Charles Lamoureux

Charles Lamoureux (pronounced [ʃaʁlʁø]; 28 September 1834 – 21 December 1899) was a French conductor and violinist.

Charles Lamoureux
Charles Lamoureux photo
EducationParis Conservatoire
Known forSociété Française de l'Harmonie Sacrée


He was born in Bordeaux, where his father owned a café. He studied the violin with Narcisse Girard at the Paris Conservatoire, taking a premier prix in 1854. He was subsequently engaged as a violinist at the Opéra and later joined the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire. In 1860, he was a co-founder of the Séances Populaires de Musique de Chambre and in 1872 he founded a quartet which eventually took on the proportions of a chamber orchestra.[1]

Having journeyed to England and assisted at a Handel festival, he thought he would attempt something similar in Paris. Having come into a fortune through marriage, he put on the performances himself, leading to the foundation of the Société Française de l'Harmonie Sacrée. In 1873, Lamoureux conducted the first performance in Paris of Handel's Messiah. He also gave performances of Bach's St Matthew Passion, Handel's Judas Maccabaeus, Gounod's Gallia, and Massenet's Eve. As funds ran out, Lamoureux took up posts at the Opéra-Comique (1876) and the Opéra (1877-79) which were short-lived, due to Lamoureux's tendency to quarrel over their productions.[1]

Lamoureux then drew up a contract with the Théâtre du Château d’Eau to give weekly symphony concerts. The Société des Nouveaux-Concerts (which became known as the Concerts Lamoureux) was directed by Lamoureux from 1881 until 1897, when he was succeeded by Camille Chevillard, his son-in-law. These concerts contributed greatly to popularizing Wagner's music in Paris.[1]

Charles Lamoureux
Charles Lamoureux conducting from the podium.

In fact Lamoureux's advocacy of Wagner's music was untiring. When he gave the first French performance of Wagner's Lohengrin at the Eden-Théâtre in 1887, the Chauvinists held street demonstrations outside denouncing the performance as an unpatriotic act. Despite this setback, two years later the work was restaged at the Opéra, which now made Lamoureux its musical director.[1]

In 1893 Lamoureux made a tour of Russia. He visited London on several occasions, and gave successful concerts with his orchestra at the Queen's Hall, on one occasion sharing the stage with Sir Henry Wood and Wood's own orchestra. Lamoureux died at Paris in December 1899; Tristan und Isolde had been at last heard in Paris, owing to his initiative and under his direction. After conducting one of the performances of this masterpiece he was taken ill and succumbed in a few days, having had the consolation before his death of witnessing the triumph of the cause he had so courageously championed.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Chisholm 1911.
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Lamoureux, Charles" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 16 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Principal Conductors, Lamoureux Orchestra
Succeeded by
Camille Chevillard
Berthe Marx

Berthe Marx (Berthe Marx-Goldschmidt; 28 July 1859 - 1925) was a French pianist. She played about 250 works by heart during a series of concerts in Berlin and Paris in 1894.


Briséïs, or Les amants de Corinthe (pronounced [bʁizeis u lez‿amɑ̃ də kɔʁɛ̃t]) is an operatic 'drame lyrique' by Emmanuel Chabrier with libretto by Catulle Mendès and Ephraïm Mikaël after Goethe's Die Braut von Korinth.

Béatrice et Bénédict

Béatrice et Bénédict (Beatrice and Benedick) is an opéra comique in two acts by Hector Berlioz. Berlioz wrote the French libretto himself, based closely on Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing.

Berlioz had been interested in setting Shakespeare's comedy since his return from Italy in 1833, but only composed the score of Béatrice et Bénédict following the completion of Les Troyens in 1858. It was first performed at the opening of the Theater Baden-Baden on 9 August 1862. Berlioz conducted the first two performances of a German version in Weimar in 1863, where, as he wrote in his memoirs, he was "overwhelmed by all sorts of kind attention."

It is the first notable version of Shakespeare's play in operatic form, and was followed by works by among others Árpád Doppler, Paul Puget and Reynaldo Hahn.Berlioz biographer David Cairns has written: "Listening to the score's exuberant gaiety, only momentarily touched by sadness, one would never guess that its composer was in pain when he wrote it and impatient for death".

