Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet was a French composer of the Romantic era best known for his operas, of which he wrote more than thirty. The two most staged are Manon and Werther, he composed oratorios, orchestral works, incidental music, piano pieces and other music. While still a schoolboy, Massenet was admitted to France's principal music college, the Paris Conservatoire. There he studied under Ambroise Thomas, whom he admired. After winning the country's top musical prize, the Prix de Rome, in 1863, he composed prolifically in many genres, but became best known for his operas. Between 1867 and his death forty-five years he wrote more than forty stage works in a wide variety of styles, from opéra-comique to grand-scale depictions of classical myths, romantic comedies, lyric dramas, as well as oratorios and ballets. Massenet had a good sense of what would succeed with the Parisian public. Despite some miscalculations, he produced a series of successes that made him the leading composer of opera in France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Like many prominent French composers of the period, Massenet became a professor at the Conservatoire. He taught composition there from 1878 until 1896, when he resigned after the death of the director, Ambroise Thomas. Among his students were Gustave Charpentier, Ernest Chausson, Reynaldo Hahn and Gabriel Pierné. By the time of his death, Massenet was regarded by many critics as old-fashioned and unadventurous although his two best-known operas remained popular in France and abroad. After a few decades of neglect, his works began to be favourably reassessed during the mid-20th century, many of them have since been staged and recorded. Although critics do not rank him among the handful of outstanding operatic geniuses such as Mozart and Wagner, his operas are now accepted as well-crafted and intelligent products of the Belle Époque. Massenet was born at Montaud an outlying hamlet and now a part of the city of Saint-Étienne, in the Loire, he was the youngest of the four children of Alexis Massenet and his second wife Eléonore-Adelaïde née Royer de Marancour.
Massenet senior was a prosperous ironmonger. By early 1848 the family had moved to Paris. Massenet was educated at the Lycée Saint-Louis and, from either 1851 or 1853, the Paris Conservatoire. According to his colourful but unreliable memoirs, Massenet auditioned in October 1851, when he was nine, before a judging panel comprising Daniel Auber, Fromental Halévy, Ambroise Thomas and Michele Carafa, was admitted at once, his biographer Demar Irvine dates the audition and admission as January 1853. Both sources agree that Massenet continued his general education at the lycée in tandem with his musical studies. At the Conservatoire Massenet studied solfège with Augustin Savard and the piano with François Laurent, he pursued his studies, with modest distinction, until the beginning of 1855, when family concerns disrupted his education. Alexis Massenet's health was poor, on medical advice he moved from Paris to Chambéry in the south of France. Again, Massenet's own memoirs and the researches of his biographers are at variance: the composer recalled his exile in Chambéry as lasting for two years.
On his return he resumed his studies. The family's finances were no longer comfortable, to support himself Massenet took private piano students and played as a percussionist in theatre orchestras, his work in the orchestra pit gave him a good working knowledge of the operas of Gounod and other composers and contemporary. Traditionally, many students at the Conservatoire went on to substantial careers as church organists, he gained some work as a piano accompanist, in the course of which he met Wagner who, along with Berlioz, was one of his two musical heroes. In 1861 Massenet's music was published for the first time, the Grande Fantasie de Concert sur le Pardon de Ploërmel de Meyerbeer, a virtuoso piano work in nine sections. Having graduated to the composition class under Ambroise Thomas, Massenet was entered for the Conservatoire's top musical honour, the Prix de Rome, previous winners of which included Berlioz, Thomas and Bizet; the first two of these were on the judging panel for the 1863 competition.
All the competitors had to set the same text by a cantata about David Rizzio. He recalled: Ambroise Thomas, my beloved master, came towards me and said, "Embrace Berlioz, you owe him a great deal for your prize." "The prize," I cried, bewildered, my face shining with joy. "I have the prize!!!" I was moved and I embraced Berlioz my master, Monsieur Auber. Monsieur Auber comforted me. Did I need comforting? He said to Berlioz pointing to me, "He'll go far, the young rascal, when he's had less experience!" The prize brought a well-subsidised three-year period of study, two-thirds of, spent at the French Academy in Rome, based at the Villa Medici. At that time the academy was dominated by painters rather than musicians.
