Louise Bertin

Louise-Angélique Bertin (Les Roches, Essonne, 15 January 1805 – Paris, 26 April 1877) was a French composer and poet.[1]

Louise Bertin lived her entire life in France. Her father, Louis-François Bertin, and also her brother later on, were the editors of Journal des débats, an influential newspaper. As encouraged by her family, Bertin pursued music. She received lessons from François-Joseph Fétis, who directed a private family performance of Guy Mannering, Bertin's first opera, in 1825. This opera, never formally produced, took its story line from the book of the same name, written by Sir Walter Scott. Two years later, Bertin's second opera, Le Loup-garou, was produced at the Opéra-Comique.

At the age of 21, Bertin began working on an opera semiseria, Fausto to her own libretto in Italian, based on Goethe's Faust, a subject "almost certainly suggested" by her father.[2] A performance of the completed opera was scheduled for 1830. However, due to many unforeseen complications, Fausto did not actually reach the stage until a full year later. It was not well received and only saw three performances.

Shortly before this, Bertin became friends with Victor Hugo. Hugo himself had sketched out an operatic version of his book Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and between the two of them, the opera La Esmeralda was born, Hugo providing the libretto. Bertin was the only composer to have collaborated directly with Hugo on an opera. However, as the opera’s run began in 1836, there were accusations against Bertin and her family, claiming she had special privileges due to her brother Armand's connection to the government's opera administration. During the seventh performance, a riot ensued and the run of La Esmeralda was forced to end, though a version of the opera continued to be performed over the next three years. The composer Hector Berlioz, who helped Bertin with the staging and production of La Esmeralda, was also accused of providing the better music of this work, a charge he vehemently denied.[3] In frustration, Bertin refused to write any more operas. In 1837, Franz Liszt transcribed the orchestral score for solo piano (S.476), and made a piano transcription of the "Air chanté par Massol" (S.477).

Bertin did however continue to compose in many different genres. Her later compositions include twelve cantatas, six piano ballades, five chamber symphonies, a few string quartets, a piano trio (which includes themes from both her early Fausto and La Esmeralda), and many vocal selections. Of these, only the ballades and the trio were published.

Bertin also wrote and published two volumes of poetry, Les Glanes in 1842 and Nouvelles Glanes in 1876. The former of these received a prize from the Académie française. Bertin died the year after the publication of Nouvelles Glanes.

Louise Bertin
Louise Bertin (1805-1877).



  1. ^ Hugh Macdonald. "Bertin, Louise." In Grove Music Online Oxford Music Online (subscription required) (accessed December 30, 2010).
  2. ^ Eric Blom, ed. Everyman's Dictionary of Music, (1946; 1954) s.v. "Fausto".
  3. ^ Hector Berlioz Memoirs Chapter XLVII
1805 in France

Events from the year 1805 in France.

1836 in music

This article is about music-related events in 1836.

1877 in France

Events from the year 1877 in France.

1877 in music

This article is about music-related events in 1877.

Chronological list of French classical composers

The following is a chronological list of classical music composers who lived in, worked in, or were citizens of France.

Franz Liszt's treatments of the works of other composers

This article lists the various treatments given by Franz Liszt to the works of almost 100 other composers.

These treatments included transcriptions for other instruments (predominantly solo piano), arrangements, orchestrations, fantaisies, reminiscences, paraphrases, illustrations, variations, and editions.

Liszt also extensively treated his own works in a similar manner, but these are not tallied here—neither are his treatments of national (or "folk") melodies whose composers are unknown, nor other anonymous works.

In most cases, Liszt arranged only one or two pieces by a composer, but he delved more deeply into the works of Bach, Beethoven, Berlioz, Donizetti, Mendelssohn, Meyerbeer, Mozart, Rossini, Schubert, Verdi, Wagner, and Weber.

The earliest-born composer whose works Liszt dealt with was Orlande de Lassus (born c. 1532). Jacques Arcadelt was born earlier (c. 1507), but Liszt's treatment was not of Arcadelt's original work, rather of a setting by Pierre-Louis Dietsch loosely based on Arcadelt. The last composer to die whose works Liszt dealt with was Géza Zichy (1849–1924).

François-Joseph Fétis

François-Joseph Fétis (French: [fetis]; 25 March 1784 – 26 March 1871) was a Belgian musicologist, composer, teacher, and one of the most influential music critics of the 19th century. His enormous compilation of biographical data in the Biographie universelle des musiciens remains an important source of information today.

