Music Appreciation

《Scène de Ballet, Op. 100》

Charles Auguste de Bériot (1802-1870)

Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù "Ole Bull", Vi (1744)

De Bériot was a Belgian violinist and violin teacher who is widely regarded as the founder of the 19th century Belgian school of violin playing. He studied at the Paris Conservatory, and was deeply influenced by the French school; he also adopted some elements of the flamboyant performance style of Paganini (1782–1840) , compare to the explosive style of Paganini, de Bériot’s style was more melancholy, characterized by greater delicacy and refinement. De Bériot’s main compositions include violin concertos, showpieces, etudes, and duets for violin and piano. Overall, his works combine tradition with flamboyant technique. He made several important contributions to the development of violin teaching; Henry Vieuxtemps (1820–1881) , one of his students at the Brussels Conservatory, went on to become an outstanding violinist and composer. This particular piece was written to be played allegro vivace, in 4/4 time. The piano and violin create drastic chords, before moving into a more relaxed, elegiac melody, which in turn morphs into an emotive, adagio section in 12/8 time, finished by the violin with a cadenza. The next movement starts off with the piano playing a tempo di bolero in 3/4 time, while the violinist performs a showpiece section of high technical difficulty, including off-string bowing, louré, etc. This is followed by a valse tempo moderato section in 3/8 time, in which the violin plays a smooth-flowing melody reminiscent of those used in the ballet; this shift gradually into an adagio section in 4/4 time, and then into an allegro appassionato section, followed by a switch to a faster, syncopated rhythm; the piece winds up with fast-paced chord and a syncopated rhythm.