Eugénie de Montijo
Doña María Eugenia Ignacia Augustina de Palafox y KirkPatrick, 16th Countess of Teba, 15th Marchioness of Ardales, known as Eugénie de Montijo, was the last Empress Consort of the French as the wife of Napoleon III, Emperor of the French. The last Empress of the French was born in Granada, Spain, to Don Cipriano de Palafox y Portocarrero, whose titles included 8th Count of Ablitas, 9th Count of Montijo, 15th Count of Teba, 8th Count of Fuentidueña, 14th Marquess of Ardales, 17th Marquess of Moya and 13th Marquess of la Algaba and his half-Scottish, quarter-Belgian, quarter-Spanish wife, María Manuela Enriqueta Kirkpatrick de Closbourn y de Grevigné, a daughter of the Scots-born William Kirkpatrick of Closeburn, who became United States consul to Málaga, was a wholesale wine merchant, his wife, Marie Françoise de Grevigné, daughter of Liège-born Henri, Baron de Grevigné and wife Doña Francisca Antonia de Gallegos. Eugenia's older sister, María Francisca de Sales de Palafox Portocarrero y Kirkpatrick, nicknamed "Paca", who inherited most of the family honours and was 12th Duchess of Peñaranda Grandee of Spain and 9th Countess of Montijo, title ceded to her sister, married the 15th Duke of Alba in 1849.
Until her own marriage in 1853, Eugénie variously used the titles of Countess of Teba or Countess of Montijo, but some family titles were inherited by her elder sister, through which they passed to the House of Alba. After the death of her father, Eugenia became the 9th Countess of Teba, is named as such in the Almanach de Gotha. After Eugenia's demise all titles of the Montijo family came to the Fitz-Jameses. On 18 July 1834, María Manuela and her daughters left Madrid for Paris, fleeing a cholera outbreak and the dangers of the First Carlist War; the previous day, Eugenia had witnessed a riot and murder in the square outside their residence, Casa Ariza. Eugénie de Montijo, as she became known in France, was formally educated in Paris, beginning at the fashionable, traditionalist Convent of the Sacré Cœur from 1835 to 1836. A more compatible school was the progressive Gymnase Normal, Civil et Orthosomatique, from 1836 to 1837, which appealed to her athletic side. In 1837, Eugénie and Paca attended a boarding school for girls on Royal York Crescent in Clifton, Bristol, to learn English.
Eugénie was teased as "Carrots", for her red hair, tried to run away to India, making it as far as climbing on board a ship in Bristol docks. In August 1837 they returned to school in Paris. However, much of the girls' education took place at home, under the tutelage of English governesses Miss Cole and Miss Flowers, family friends such as Prosper Mérimée and Henri Beyle. In March 1839, on the death of their father in Madrid, the girls left Paris to rejoin their mother there. In Spain, Eugénie grew up into a headstrong and physically daring young woman, devoted to horseriding and a range of other sports, she was rescued from drowning, twice attempted suicide after romantic disappointments. She was interested in politics, became devoted to the Bonapartist cause, under the influence of Eleanore Gordon, a former mistress of Louis Napoléon. Thanks to her mother's role as a lavish society hostess, Eugénie became acquainted with Isabel II and the prime minister Ramón Narváez. María Manuela was anxious to find a husband for her daughter, took her on trips to Paris again in 1849 and England in 1851.
She first met Prince Louis Napoléon after he had become president of the Second Republic, with her mother, at a reception given by the "prince-president" at the Élysée Palace on 12 April 1849. Her beauty attracted Louis Napoleon, who, as was his custom, tried to seduce her, but Eugénie told him to wait for marriage. "What is the road to your heart?" Napoleon demanded to know. "Through the chapel, Sire", she answered. In a speech on 22 January 1853, Napoleon III, after having become emperor, formally announced his engagement, saying, "I have preferred a woman whom I love and respect to a woman unknown to me, with whom an alliance would have had advantages mixed with sacrifices", they were wed, on 29 January 1853, in a civil ceremony at the Tuileries, on the 30th there was a much grander religious ceremony at Notre Dame. The marriage had come after considerable activity with regard to who would make a suitable match toward titled royals and with an eye to foreign policy; the final choice was opposed in many quarters and Eugénie considered of too little social standing by some.
