a city on the Bay of Biscay, on the Atlantic coast in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the French Basque Country in southwestern France. It is located 35 kilometres (22 mi) from the border with Spain. It is a luxurious seaside tourist destination known for the Hôtel du Palais, its casinos in front of the sea and its surfing culture.

Château de Compiègne castle in Compiègne, France

The Château de Compiègne is a French chateau, a royal residence built for Louis XV and restored by Napoleon. Compiègne was one of three seats of royal government, the others being Versailles and Fontainebleau. It is located in Compiègne in the Oise department and is open to the public.

In 1868 he married Célestine Dufau, a former singer from Toulouse who had appeared at the Opéra-Comique. They had three children, Louis René, Émile René and Berthe. [2]

At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War Waldteufel enlisted and was stationed in the Basses-Pyrénées. After the defeat of France the Second French Empire was dissolved and his home town became part of Germany for the rest of his life. After the Empire, the orchestra still played at Presidential balls at the Élysée. At this time only a few members of the French high society knew of Émile; he was nearly 40 before he became better known.

In October 1874 Waldteufel played at an event that was attended by the then Prince of Wales, future King Edward VII of the United Kingdom. The Prince was enthralled by Waldteufel's "Manolo" waltz, and was prepared to make Waldteufel's music known in Britain. [6] A long-term contract with the London-based editor Hopwood & Crew followed. Part of the company belonged to Charles Coote, director of the Coote & Tinney's Band, the first dance orchestra in London. Through these means, Waldteufel's music was played at Buckingham Palace in front of Queen Victoria. Waldteufel dominated the music scene in London and became world-famous. During this period he composed his best known works, many of which are still heard today around the world. He became best known for the waltz "Les Patineurs" (The Ice Skaters), composed in 1882.

Waldteufel gave concerts in several European cities, such as London in 1885, Berlin in 1889, where he enjoyed a friendly rivalry with Johann Strauss, and the Paris Opéra Balls in 1890 and 1891. He continued his career as conductor and writing dance music for the Presidential Balls until 1899 when he retired.

On 12 February 1915 Waldteufel died at his home, 37 rue Saint-Georges in Paris, at the age of 77. He and his wife, who had died the previous year, were buried in Père Lachaise.

Waldteufel composed at and for the piano (often for performance at court) before orchestrating each work. [7] He conducted with a stick rather than the then-customary violin bow. The typical Waldteufel orchestra consisted of strings and a doubled woodwind section, two cornets, four horns, three trombones, and ophicleide or euphonium, along with percussion. Waldteufel's music can be distinguished from Johann Strauss II's waltzes and polkas in that he used subtle harmonies and gentle phrases, unlike Strauss's more robust approach.

A biography of the Waldteufel family by Andrew Lamb (Skaters' Waltz: the Story of the Waldteufels) was published in 1995.

His waltz Dolorès (op. 170; 1880) was the basis for the Russian romance Honey, do you hear me ( Russian : «Милая, ты услышь меня»).

Works

(with opus number)

(without opus number)

Grave of Emile Waldteufel at Pere Lachaise Cemetery PL Waldteufel.jpg
Grave of Émile Waldteufel at Père Lachaise Cemetery

Waldteufel's 1886 waltz España is largely based on Chabrier's España but also includes a section from Chabrier's Une Éducation manquée. Chabrier's rhapsody is also the basis of the melody of the 1956 American popular song "Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom)" by Al Hoffman and Dick Manning, made popular by Perry Como in 1956.

Melody from Estudiantina waltz was used as the tune of an advertising jingle for Rheingold Beer ("My beer, is Rheingold, the dry beer ..."). Estudiantina was played by I Salonisti in James Cameron's 1997 movie Titanic .

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References

  1. Griffiths, Paul (2004). The Penguin Companion to Classical Music. London: Penguin UK. p. 2721. ISBN   978-014-190976-9 . Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Hering, Pierre. Emile Waldteufel (1837-1915). In: La Musique en Alsace hier et aujourd'hui. Librairie Istra, Strasbourg, 1970, p157-162.
  3. Jews in Music, Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk.
  4. Jewish Songwriters and Composers, jinfo.org.
  5. Filon, Augustin (1920). Recollections of the Empress Eugénie. London: Cassell and Company, Ltd. p. 74. Retrieved March 29, 2013. To-night [during the "white overalls" riots following the 1869 elections], gala soirée in honour of the Queen of Holland and the Grand-Duchess Marie of Russia.... Everyone seems anxious and ill at ease, and many throw involuntary glances at the windows which look on the Place du Carrousel, over which an angry mob is swarming. Waldteufel's orchestra plays its most entrancing waltzes, and five or six couples venture on the floor. Waltzing, to-night, is an act of loyalty to the Empire.
  6. "Waldteufel, Emile in Oxford Music Library". Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 2008-10-02.
  7. Sorel, Alexandre. Booklet notes accompanying DVD SODVD 03 - Émile WALDTEUFEL, le STRAUSS français, 2008.