Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/137
Many composers have imitated the tone of the bagpipe by the orchestra; the most familiar cases occur in the 'Dame Blanche' of Boieldieu and the 'Dinorah' of Meyerbeer.
airs, amassed during thirty years from old pipers and other local sources. The chief collection of Northumbrian music is known as Peacock's; a book which is now so scarce as to be almost unprocurable.
[ W. H. S. ]
[ E. H. P. ]
[ W. H. H. ]
BAILLOT, Pierre Marie François de Sales, takes a prominent place among the great French violin-players. He was born Oct. 1, 1771, at Passy, near Paris, where his father kept a school. He shewed very early remarkable musical talent, and got his first instruction on the violin from an Italian named Polidori. In 1780 Sainte- Marie, a French violinist, became his teacher, and by his severe taste and methodical instruction gave him the first training in those artistic qualities by which Baillot's playing was afterwards so much distinguished. When ten years of age, he heard Viotti play one of his concertos. His performance filled the boy with intense admiration, and, although for twenty years he had no second opportunity of hearing him, he often related later in life, how from that day Viotti remained for him the model of a violin-player, and his style the ideal to be realised in his own studies. After the loss of his father in 1783 a Mons. de Boucheporn, a high government official, sent him, with his own children, to Rome, where he was placed under the tuition of the violin-player Pollani, a pupil of Nardini. Although his progress was rapid and soon enabled him to play successfully in public, we find him during the next five years living with his benefactor alternately at Pau, Bayonne, and other places in the south of France, acting as his private secretary, and devoting but little time to his violin. In 1791 he came to Paris, determined to rely for the future on his musical talent. Viotti procured him a place in the opera-band, but Baillot very soon resigned it, in order to accept an appointment in the Ministère des Finances, which he kept for some years, devoting merely his leisure hours to music and violin-playing. After having been obliged to join the army for twenty months he returned, in 1795, to Paris, and, as Fétis relates, became accidentally acquainted with the violin-compositions of Corelli, Tartini, Geminiani, Locatelli, Bach (!) and Handel. The study of the works of these great masters filled him with fresh enthusiasm, and he once more determined to take up music as his profession. He soon made his appearance in public with a concerto of Viotti, and with such success, that his reputation was at once established, and a professorship of violin-playing was given him at the newly-opened Conservatoire. In 1802 he entered Napoleon's private band, and afterwards travelled for three years in Russia (1805–1808) together with the violoncello-player Lamare, earning both fame and money. In 1814 he started concerts for chamber-music in Paris, which met with great success, and acquired him the reputation of an unrivalled quartett-player. In 1815 and 1816 he travelled in Holland, Belgium, and England, where he performed at the Philharmonic concert of Feb. 26, 1816, and afterwards became an ordinary member of the Society. From 1821 to 1831 he was leader of the band at the Grand Opéra; from 1825 he filled the same place in the Royal Band; in 1833 he made a final tour through Switzerland and part of Italy. He died Sept. 15, 1842, working to the end with unremitting freshness. He was the last representative of the great classical Paris school of violin-playing. After him the influence of Paganini's style became paramount in France, and Baillot's true disciples and followers in spirit were, and are, only to be found among the violinists of the modern German school. His playing was distinguished by a noble powerful tone, great neatness of execution, and a pure, elevated, truly musical style. An excellent solo-player, he was unrivalled at Paris as interpreter of the best classical chamber-music. Mendelssohn and Hiller both speak in the highest terms of praise of Baillot aa a quartett-player. An interesting account of some of his personal traits will be found in a letter of the former, published in 'Goethe and Mendelssohn'
- 'Come il più antico e virtuoso della Cappella.'