Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/275

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BOTTÉE DE TOULMON.
263
BOURGEOIS.

S. Cherubini, exsurintendant de la musique du roi, Directeur du Conservatoire de musique, Commandeur de l'ordre royale de la legion d'honneur, Membre de l'Institut de France, etc., etc., etc. Paris, chez les principaux editeurs de musique, 1843.' It is an 8vo. pamphlet of 36 pages, with a short preface by M. Bottée de Toulmon, and a notice to intending purchasers, for whom it was made public. It is now very rare.

[ G. ]

BOTTOMLEY, Joseph, born at Halifax, Yorkshire, in 1786, at a very early age evinced a strong predilection for music, and so quickly profited by the instruction he received as to be able at seven years of age to perform a violin concerto in public. At twelve years of age he was removed to Manchester, where he studied under Grimshaw, organist of St. John's Church, and Watts, leader of the concerts. By the advice of the latter he took lessons on the violin from Yaniewicz, then in Manchester. At fifteen he was articled to Lawton, organist of St. Peter's, Leeds. On the expiration of his term he went to London, and studied pianoforte playing under Woelfl. In 1807 he was appointed organist of the parish church of Bradford, Yorkshire, but resided and taught chiefly in Halifax. In 1820 he was chosen organist of the parish church, Sheffield. Bottomley published several of his compositions for the pianoforte, and, in 1816, a small dictionary of music.

[ W. H. H. ]

BOUCHE FERMÉE, A—i.e. with shut mouth—vocalisation without words, with the teeth closed and the lips nearly so; a trick occasionally adopted by composers. Examples may be found amongst the German part-songs, and also in Gounod's works. There have been singing masters who recommended the practice to their pupils, under an idea that it strengthened the breathing power without distressing the vocal organs. Beethoven never wrote anything à bouche fermée, but he alludes to the practice in a droll letter (Sept. 23, 1824) to Hauschka, conferring on him the 'Intendanz' of all 'Sing-und-Brumm-Vereine.'

[ W. H. C. ]

BOUCHER, Alexandre Jean, a well-known violinist, was born at Paris in 1770 [App. p.557 "April 10"]. It is related that he played at the court when only six, and at the Concert Spirituel when eight years of age. In 1787 he went to Madrid, where he was appointed solo-violinist to the king, and associated as a quartet-player with Boccherini. In 1806 he returned to Paris, and in 1820 began to travel over Europe, exciting everywhere, if not the unconditional approbation of artists and critics, at any rate the admiration and curiosity of the general public by his extraordinary performances. In 1844 he returned to France, settled at Orleans, and died at Paris in 1861 [App. p.557 "Dec. 30"].

Possessed undoubtedly of an exceptional talent for execution, Boucher was not a little of a musical charlatan. Spohr made his personal acquaintance at Brussels in 1819, and speaks of him as follows: 'His face bore a remarkable likeness to Napoleon Bonaparte's, and he had evidently carefully studied the banished emperor's way of bearing himself, lifting his hat, taking 'snuff,' etc. (Selbstbiog. ii. 73). As soon as he came to a town where he intended giving a concert, he practised these tricks on the public walks and in the theatre, in order to attract the curiosity of the public; he even managed to spread a rumour that he was persecuted by existing governments on account of his likeness to Napoleon, because his appearance was likely to revive the sympathies of the masses for that great man. He certainly advertised a concert at Lille in these terms: 'Une malheureuse ressemblance me force de m'expatrier; je donnerai done avant de quitter ma belle patrie, un concert d'adieux,' etc. He also styled himself 'L'Alexandre des Violons.'

In his proficiency in the execution of double stops, the staccato, and other technical difficulties, he appears to have been only surpassed by Paganini, and we are assured by competent contemporary critics that he now and then played a slow movement with ravishing, if somewhat extravagant, expression. But whatever powers of execution his performances may have shown, if, as Spohr states, he altogether spoiled a quartet of Haydn by tasteless additions, we must conclude that he was but an indifferent musician. After what we know of his general character as an artist, it is not surprising to learn that he not unfrequently wound up a furious passage by intentionally upsetting the bridge of his violin as a climax, and that he used to perform quite as much by the action of the face and legs as of the bow.

Boucher's wife was a clever player on the harp, but seems to have adopted her husband's doubtful means of winning the applause of the public. She used to play duets for piano and harp, with one hand on each instrument.

[ P. D. ]

BOULANGER, Mme. Marie Julie (née Halligner), born 1786, died 1850; a dramatic singer. She studied in the Conservatoire under Plantade and Garat, and made her début with immense success at the Opéra Comique in 1811. Her voice was fine, her execution brilliant, and her acting full of character and intelligence. Her most successful rôles were those of soubrettes and maid-servants. She remained on the stage till 1845, but her voice had failed some time previously.

[ M. C. C. ]

BOURGEOIS, Louis, writer on the theory of music, born in Paris in the beginning of the 16th century. He followed Calvin in 1541 to Geneva, where he was cantor of one of the churches, but quarrelled with the presbytery, who would not allow him to introduce a harmonised version of the Psalms in public worship. He threw up his post, and returned in 1557 to Paris, where he was still living in 1561, but after that date all trace of him is lost. His great work is 'Le droict chemin de musique,' etc. (Geneva, 1550). In this he proposed a new system of notation, which was accepted not only by the Protestants, but by all French musicians' and not finally abandoned till the beginning of