Louise Bertin

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Louise Bertin (1805-1877). Louise Bertin.jpg
Louise Bertin (1805-1877).

Louise-Angélique Bertin (Les Roches, Essonne, 15 January 1805 Paris, 26 April 1877) was a French composer and poet. [1]

Essonne Department of France

Essonne is a French department in the region of Île-de-France. It is named after the Essonne River.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Louise Bertin lived her entire life in France. Her father, Louis-François Bertin, and also her brother later on, were the editors of Journal des débats , an influential newspaper. As encouraged by her family, Bertin pursued music. She received lessons from François-Joseph Fétis, who directed a private family performance of Guy Mannering, Bertin's first opera, in 1825. This opera, never formally produced, took its story line from the book of the same name, written by Sir Walter Scott. Two years later, Bertin's second opera, Le Loup-garou, was produced at the Opéra-Comique.

Louis-François Bertin French journalist and writer

Louis-François Bertin, also known as Bertin l'Aîné, was a French journalist. He had a younger brother – Louis-François Bertin de Vaux (1771–1842), two sons – Edouard François (1797–1871) and Louis-Marie François (1801–1854), and a daughter – Louise Bertin.

<i>Journal des débats</i> journal français

The Journal des débats was a French newspaper, published between 1789 and 1944 that changed title several times. Created shortly after the first meeting of the Estates-General of 1789, it was, after the outbreak of the French Revolution, the exact record of the debates of the National Assembly, under the title Journal des Débats et des Décrets.

François-Joseph Fétis Belgian composer

François-Joseph Fétis was a Belgian musicologist, composer, teacher, and one of the most influential music critics of the 19th century. His enormous compilation of biographical data in the Biographie universelle des musiciens remains an important source of information today.

At the age of 21, Bertin began working on an opera semiseria, Fausto to her own libretto in Italian, based on Goethe's Faust , a subject "almost certainly suggested" by her father. [2] A performance of the completed opera was scheduled for 1830. However, due to many unforeseen complications, Fausto did not actually reach the stage until a full year later. It was not well received and only saw three performances.

Opera semiseria is an Italian genre of opera, popular in the early and middle 19th century.

Italian language Romance language

Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian, together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to Vulgar Latin of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an official minority status in western Istria. It formerly had official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece, and is generally understood in Corsica and Savoie. It also used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. In spite of not existing any Italian community in their respective national territories and of not being spoken at any level, Italian is included de jure, but not de facto, between the recognized minority languages of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Romania. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both standardized Italian and other regional languages.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 18th/19th-century German writer, artist, and politician

Johann Wolfgang (von) Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His works include four novels; epic and lyric poetry; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; and treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour. In addition, there are numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings by him extant.

Shortly before this, Bertin became friends with Victor Hugo. Hugo himself had sketched out an operatic version of his book Notre-Dame de Paris ( The Hunchback of Notre Dame ) and between the two of them, the opera La Esmeralda was born, Hugo providing the libretto. Bertin was the only composer to have collaborated directly with Hugo on an opera. However, as the opera’s run began in 1836, there were accusations against Bertin and her family, claiming she had special privileges due to her brother Armand's connection to the government's opera administration. During the seventh performance, a riot ensued and the run of La Esmeralda was forced to end, though a version of the opera continued to be performed over the next three years. The composer Hector Berlioz, who helped Bertin with the staging and production of La Esmeralda, was also accused of providing the better music of this work, a charge he vehemently denied. [3] In frustration, Bertin refused to write any more operas. In 1837, Franz Liszt transcribed the orchestral score for solo piano (S.476), and made a piano transcription of the "Air chanté par Massol" (S.477).

Victor Hugo 19th-century French poet, novelist, and dramatist

Victor Marie Hugo was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. Hugo is considered to be one of the greatest and best-known French writers. Outside France, his most famous works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, 1831. In France, Hugo is known primarily for his poetry collections, such as Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles.

<i>La Esmeralda</i> (opera) opera by Louise Bertin and Victor Hugo

La Esmeralda is a grand opera in four acts composed by Louise Bertin. The libretto was written by Victor Hugo, who had adapted it from his novel Notre-Dame de Paris. The opera premiered at the Théâtre de l'Académie Royale de Musique in Paris on 14 November 1836 with Cornélie Falcon in the title role. Despite the lavish production, the premiere was a failure, and La Esmeralda proved to be the last opera composed by Bertin, although she lived for another 40 years.

Hector Berlioz French Romantic composer

Louis-Hector Berlioz was a French Romantic composer. His output includes orchestral works such as the Symphonie fantastique and Harold in Italy, choral pieces including the Requiem and L'enfance du Christ, his three operas Benvenuto Cellini, Les Troyens and Béatrice et Bénédict, and works of hybrid genres such as the "dramatic symphony" Roméo et Juliette and the "dramatic legend" La damnation de Faust.

Bertin did however continue to compose in many different genres. Her later compositions include twelve cantatas, six piano ballades, five chamber symphonies, a few string quartets, a piano trio (which includes themes from both her early Fausto and La Esmeralda), and many vocal selections. Of these, only the ballades and the trio were published.

A cantata is a vocal composition with an instrumental accompaniment, typically in several movements, often involving a choir.

A ballade, in classical music since the late 18th century, refers to a setting of a literary ballad, a narrative poem, in the musical tradition of the Lied, or to a one-movement instrumental piece with lyrical and dramatic narrative qualities reminiscent of such a song setting, especially a piano ballad.

Symphony extended musical composition

A symphony is an extended musical composition in Western classical music, most often written by composers for orchestra. Although the term has had many meanings from its origins in the ancient Greek era, by the late 18th century the word had taken on the meaning common today: a work usually consisting of multiple distinct sections or movements, often four, with the first movement in sonata form. Symphonies are almost always scored for an orchestra consisting of a string section, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments which altogether number about 30 to 100 musicians. Symphonies are notated in a musical score, which contains all the instrument parts. Orchestral musicians play from parts which contain just the notated music for their own instrument. Some symphonies also contain vocal parts.

Bertin also wrote and published two volumes of poetry, Les Glanes in 1842 and Nouvelles Glanes in 1876. The former of these received a prize from the Académie française. Bertin died the year after the publication of Nouvelles Glanes.

Académie française Pre-eminent council for the French language

The Académie française is the pre-eminent French council for matters pertaining to the French language. The Académie was officially established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII. Suppressed in 1793 during the French Revolution, it was restored as a division of the Institut de France in 1803 by Napoleon Bonaparte. It is the oldest of the five académies of the institute.

Recordings

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References

  1. Hugh Macdonald. "Bertin, Louise." In Grove Music Online Oxford Music Online (subscription required) (accessed December 30, 2010).
  2. Eric Blom, ed. Everyman's Dictionary of Music, (1946; 1954) s.v. "Fausto".
  3. Hector Berlioz Memoirs Chapter XLVII