Camille Chevillard

Paul Alexandre Camille Chevillard (14 October 1859 – 30 May 1923) was a French composer and conductor.

España (Chabrier)

España, rhapsody for orchestra (French: España, rapsodie pour orchestre or Rapsodie España) is the most famous orchestral composition by French composer Emmanuel Chabrier (1841–1894). Written in 1883 after a trip to Spain, it was dedicated to the conductor Charles Lamoureux, who conducted the first public performance on 4 November 1883, at the Théâtre du Château d’Eau for the Société des Nouveaux Concerts in Paris.

Eugène d'Harcourt

Anne Marie Eugène d'Harcourt, Comte d'Harcourt (May 20, 1859 – March 7, 1918), was a French conductor and composer.

La Sulamite

La Sulamite is a scène lyrique by Emmanuel Chabrier to words by Jean Richepin for solo voice, women's chorus and orchestra. The text of La Sulamite is based on extracts from The Song of Songs.


Lamoureux is a surname of French origin. People with the name include:

Charles Lamoureux (1834–1899), founder of the Orchestre Lamoureux

Denis Lamoureux (contemporary), Canadian professor of science and religion

Diane Lamoureux (born 1954), Canadian professor and writer

François Lamoureux (1946–2006), French and European civil servant

Gisèle Lamoureux (born 1942), Québécoise photographer, botanist, and ecologist

Jean-Philippe Lamoureux (born 1984), American professional ice hockey player; brother of Jocelyne and Monique

Jocelyne Lamoureux (born 1989), American Olympic ice hockey player; twin sister of Monique, sister of Jean-Philippe

Justin Lamoureux (born 1976), Canadian snowboarder

Kevin Lamoureux (born 1962), Canadian politician from Manitoba

Leo Lamoureux (1916–1961), Canadian professional ice hockey player

Lucie Lamoureux-Bruneau (1877–1951), Canadian philanthropist and a city councillor of Montreal

Lucien Lamoureux (France) (1888–1970), French politician and government minister

Lucien Lamoureux (1920–1998), Canadian politician from Ontario

Mario Lamoureux (born 1988), American professional ice hockey player; brother of Jean-Philippe, Jocelyne and Monique

Maurice Lamoureux (contemporary), Canadian politician from Ontario

Mitch Lamoureux (born 1962), Canadian professional ice hockey player

Monique Lamoureux-Kolls (born 1989), American Olympic ice hockey player; twin sister of Jocelyne, sister of Jean-Philippe

Mylène Lamoureux (born 1986), Canadian ice dancer

Robert Lamoureux (born 1920), French actor, screenwriter, and film director

Montmartre Cemetery

Montmartre Cemetery (French: Cimetière de Montmartre) is a cemetery in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, France, that dates to the early 19th century. Officially known as the Cimitière du Nord, it is the third largest necropolis in Paris, after the Père Lachaise cemetery and the Montparnasse cemetery.

Narcisse Girard

Narcisse Girard (28 January 1797 – 16 January 1860) was a French violinist, conductor and composer.Girard was born in Nantes. A pupil of Pierre Baillot (violin, winning first prize in 1820), and Anton Reicha (counterpoint) at the Conservatoire, after completing his studies there he went to Italy for a year to further his training. After conducting orchestras at the Hotel de Ville, Girard became the conductor of the Opéra Italien from 1830-32. He was chief conductor at the Opéra Comique from 1837–46, then moving to the Paris Opéra, where he conducted the premieres of Le prophète and Sapho.

On 30 October 1849 Girard conducted Mozart's Requiem as part of the funeral service for Frédéric Chopin.

From 18 October 1848 to 17 January 1860 Girard was the conductor of the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, leading them in over 100 concerts. Girard conducted the first performance of Harold en Italie by Hector Berlioz at the Salle du Conservatoire on 23 November 1834, with Chrétien Urhan (viola).

Girard was a professor of violin at the Paris Conservatoire where his pupils included Jules Danbé, Charles Lamoureux and Édouard Colonne. See: List of music students by teacher: G to J#Narcisse Girard.

His compositions included an overture Antigone, and short stage works Les deux voleurs and Les dix.

Having already been taken ill during a Conservatoire concert, Girard collapsed while conducting, towards the end of the third act of Les Huguenots at the Opéra. He is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery.