Gabrielle Bertin, Baroness Bertin

Gabrielle Louise Bertin, Baroness Bertin (born 14 March 1978) is a British Conservative member of the House of Lords and political aide best known for her association with David Cameron during his term as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

La Esmeralda

La Esmeralda may refer to:

La Esmeralda, Chihuahua, rural community in Ojinaga Municipality, Chihuahua, Mexico

La Esmeralda, Panama

La Esmeralda, Uruguay, seaside resort in Rocha Department

La Esmeralda, Venezuela, town in Amazonas, Venezuela

La Esmeralda (ballet) by Cesare Pugni

La Esmeralda (opera) by Louise Bertin

Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado "La Esmeralda", a Mexican art school

La Esmeralda (opera)

La Esmeralda is a grand opera in four acts composed by Louise Bertin. The libretto was written by Victor Hugo, who had adapted it from his novel Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame). The opera premiered at the Théâtre de l'Académie Royale de Musique in Paris on 14 November 1836 with Cornélie Falcon in the title role. Despite the lavish production, the premiere was a failure, and La Esmeralda proved to be the last opera composed by Bertin, although she lived for another 40 years.

Les nuits d'été

Les nuits d'été (Summer Nights), Op. 7, is a song cycle by the French composer Hector Berlioz. It is a setting of six poems by Théophile Gautier. The cycle, completed in 1841, was originally for soloist and piano accompaniment. Berlioz orchestrated one of the songs in 1843, and did the same for the other five in 1856. The cycle was neglected for many years, but during the 20th century it became, and has remained, one of the composer's most popular works. The full orchestral version is more frequently performed in concert and on record than the piano original. The theme of the work is the progress of love, from youthful innocence to loss and finally renewal.

List of French women writers

This is a list of women writers who were born in France or whose writings are closely associated with that country.

Louis-François Bertin

Louis-François Bertin, also known as Bertin l'Aîné (Bertin the Elder; 14 December 1766 – 13 September 1841), was a French journalist. He had a younger brother – Louis-François Bertin de Vaux (1771–1842), two sons – Edouard François (1797–1871) and Louis-Marie François (1801–1854), and a daughter – Louise Bertin.

Marie Bobillier

Marie Bobillier, real name Antoinette Christine Marie Bobillier (12 April 1858 – 4 November 1918) was a French musicologist, music critic, writing under her pseudonym Michel Brenet.

Salle Le Peletier

The Salle Le Peletier or Lepeletier (sometimes referred to as the Salle de la rue Le Peletier or the Opéra Le Peletier) was the home of the Paris Opera from 1821 until the building was destroyed by fire in 1873. The theatre was designed and constructed by the architect François Debret on the site of the garden of the Hôtel de Choiseul on the rue Lepeletier. Due to the many changes in government and management during the theatre's existence, it had a number of different official names, the most important of which were: Théâtre de l'Académie Royale de Musique (1821–1848), Opéra-Théâtre de la Nation (1848–1850), Théâtre de l'Académie Nationale de Musique (1850–1852), Théâtre de l'Académie Impériale de Musique (1852–1854), Théâtre Impérial de l'Opéra (1854–1870), and Théâtre National de l'Opéra (1870–1873).

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (French: Notre-Dame de Paris, lit. 'Our Lady of Paris') is a French Gothic novel by Victor Hugo, published in 1831.

Victor Hugo

Victor Marie Hugo (French: [viktɔʁ maʁi yɡo] (listen); 26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885) was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. Hugo is considered to be one of the greatest and best-known French writers. Outside France, his most famous works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (French: Notre-Dame de Paris), 1831. In France, Hugo is known primarily for his poetry collections, such as Les Contemplations (The Contemplations) and La Légende des siècles (The Legend of the Ages).

Hugo was at the forefront of the Romantic literary movement with his play Cromwell and drama Hernani. Many of his works have inspired music, both during his lifetime and after his death, including the musicals Notre-Dame de Paris and Les Misérables. He produced more than 4,000 drawings in his lifetime, and campaigned for social causes such as the abolition of capital punishment.

Though a committed royalist when he was young, Hugo's views changed as the decades passed, and he became a passionate supporter of republicanism; his work touches upon most of the political and social issues and the artistic trends of his time. He is buried in the Panthéon in Paris. His legacy has been honoured in many ways, including his portrait being placed on French currency.

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