Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/404

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392
CONSERVATOIRE DE MUSIQUE
 

Aug. 3, 1795, in which they were incorporated. Sarrette was shortly afterwards appointed president of the institution, and in 1797 his charge extended to 125 professors and 600 pupils of both sexes, as well as to the printing-office and warehouse established at 15 Faubourg Poissonnière, where the 'Méthodes du Conservatoire,' prepared under the supervision of Catel, Méhul, Rode, Kreutzer, and other eminent professors, were published. The organisation of the Conservatoire was modified by Bonaparte in March 1800, after which the staff stood as follows:—A Director—Sarrette; five Inspectors of Tuition—Gossec, Méhul, Lesueur, Cherubini, and Monsigny; thirty first-class Professors—Louis Adam, Berton, Blasius, Catel, Devienne, Dugazon, Duvernoy, Garat, Gaviniés, Hugot, Kreutzer, Persuis, Plantade, Rode, Rodolphe, Sallentin, etc.; forty second-class Professors—Adrien, Baillot, Boieldieu, Domnich, Eler, Jadin, etc. The Conservatoire was again re-organised Oct. 15, 1812, by the famous Décret de Moscow, under which eighteen pupils, nine of each sex, destined for the Théâtre Français, received an annual allowance of 1100 francs, on the same footing with the Pensionnaires—eighteen vocal students, twelve male and six female. This Pensionnat had been established in 1806; but the men alone lived at the Conservatoire.

On Dec. 28, 1814, Sarrette was abruptly dismissed from the post he had filled with so much zeal and talent, and though reinstated on May 26, 1815, was compelled to retire finally on the 17th of the following November. The studies were interrupted for the time, and the school remained closed until April 1816, when it reopened under its former title of Ecole royale de Musique, with Perne as Inspector-general. Cherubini succeeded him April 1, 1822, and remained until Feb. 8, 1842, when he was replaced by Auber, who directed the Conservatoire until his death, May 12, 1871; M. Ambroise Thomas, the present director, was appointed on the 6th of the following July.

Before speaking of the Conservatoire of our own day, its financial condition, staff, and musical importance, we must enumerate some of the most remarkable acts which marked its successive administrations.

The budget originally amounted to 240,000 francs, but this in 1802 was reduced to 100,000, a fact indicative of the grave money difficulties with which Sarrette had to contend through all his years of office, in addition to the systematic opposition of both artists and authorities. By the publication of the 'Méthode du Conservatoire,' however, to which each professor gave his adherence, he succeeded in uniting the various parties of the educational department on a common basis. Amongst the savants of the institution who assisted in this work were Ginguené, Lacépède, and Prony. Under Sarrette the pupils were stimulated by public practisings; to him is also due the building of the old library, begun in 1801 , and the inauguration of the theatre in the Rue Bergère, 1812. In the same year he obtained an increase of 26,800 francs for the expenses of the Pensionnat; and the institution of the 'Prix de Rome' in 1803, which secured to the holders the advantage of residing in Italy at the expense of government, was his doing.

Under Perue's administration an 'Ecole primaire de Chant' was formed, April 23, 1817, in connection with the Conservatoire, and directed by Choront. The inspectorship of the Ecole de Musique at Lille was given to Plantade. In 1810 it adopted the title of 'Conservatoire secondaire de Paris,' in which it was followed by the Ecole at Douai, no longer in existence. The formation of special classes for lyrical declamation and the study of opera parts was also due to Perne.

Cherubini's strictness of rule and his profound knowledge made his direction very favourable for the progress of the Conservatoire. The men's pensionnat was re-organised under him, and the number of public practices, which all prize-holders were forced to attend, increased in 1823 from six to twelve. By his means the opera pitch, universally allowed to be too high, was lowered in 1826, and the Ecole de Musique founded at Toulouse in 1821 was attached to the Conservatoire, as that of Lille had previously been. He opened new instrumental classes, and gave much encouragement to the productions of the 'Société des Concerts du Conservatoire.' By his means the library acquired the right to one of the two copies of every piece of music or book upon music which authors and composers are compelled to deposit with the Ministre de l'Intérieur (March 29, 1834). In 1841, through Cherubini's instrumentality, the Ecoles of Marseilles and Metz became 'Succursales du Conservatoire'; in short, during his long administration he neglected no means of raising the tone of the studies of the Central Conservatoire, and extending its influence. The following were among his principal coadjutors:—Habeneck and Paer, inspectors of tuition; Lesueur, Berton, Reicha, Fétis, Halevy, Carafa, composition; Lainé, Lays, Garat, Plantade, Ponchard, Banderali, Bordogni, Panseron, Mme. Damoreau, singing: instrumental classes—Benoist, the organ; Louis Adam and Zimmerman, piano; Baillot, Kreutzer, Habeneck, violin; Baudiot, Norblin, Vaslin, violoncello; Guillou, Tulou, flute; Vogt, oboe; Lefèvre, Klosé, clarinet; Delcambre, Gebauer, bassoon; Dauprat, Melfred, horn; Dauverné, trumpet; Dieppo, trombone; Naderman, Prumier, harp; Adolphe Nourrit, the opera; Michelot, Samson, Provost and Beauvallet, professors of tragedy and comedy.

Amongst the professors appointed by Auber we may mention Adolphe Adam, Ambroise Thomas, Reber, composition; MM. Elwart, Bazin, harmony; Battaille, Duprez, Faure, Garcia, Révial, Masset, singing; Madame Farrenc, Henri Herz, Marmontel, Le Couppey, piano; Alard, Girard, Massart, Ch. Dancia, violin; Franchomme and Chevillard, violoncello. Classes for wind instruments—Tulou, Dorus, flute; Verroust, oboe; Willent, Cokken, bassoon; Gallay, Meifred, horn; Forestier, Arban, cornet; Mlle. Brohan, MM. Régnier, Monrose, Bressant,