Orchestre Lamoureux

The Orchestre Lamoureux (pronounced [ɔʁ.kɛstʁʁø]) officially known as the Société des Nouveaux-Concerts and also known as the Concerts Lamoureux) is an orchestral concert society which once gave weekly concerts by its own orchestra, founded in Paris by Charles Lamoureux in 1881. It has played an important role in French musical life, including giving the premieres of Emmanuel Chabrier's España (1883), Gabriel Fauré's Pavane (1888), Claude Debussy's Nocturnes (1900 and 1901) and La mer (1905), Maurice Ravel's Menuet antique (1930) and Piano Concerto in G major (1932).

Paul Dukas

Paul Abraham Dukas (French: [dykas]; 1 October 1865 – 17 May 1935) was a French composer, critic, scholar and teacher. A studious man, of retiring personality, he was intensely self-critical, and he abandoned and destroyed many of his compositions. His best known work is the orchestral piece The Sorcerer's Apprentice (L'apprenti sorcier), the fame of which has eclipsed that of his other surviving works. Among these are the opera Ariane et Barbe-bleue, a symphony, two substantial works for solo piano, and a ballet, La Péri.

At a time when French musicians were divided into conservative and progressive factions, Dukas adhered to neither but retained the admiration of both. His compositions were influenced by composers including Beethoven, Berlioz, Franck, d'Indy and Debussy.

In tandem with his composing career, Dukas worked as a music critic, contributing regular reviews to at least five French journals. Later in his life he was appointed professor of composition at the Conservatoire de Paris and the École Normale de Musique; his pupils included Maurice Duruflé, Olivier Messiaen, Manuel Ponce, and Joaquín Rodrigo.

Pavane (Fauré)

The Pavane in F-sharp minor, Op. 50, is a pavane by the French composer Gabriel Fauré written in 1887. It was originally a piano piece, but is better known in Fauré's version for orchestra and optional chorus. Obtaining its rhythm from the slow processional Spanish court dance of the same name, the Pavane ebbs and flows from a series of harmonic and melodic climaxes, conjuring a haunting Belle Époque elegance. The piece is scored for only modest orchestral forces consisting of string instruments and one pair each of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, and horns. A typical performance lasts about six minutes.

Souvenirs de Munich

Souvenirs de Munich is a quadrille on themes from Wagner's Tristan and Isolde, for piano, four hands by Emmanuel Chabrier.

Suzanne Chaigneau

Suzanne Chaigneau (14 June 1875 – 13 April 1946) was a French violinist and chamber musician, and a noted violin teacher.

She spent her childhood between Barbizon and Paris, receiving her musical education from her mother and family friends including Charles Lamoureux and Camille Chevillard. With her sisters she formed a piano trio which gave its first concert in Paris on 25 February 1895.

She was the daughter of painter Ferdinand Chaigneau and Louise Deger, the twin sister of the cellist Marguerite and the sister of pianist Thérèse, with whom she played as the Trio Chaigneau. In 1910 she married the son of violinist Joseph Joachim, Hermann Joachim, an officer in the German army, and was the mother of the singer Irène Joachim. The Chaigneau home welcomed many artistic visitors and was also considered close to the Dreyfusard cause, with Georges Picquart among other visitors to the home.

The Trio Chaigneau played in London and Edinburgh and, with assistance from Joachim, undertook a tour of Germany in 1905. Their repertoire was both the Austro-German classics – Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart – and modern French composers. Apart from a few appearances in 1920, the Trio ended at the start of the First World War.

Suzanne Chaigneau was stranded in Berlin during the war, and her husband died of tuberculosis in 1917. However she was able to continue with musical activity which brought her into contact with Wanda Landowska and Carl Flesch. Although she was able to send her daughter back to France in 1918, she herself was only able to return around 1920. Back in Paris she taught the violin, and founded the Institut moderne du violon with Lucien Capet in 1924. She also became a music correspondent for the Berliner Tageblatt, signing her articles as 'S Francoeur'.

In 1926 and 1927 Chaigneau spent time in Chicago with the Yanker family to teach her violin method. Her books on violin playing included L’Art d’etudier, as well as a translation of the Journal Intime of Novalis.

