In originality as a composer for the violin, probably no one can surpass De Beriot except Paganini, who exerted a remarkable modifying influence on him after he had formed his own first style. His works are full of grace and poetic feeling, and worked out with an intellectual completeness of form which gives him an honorable distinction even among those musicians marked by affluence of ideas. These compositions are likely to be among the violin classics, though some of the violinists of the Spohr school have criticised them for want of depth. He produced seven concertos, eleven airs varies, several books of studies, four trios for piano, violin, and ’cello, and, together with Osborne, Thalberg, and other pianists, a number of brilliant duos for piano and violin. His book of instruction for the violin is among the best ever written, though somewhat diffuse in detail. He may be considered the founder of the Franco-Belgian school of violinists, as distinguished from the classical French school founded by Viotti, and illustrated by Rode and Baillot. His early playing was molded entirely in this style, but the dazzling example of Paganini, in course of time, had its effect on him, as he soon adopted the captivating effects of harmonics, arpeggios, pizzicatos, etc., which the Genoese had introduced, though he stopped short of sacrificing his breadth and richness of tone. He combined the Paganini school with that of Viotti, and gave status to a peculiar genre of players, in which may be numbered such great virtuosos as Vieuxtemps and Wieniawski, who successively occupied the same professional place formerly illustrated by De Beriot, and the latter of whom recently died. De Beriot’s playing was noted for accuracy of intonation, remarkable deftness and facility in bowing, grace, elegance, and piquancy, though he never succeeded in creating the unbounded enthusiasm which everywhere greeted Paganini.
The Birth and Early Life of Ole Bull at Bergen, Norway.—His Family and Connections.—Surroundings of his Boyhood.—Early Display of his Musical Passion.—Learns the Violin without Aid.—Takes Lessons from an Old Musical Professor, and soon surpasses his Master.—Anecdotes of his Boyhood.—His Father’s Opposition to Music as a Profession.—Competes for Admittance to the University at Christiania.—Is consoled for Failure by a Learned Professor.—“Better be a Fiddler than a Preacher.”—Becomes Conductor of the Philharmonic Society at Bergen.—His first Musical Journey.—Sees Spohr.—Fights a Duel.—Visit to Paris.—He is reduced to Great Pecuniary Straits.—Strange Adventure with Vidocq, the Great Detective.—First Appearance in Concert in Paris.—Romantic Adventure leading to Acquaintance.—First Appearance in Italy.—Takes the Place of Do Beriot by Great Good Luck.—Ole Bull is most enthusiastically received.—Extended Concert Tour in Italy and France.—His Debut