Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/642

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630
GRIEG.
GRETRY.

the recipient of pensions and distinctions of all kinds. In 1785 the municipality of Paris named one of the streets near the Comédie Italienne after him, and in the previous year the Prince-Bishop of Liege had made him one of his privy-councillors. On the foundation of the Conservatoire he was appointed an inspector, a post which he resigned in a year. When the Institut was formed at the same time (1795) he was chosen to fill one of the three places reserved for musical composers. Napoleon made him a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, on the institution of the order in 1802, and also granted him a pension to compensate for his losses by the Revolution.

A career so successful was likely to intoxicate, and it is not to be wondered at that Grétry had a firm belief in his own merits, and thought himself almost infallible. He has left us several records of his vanity both artistic and intellectual. The first is his 'Mémoires ou Essais sur la musique,' published in 1 vol. in 1789, and reprinted in 1797 with two additional vols., said to have been edited by his friend Legrand, a professor of rhetoric. The first part only is interesting, and as has been aptly said, it should be called 'Essais sur ma musique.' In 1802 he brought out 'Méthode simple pour apprendre à préluder en peu de temps avec toutes les resources de l'harmonie,' a pamphlet of 95 pages with lithograph portrait, in which he exhibits both the insufficiency of his studies, and his want of natural talent for harmony. His 3 vols 'De la Vérité: ce que nous fumes, ce que nous sommes, ce que nous devrions être' (1803) are simply a pretentious statement of his political and social opinions, with remarks on the feelings, and the best means of exciting and expressing them by music.

Grétry had bought 'l'Ermitage' near Montmorency, formerly the residence of Rousseau, and it was there he died, Sept. 24, 1813. Three days afterwards (27th) Paris honoured his remains with a splendid funeral; touching and eloquent eulogiums were pronounced over his grave by Bouilly on behalf of the dramatic authors, and Méhul in the name of the musicians. A year later, at a special meeting on Oct. 1, 1814, Joachim de Breton, permanent secretary of the Académie des Beaux-Arts read a 'Notice sur la vie et les ouvrages d'André Ernest Grétry.' Since then many biographies and critiques have been published; the most important are—'Grétry en famille' (Paris 1815, 12mo.) by A. J. Grétry, his nephew; 'Recueil de lettres écrites a Grétry, ou à son sujet,' by the Comte de Livry (Paris, 1809, 8vo.); 'Essai sur Grétry' (Liége 1821, 8vo.) by M. de Gerlache, and Fétis's article. [See Framery.]

There are many portraits of Grétry. One of the best was drawn and engraved by 'his friend' Moreau the younger. Another engraving is by Cathelin (1785), from the portrait by Madame Lebrun, with the lines:

'Par des plaisirs réels et de fausses alarmes
 Ce puissaut Enchauteur calme ou trouble nos sens;
 Mais de son amitié peut-on goûter les charmes
 Sans égaler au moins son cœur à ses talents.'

Besides these there are Isabey's portrait engraved by P. Simon; that taken by the 'physionotrace' and engraved by Quenedey in 1808; those of Forget and P. Adam; and finally Maurin's lithograph from the portrait by Robert Lefèvre. In his youth he is said to have resembled Pergolesi both in face and figure. Comte Livry had a statue made of him in marble, and placed it at the entrance of the old Théâtre Feydeau; it is not known what has become of it. The 'foyer' of the present Opéra Comique, contains only a bust of him. In 1842 a statue by Geefs was inaugurated at Liége; being colossal it is not a good representation, as Grétry was small in stature, and of delicate health.

Grétry had three daughters. The second, Lucile, born in Paris 1773, was only 13 when her one-act opera 'Le Mariage d' Antonio,' instrumented by her father, was successfully performed at the Opéra Comique (1786). In 1787 she produced 'Toinette et Louis,' in 2 acts, which was not well received. This gifted young musician made an unhappy marriage, and died in 1793.

We may mention in conclusion that Grétry spent his last years in writing 6 vols of 'Réflexions sur l'art,' which however have not been published. He also left 5 MS. operas in 3 acts—'Alcindor et Zaïde '; 'Ziméo'; 'Electre'; 'Diogène et Alexandre'; 'Les Maures d'Espagne'; and 'Zelmar, ou l'Asile,' in one act. [App. p.658 "a complete edition of Grétry's works has recently been undertaken by the firm of Breitkopf & Härtel. Seven volumes have already appeared (1887)."]

[ G. C. ]

GRIEG, EDVARD, composer and pianist, born June 15, 1843, at Bergen in Norway, and now conductor and teacher at Christiania. He came to Leipsic in 1858, and remained at the Conservatorium for four years, having Hauptmann and Richter as masters for harmony and counterpoint, Rietz and Reinecke for composition, and Moscheles for pianoforte playing. During the term of his studies he lived mostly in the romantic worlds of Schumann, Mendelssohn, and Chopin, whose works then gave the tone to the entire musical life of the town, and especially of the Conservatorium. He has since become aware of other older and newer masters, without however showing very distinct traces of their influence in his compositions. The characteristic Scandinavian features of Grieg's musical talent took a tangible shape soon after his return to the north. Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian Volkslieder and dances absorbed his fancy more than the study of any great composer's works; and henceforth his compositions are marked with the stamp of a particular nationality more clearly than that of any man, except perhaps Chopin.

Grieg has hitherto published the following works: 4 Clavierstücke (op. 1); 4 Lieder (op. 2); Poetische Tonbilder (op. 3); 6 Lieder (op. 4); 'Melodien des Herzens'—on Hans Andersen's songs—(op. 5); Humoresken für Pianoforte (op. 6); Sonate für Pianoforte (op, 7); Sonate für Pianoforte und Violin (op. 8); Romanzen und Balladen (op. 9); Kleine Romanzen (op. 10); 'Im Herbst,' Phantasie für