"Plein de feu, plein d'audace, plein de change" : examining the role of the Méthode de violon in the establishment of the French Violin School

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Robinson, Airdrie Kalyn
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Fine Arts
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Music
In 1782, Italian violinist Giovanni Battista Viotti performed in the Concerts spirituels of Paris, causing a sensation with his new style of playing, deemed “plein de feu, plein d’audace,” “full of fire, full of audacity.” This paper discusses Viotti’s style in the context of his use of the Tourte bow and “modernized” model of Stradivarius violin. Viotti’s chief disciples were French violin virtuosi Rodolphe Kreutzer, Pierre Rode and Pierre Baillot. As inaugural professors of the Paris Conservatoire, they championed Viotti's musical aesthetic and created pedagogical materials enabling others to emulate it. In 1803, Kreutzer, Rode and Baillot collaborated to produce Méthode de Violon, a technique manual expounding Viotti’s style and establishing a French Violin School of performance practice. This thesis identifies idiomatic signature elements of this style in the Méthode and comments upon the significance of the Conservatoire’s standardization of instruction, both of which prove foundational to the legacy of the French Violin School.
Méthode de violon , Giovanni Battista Viotti , French Violin School , technique , violin instruction , Violin -- Instruction and study -- 19th century , Violin -- Bowing -- 19th century , Violin -- Methods -- 19th century , Violin music -- 19th century -- History and criticism , Viotti, Giovanni Battista, 1755-1824 , Kreutzer, Rodolphe, 1766-1831 , Rode, P. (Pierre), 1774-1830 , Baillot, Pierre Marie François de Sales, 1771-1842 , Violin -- Performance -- France -- History , Conservatories of music -- France -- Paris -- 19th century , Dissertations, Academic