In the United Kingdom The Times made light of the latter concern, emphasizing that the parvenu Bonapartes were at least marrying into established Spanish nobility: "We learn with some amusement that this romantic event in the annals of the French Empire has called forth the strongest opposition, provoked the utmost irritation. The Imperial family, the Council of Ministers, the lower coteries of the palace or its purlieus, all affect to regard this marriage as an amazing humiliation..."Eugénie found childbearing extraordinarily difficult. An initial miscarriage in 1853, after a three-month pregnancy and soured her. On 16 March 1856, after a two-day labor that endangered mother and child and from which Eugénie made a slow recovery, the empress gave birth to an only son, Napoléon Eugène Louis Jean Joseph Bonaparte, styled Prince Impérial. After marriage, it didn't take long for her husband to str
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War referred to in France as the War of 1870, was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Third French Republic, the German states of the North German Confederation led by the Kingdom of Prussia. Lasting from 19 July 1870 to 28 January 1871, the conflict was caused by Prussian ambitions to extend German unification and French fears of the shift in the European balance of power that would result if the Prussians succeeded; some historians argue that the Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck deliberately provoked the French into declaring war on Prussia in order to draw the independent southern German states—Baden, Württemberg and Hesse-Darmstadt—into an alliance with the North German Confederation dominated by Prussia, while others contend that Bismarck did not plan anything and exploited the circumstances as they unfolded. None, dispute the fact that Bismarck must have recognized the potential for new German alliances, given the situation as a whole.
On 16 July 1870, the French parliament voted to declare war on Prussia and hostilities began three days when French forces invaded German territory. The German coalition mobilised its troops much more than the French and invaded northeastern France; the German forces were superior in numbers, had better training and leadership and made more effective use of modern technology railroads and artillery. A series of swift Prussian and German victories in eastern France, culminating in the Siege of Metz and the Battle of Sedan, saw French Emperor Napoleon III captured and the army of the Second Empire decisively defeated. A Government of National Defence declared the Third French Republic in Paris on 4 September and continued the war for another five months. Following the Siege of Paris, the capital fell on 28 January 1871, a revolutionary uprising called the Paris Commune seized power in the city and held it for two months, until it was bloodily suppressed by the regular French army at the end of May 1871.
The German states proclaimed their union as the German Empire under the Prussian king Wilhelm I uniting Germany as a nation-state. The Treaty of Frankfurt of 10 May 1871 gave Germany most of Alsace and some parts of Lorraine, which became the Imperial territory of Alsace-Lorraine; the German conquest of France and the unification of Germany upset the European balance of power that had existed since the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Otto von Bismarck maintained great authority in international affairs for two decades. French determination to regain Alsace-Lorraine and fear of another Franco-German war, along with British apprehension about the balance of power, became factors in the causes of World War I; the causes of the Franco-Prussian War are rooted in the events surrounding the unification of Germany. In the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, Prussia had annexed numerous territories and formed the North German Confederation; this new power destabilized the European balance of power established by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 after the Napoleonic Wars.
Napoleon III the emperor of France, demanded compensations in Belgium and on the left bank of the Rhine to secure France's strategic position, which the Prussian chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, flatly refused. Prussia turned its attention towards the south of Germany, where it sought to incorporate the southern German kingdoms, Bavaria, Württemberg and Hesse-Darmstadt, into a unified Prussia-dominated Germany. France was opposed to any further alliance of German states, which would have strengthened the Prussian military. In Prussia, some officials considered a war against France both inevitable and necessary to arouse German nationalism in those states that would allow the unification of a great German empire; this aim was epitomized by Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck's statement: "I did not doubt that a Franco-German war must take place before the construction of a United Germany could be realised." Bismarck knew that France should be the aggressor in the conflict to bring the southern German states to side with Prussia, hence giving Germans numerical superiority.
