between two of our company,' has given the measure an entirely different turn:—
BERGER, Ludwig, a remarkable pianoforte-player and gifted composer, born at Berlin April 18, 1777, and died there Feb. 16, 1838 [App. p.545 "1839"]. His talent showed itself early, but received its great impulse from the notice taken of him by Clementi at Berlin in 1804, who undertook his tuition, and took him to St. Petersburg. Here he met Steibelt and Field, who had much influence on his playing. In 1812 he visited London, and became widely known as player and teacher. In 1815 he returned to Berlin, where he resided till his death, one of the most esteemed teachers of his time. Mendelssohn was his greatest pupil, but amongst others may be mentioned Taubert, von Herzberg, Henselt, and Fanny Hensel, Mendelssohn's sister. He latterly withdrew almost entirely from active life, owing to an over-fastidious hypochondriacal temper, which interfered much with his intercourse with society, and hindered the display of his remarkable ability as a composer. He left behind him a mass of good, nay even remarkable, music—pianoforte pieces, songs, cantatas, and unfinished operas. Amongst his published works his twenty-seven études are especially mentionable. These have been lately republished by Breitkopf, with a preface by C. Reinecke.
[ A. M. ]
BERGGEIST, DER, a romantic opera in 3 acts; the story from Musäus' 'Rubezahl'; words by Döring; music by Spohr (op. 73). Produced at Cassel, March 24, 1825.
BERGONZI, Benedetto, a remarkable horn-player, born at Cremona, 1790, and died Oct. 1840. On Oct. 7, 1824, he received a silver medal from the Accademia of Milan for a valve-horn.
[ F. G. ]
BERGONZI, Carlo, a celebrated violin-maker of Cremona. Born towards the end of the 17th century, he worked from about 1716 to 1755. He was a pupil of Antonio Stradivari, whom he imitated very closely in his early efforts, while his later instruments shew much originality and character. Their form and tone are equally beautiful, and they may justly be ranked immediately after those of Stradivari and Joseph Guarneri. He made not only violins, but also violas and cellos, which however are now very rare. His son, Michel Angelo, was but an indifferent violin-maker.
[ P. D. ]
BERIOT, Charles August de, celebrated violinist. Born of a noble Belgian family, Feb. 20, 1802, at Louvain. He had his first instruction in the violin from a local teacher, named Tiby, who was his guardian after the death of his parents; and made such rapid progress, that, when only nine years of age, he successfully performed in public a concerto of Viotti. He himself ascribed great influence on the formation of his character and the development of his talent to the well-known scholar and philosopher Jacotot, who, though himself no musician, imbued his young friend with principles of perseverance and self-reliance, which he never lost sight of throughout life, and which, more than anything else, contributed to make him attain that proficiency in his art on which his fame rests.
When nineteen years of age he went to Paris and pursued his studies there for some time under the advice of Viotti and Baillot, without actually being the pupil of either. After a short time he made his appearance in public with great success. From Paris he repeatedly visited England, where he met with a most brilliant reception. His first appearance at the Philharmonic Society took place on May 1, 1826, when he was announced as 'Violon de la chambre de sa Majesté le Roi de France.' On his return to Belgium he was nominated Solo-Violinist to the King of the Netherlands, which appointment he lost by the Revolution of 1830. For the next five years he travelled and gave concerts in England, France, Belgium, and Italy, together with the famous singer Maria Malibran, whom he married in 1835 [App. p.545 "Mar. 26, 1836"]. At this time De Bériot was universally recognised as one of the most eminent of living violinists. After the sudden death of his wife he retired to Brussels in 1836, and did not appear in public till 1840, when he undertook a tour through Germany. In 1843 he was appointed Professor of violin-playing at the Brussels Conservatoire, and remained there till 1852, when the loss of his eyesight caused him to retire. He died at Louvain, April 20, 1870.
De Bériot may justly be considered the founder of the modern Franco-Belgian school of violin-playing, as distinguished from the classical Paris school, represented by Viotti, Kreutzer, Rode, and Baillot. He was the first after Paganini to adopt a great variety of brilliant effects in the way of harmonics, arpeggios, pizzicatos, etc., sacrificing to a certain extent the severity of style and breadth of tone, in which the old French school excelled. His playing was distinguished by unfailing accuracy of intonation, great neatness and facility of bowing, grace, elegance and piquancy. His compositions, which for a considerable time enjoyed general popularity, although not of much value as works of art, abound in pleasing melodies, have a certain easy, natural flow, and are such as to bring out the characteristic effects of the instrument in the most brilliant manner. The influence of Donizetti and Bellini on the one hand, and Auber on the other, are clearly visible.
De Bériot published seven concertos, eleven airs variés, several books of studies, four trios for piano, violin and violoncello, and together with Osborne, Thalberg and other pianists, a number of duos brilliants for piano and violin. He also wrote a rather diffuse book of instruction, 'Ecole transcendentale de Violon.'