The peripatetic life and career of the Belgian composer Henry Vieuxtemps anticipated the European concept almost prophetically in the 19th century. The best example is his Élégie of 1848: written in St. Petersburg, it celebrated its greatest triumphs in Paris, was printed in Offenbach am Main, and enthusiastically reviewed in London. Critics were quick to note the expressive contrasts as well as the bravura style of the coda, which was “elegant and at the same time brilliant”. Following the publication of the Sonata op. 36 (HN 577), the Élégie op. 30 now takes its place among Vieuxtemps’ viola works for the first time in an Urtext edition. Tabea Zimmermann was once again entrusted with the bowings; the preface was written by the Vieuxtemps specialist Marie Cornaz.
- Élégie op. 30
The Élégie op. 30 for viola and piano by the Belgian composer Henry Vieuxtemps (1820 – 81) is among the works composed during his time as violinist to Tsar Nicholas I in St Petersburg. That position had required him to move to the capital of the Russian empire in September 1846 together with his wife, the pianist Joséphine Eder. As Vieuxtemps recalled in his … more
About the composer
A violinist and composer of the Romantic era from Belgium who attained great international fame by his virtuosic playing. He is regarded as the most important representative of the Franco-Belgian violin school. His works include concerti for violin, viola, and cello, solo pieces, and chamber music.
|1820||Born in Verviers on February 17. At age four he receives violin lessons from his father, later from Joseph Lecloux-Dejonc.|
|1827–31||Concert tours take him to Liège and Brussels, among other places. He is accepted into Charles-Auguste de Bériot’s class.|
|1829||In Paris he makes his debut at the Théâtre-Italien with Pierre Rode’s Violin Concerto no. 7 in A minor, op. 9.|
|from 1831||Decades-long concert tours throughout Europe and America help him rise to become the most popular violinist of his age. He meets important contemporaries, including Schumann, Spohr, and Bernhard Molique. He intensifies his studies with Simon Sechter in Vienna.|
|1835–36||He takes composition lessons with Anton Reicha in Paris.|
|1844||He marries Viennese pianist Josephine Eder, who frequently accompanies him at the piano.|
|1846–50||In St. Petersburg he is active as soloist to the Tsar and as professor at the conservatory, where he founds the St. Petersburg school of violin. He composes four violin concerti.|
|1861||He publishes his Violin Concerto no. 5 in A minor, op. 37, one of his best-known works.|
|1871||As professor at the Brussels Conservatoire he teaches, among others, Eugène Ysaÿe.|
|1879||He withdraws from public life for health reasons.|
|1881||Dies in Mustapha, Algeria, on June 6.|
About the authors
This new urtext edition of the beautiful Élégie for viola by Vieuxtemps maintains the high standards of Henle's previous publications, with a supplementary viola part fingered and bowed by Tabea Zimmermann and an urtext version prepared by Peter Jost. The latter also contributes an excellent commentary regarding the original sources for this edition. Both solo parts are clearly printed in a three-page fold out format. (...) Congratulations to Henle Verlag for yet another fine publication.