He was convinced that France would not find any allies in her war against Germany for the simple reason that "France, the victor, would be a danger to everybody – Prussia to nobody," and he added, "That is our strong point." Many Germans viewed the French as the traditional destabilizer of Europe, sought to weaken France to prevent further breaches of the peace. The immediate cause of the war resided in the candidacy of Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, a Prussian prince, to the throne of Spain. France feared encirclement by an alliance between Spain; the Hohenzollern prince's candidacy was withdrawn under French diplomatic pressure, but Otto von Bismarck goaded the French into declaring war by releasing an altered summary of the Ems Dispatch, a telegram sent by William I rejecting French demands that Prussia never again support a Hohenzollern candidacy. Bismarck's summary, as mistranslated by the French press Havas, made it sound as if the king had treated the French envoy in a demeaning fashion, which inflamed public opinion in France.
French historians François Roth and Pierre Milza argue that Napoleon III was pressured by a bellicose press and public opinion and thus sought war in response to France's diplomatic failures to obtain any territorial gains following the Austro-Prussian War. Napoleon III believed. Many in his court, such as Empress Eugénie wanted a
Titanic (1997 film)
Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed, written, co-produced and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as members of different social classes who fall in love aboard the ship during its ill-fated maiden voyage. Cameron's inspiration for the film came from his fascination with shipwrecks. Production began in 1995; the modern scenes on the research vessel were shot on board the Akademik Mstislav Keldysh, which Cameron had used as a base when filming the wreck. Scale models, computer-generated imagery, a reconstruction of the Titanic built at Baja Studios were used to re-create the sinking; the film was funded by Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox. It was the most expensive film made at the time, with a production budget of $200 million. Upon its release on December 19, 1997, Titanic achieved commercial success. Nominated for 14 Academy Awards, it tied All About Eve for the most Oscar nominations, won 11, including the awards for Best Picture and Best Director, tying Ben-Hur for the most Oscars won by a single film.
With an initial worldwide gross of over $1.84 billion, Titanic was the first film to reach the billion-dollar mark. It remained the highest-grossing film of all time until Cameron's Avatar surpassed it in 2010. A 3D version of Titanic, released on April 4, 2012, to commemorate the centennial of the sinking, earned it an additional $343.6 million worldwide, pushing the film's worldwide total to $2.18 billion and making it the second film to gross more than $2 billion worldwide. In 2017, the film was re-released for its 20th anniversary and was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. In 1996, treasure hunter Brock Lovett and his team aboard the research vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldysh search the wreck of RMS Titanic for a necklace with a rare diamond, the Heart of the Ocean, they recover a safe containing a drawing of a young woman wearing only the necklace dated April 14, 1912, the day the ship struck the iceberg. Rose Dawson Calvert, the woman in the drawing, is brought aboard Keldysh and tells Lovett of her experiences aboard Titanic.
In 1912 Southampton, 17-year-old first-class passenger Rose DeWitt Bukater, her fiancé Cal Hockley, her mother Ruth board the luxurious Titanic. Ruth emphasizes that Rose's marriage will resolve their family's financial problems and retain their high-class persona. Distraught over the engagement, Rose considers suicide by jumping from the stern. Discovered with Jack, Rose tells a concerned Cal that she was peering over the edge and Jack saved her from falling; when Cal becomes indifferent, she suggests to him. He invites Jack to dine with them in first class the following night. Jack and Rose develop a tentative friendship, despite Ruth being wary of him. Following dinner, Rose secretly joins Jack at a party in third class. Aware of Cal and Ruth's disapproval, Rose rebuffs Jack's advances, but realizes she prefers him over Cal. After rendezvousing on the bow at sunset, Rose takes Jack to her state room, they evade Cal's bodyguard, Mr. Lovejoy, have sex in an automobile inside the cargo hold. On the forward deck, they witness a collision with an iceberg and overhear the officers and designer discussing its seriousness.