Symphony in D minor (Franck)

The Symphony in D minor is the most famous orchestral work and the only mature symphony written by the 19th-century Belgian composer César Franck. After two years of work, the symphony was completed 22 August 1888. It was premiered at the Paris Conservatory on 17 February 1889 under the direction of Jules Garcin. Franck dedicated it to his pupil Henri Duparc.

Symphony in G minor (Lalo)

The Symphony in G minor was Édouard Lalo’s final original orchestral composition. It was composed in 1885-1886. (There were two earlier symphonies composed by Lalo, believed destroyed). It was premiered on 7 February 1887 in Paris at the Concerts Lamoureux under Charles Lamoureux.

It is a classically constructed romantic symphony with the composer’s Latin roots present in the melodies and orchestration. There are four movements with 28 minutes duration:

I. Andante - Allegro non troppo

II. Vivace

III. Adagio

IV. AllegroInstrumentation is two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani and strings. The full score was published by G. Hartmann in 1888, and brought out as a Heugel et Cie imprint in 1900 as plate 1820 (Heugel having purchased Hartmann in 1891). Xavier Leroux also made a four hand piano version, published by Heugel as plate 1795.

In a letter of 7 March 1887 to author and Wagner enthusiast Adolphe Jullien responding for information on the symphony, Lalo stated his belief in pure music over descriptive music:

“It appears that you personally wish to have some information regarding the thought which predominates in my symphony. Alas, I am going to scandalize you! I had no literary thought in the sense that you mean. When I write a composition to words, I become a slave to what convention terms the verities of musical expression, according to a given text. But when I write music without a literary text, I have before and about me only the domain of sounds, melodic and harmonic. For a musician, this immense field possesses in itself, aside from all literature, its poems and its dramas. As to my Symphony, I have presented the master phrase in a brief introduction, as you have been kind enough to remark; it predominates in the first movement, and I recall it in the others whenever my poetic or dramatic musical intentions (do not laugh!) make its intervention seem necessary to me”.

Lalo’s symphony was called one of the "happiest" of French symphonies in a 1925 article in The Musical Quarterly. Lalo’s is from the same period that produced three other notable French symphonies: Saint-Saëns Symphony No. 3 "Organ Symphony", d'Indy’s Symphony on a French Mountain Air, and Franck’s Symphony in D minor. Lalo's work was neglected until Thomas Beecham "discovered" it and conducted it regularly. In the United States, only the New York Philharmonic amongst major symphony orchestras performed the work up to 1970 (that sole performance being in 1931).

A 1961 review of the first major recording (Beecham’s made in 1959 at the Salle Wagram in Paris) disparaged the composition as "not very rewarding. Both matter and manner are dull and undistinguished, without the sparkle and melodic charm of the popular Symphonie Espagnole". A 1976 review of Antonio de Almeida’s recording suggests that "the cyclic theme does bear an unfortunately close resemblance to the opening of the Brahms B-flat Piano Concerto, in a way that Lalo surely did not intend". This review finds the second movement the most cohesive of the four and "wonderfully scored", suggesting Bizet's Symphony in C as the "closest equivalent".

Viviane (Chausson)

Viviane, Op. 5, is a symphonic poem by the French composer Ernest Chausson. Chausson's first true composition for orchestra, Viviane was begun in September 1882 and influenced by the music of César Franck and Richard Wagner, just after Chausson had attended the world premiere of the latter's last opera Parsifal at Bayreuth.

Named after the fairy Viviane of Arthurian legend, Chausson's piece concentrates on the episode of her affair with the wizard Merlin in the forest of Broncéliande. Chausson's ardorous interest in Arthurian legend would lead him to spend many years finishing the only opera of his career, Le roi Arthus, Op. 23 (1886-95).

Chausson completed Viviane in December 1882 and dedicated it to Jeanne Escudier, whom he was going to marry in June. The work was premiered at a concert of the Société Nationale de Musique in the Salle Érard on 31 March 1883, conducted by Édouard Colonne, which also featured the premiere of Franck's Le Chasseur maudit. In 1887, Chausson made a major reorchestration of Viviane, which was first presented by Charles Lamoureux on 29 January 1888.


The Éden-Théâtre was a large theatre (4,000 seats) in the rue Boudreau, Paris, built at the beginning of the 1880s by the architects William Klein and Albert Duclos (1842–1896) in a style influenced by orientalism. It was demolished in 1895.

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