Beriot - Violin Concerto Op. 99

Charles August de Beriot (1802-1870)

Great Belgian violinist and composer of the 19th century. At 19 years old he travelled to Paris and played for the great Italian composer and virtuoso Viotti, who encouraged him saying, ‘You have a fine style; endeavour to perfect it. Hear all men of talent – profit by all but imitate no one.’ Unable to obtain lessons from Viotti himself who was then director of the Paris Opéra Bériot turned to Baillot. For a few months he attended Baillot’s violin class at the Paris Conservatoire but could not submit to the academic discipline. Shortly afterwards, Bériot made a highly successful début in Paris, meeting with similar success in London where he played his own Concertino at the Philharmonic Society in May 1826.

In 1829 Bériot met a famous singer, Maria Malibran. For the next 6 years they travelled together in Europe, giving joint concerts in Belgium, England, France and Italy and married in 1836. Less than six months later, Maria died unexpectedly in Manchester, England shortly after appearing at a concert. The grief-stricken Bériot returned to Brussels and temporarily left the concert platform.

Bériot occupies an important place in the history of violin playing. He was able to break the stranglehold of tradition in playing and developed a new, essentially romantic, approach to playing known as the ‘Franco-Belgian School‘. Much of his technique – harmonics, left-hand pizzicato, ricochet, even scordatura – was influenced by Paganini. But Bériot’s success was not only based only on technical brilliance; he could play with such melting warmth as to make commentators write, ‘It seems as if the soul of his late wife sings through his violin.’ Bériot aimed at effect rather than depth; his melodies are sweet and sentimental, his technical display is ingenious and sparkling though basically less difficult than that of Paganini. Reflections of his style can even be found in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto - a friend who knew him well. His main works are 10 Concertos which have all been recorded in recent years. He was a methodical teacher and left several useful instruction books (Méthode de Violon, 1858; Ecole transcendante de violon, 1867).

Charles-August de Beriot (1802-70)
Violin Concerto No. 8 in D Major (c.1855), Op. 99
First Movement - Allegro
Soloist - Takako Nishizaki
RTBF Orchestra, Belgium
Conductor - Alfred Walter
NAXOS/Marco Polo
10.33 mgb

[Regulator edit: URL removed as download file protected - copyrighted music]
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New member
Hi Robert,

That was most interesting, thank you.

I will listen to the music later.