Great Violinists And Pianists eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 224 pages of information about Great Violinists And Pianists.

The young artist preceded Paganini in London several years, as he made his first appearance before an English audience in 1826.  It was fortunate, perhaps, for De Beriot that such was the case, as it is more than probable that, after the dazzling and electric displays of the Geneose player, the more sedate and simple style which then characterized De Beriot would have failed to please.  As it was, he was most cordially admired, and was generally recognized by English connoisseurs, as well as by the general public, as one of the most accomplished players who had ever visited England.  The pecuniary results of these concerts were large, and sufficient to relieve De Beriot, who had formerly been rather straitened in his means, from the friction and embarrassment which poverty so often imposes on struggling talent.  There was a peculiar charm in De Beriot’s style which was permanently characteristic of him, though his technical method did not always remain the same.  In addition to very facile execution and a rich, mellow tone, he possessed the most refined taste.  His playing impressed people less as that of a great professional violinist than that of the marvelously accomplished amateur, the gentleman of leisure and culture, who performed with the easy, sparkling grace of one who took no thought of whether he played well or not, but did great feats on his instrument because he could not help it.  Such was also the characteristic of Mario as a singer, and there seems to have been many features of resemblance between these two fine artists, though moving in different fields of art.

After traveling through Europe for several years, giving concerts with great success, he was presented to King Wilhelm of the then united kingdom of the Netherlands.  This monarch, though quite ignorant of music, was an enthusiastic patron of art, and, believing that De Beriot was destined to be a great ornament of his native country (for he was born in Belgium, though his parents were from France), bestowed on the artist a pension of two thousand florins a year, and the title of first violin solo to his majesty.  But this honor was soon rudely snatched from De Beriot’s grasp.  The revolution of 1830, which began with the excitement inflamed in Brussels by the performance of Auber’s revolutionary opera, “La Muette di Portici,” better known as “Masaniello,” dissolved the kingdom, and Belgium parted permanently from Holland.  It was, perhaps, owing to this apparent misfortune that De Beriot made an acquaintance which culminated in the most interesting episode of his life.  He lost his official position at Brussels, but he met Mme. Malibran.

III.

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Great Violinists And Pianists from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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