Cal discovers Jack's sketch of Rose and an insulting note from her in his safe along with the necklace. When Jack and Rose attempt to inform Cal of the collision, Lovejoy slips the necklace into Jack's pocket and he and Cal accuse him of theft. Jack is arrested, taken to the master-at-arms' office, handcuffed to a pipe. Cal puts the necklace in his own coat pocket. With the ship sinking, Rose flees Cal and her mother, who has boarded a lifeboat, frees Jack. On the boat deck and Jack encourage her to board a lifeboat. After Rose boards one, Cal tells Jack; as her boat lowers, Rose decides that she jumps back on board. Cal takes his bodyguard's pistol and chases Rose and Jack into the flooding first-class dining saloon. After using up his ammunition, Cal realizes he gave his coat and the necklace to Rose, he boards a collapsible lifeboat by carrying a lost child. After braving several obstacles and Rose return to the boat deck; the lifeboats have departed and passengers are falling to their deaths as the stern rises out of the water.
The ship breaks in half. Jack and Rose ride it into the ocean and he helps her onto a wooden panel buoyant enough for only one person, he assures her. Jack dies of hypothermia but Rose is saved. With Rose hiding from Cal en route, the RMS Carpathia takes the survivors to New York City where Rose gives her name as Rose Dawson. Rose says she read that Cal committed suicide after losing all his money in the Wall Street Crash of 1929. Back in the present, Lovett decides to abandon his search after hearing Rose's story. Alone on the stern of Keldysh, Rose takes out the Heart of the Ocean – in her possession all along – and drops it into the sea over the wreck site. While she is asleep or has died in her bed, photos on her dresser depict a life of freedom and adventure in
Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke and the King died in 1820, Victoria was raised under close supervision by her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, she inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children. The United Kingdom was an established constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign held little direct political power. Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840, their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe". After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria avoided public appearances.
As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration, her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any of her predecessors and is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, political and military change within the United Kingdom, was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire, she was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover. Her son and successor, Edward VII, initiated the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father. Victoria's father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of the reigning King of the United Kingdom, George III; until 1817, Edward's niece, Princess Charlotte of Wales, was the only legitimate grandchild of George III. Her death in 1817 precipitated a succession crisis that brought pressure on the Duke of Kent and his unmarried brothers to marry and have children.
In 1818 he married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a widowed German princess with two children—Carl and Feodora —by her first marriage to the Prince of Leiningen. Her brother Leopold was Princess Charlotte's widower; the Duke and Duchess of Kent's only child, was born at 4.15 a.m. on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London. Victoria was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton, on 24 June 1819 in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace, she was baptised Alexandrina after one of her godparents, Emperor Alexander I of Russia, Victoria, after her mother. Additional names proposed by her parents—Georgina and Augusta—were dropped on the instructions of Kent's eldest brother, the Prince Regent. At birth, Victoria was fifth in the line of succession after the four eldest sons of George III: George, the Prince Regent; the Prince Regent had no surviving children, the Duke of York had no children. The Duke of Clarence and the Duke of Kent married on the same day in 1818, but both of Clarence's legitimate daughters died as infants.
The first of these was Princess Charlotte, born and died on 27 March 1819, two months before Victoria was born. Victoria's father died in January 1820. A week her grandfather died and was succeeded by his eldest son as George IV. Victoria was third in line to the throne after York and Clarence. Clarence's second daughter was Princess Elizabeth of Clarence who lived for twelve weeks from 10 December 1820 to 4 March 1821 and, while Elizabeth lived, Victoria was fourth in line; the Duke of York died in 1827. When George IV died in 1830, he was succeeded by his next surviving brother, Clarence, as William IV, Victoria became heir presumptive; the Regency Act 1830 made special provision for Victoria's mother to act as regent in case William died while Victoria was still a minor. King William distrusted the Duchess's capacity to be regent, in 1836 he declared in her presence that he wanted to live until Victoria's 18th birthday, so that a regency could be avoided. Victoria described her childhood as "rather melancholy".
Her mother was protective, Victoria was raised isolated from other children under the so-called "Kensington System", an elaborate set of rules and protocols devised by the Duchess and her ambitious and domineering comptroller, Sir John Conroy, rumoured to be the Duchess's lover. The system prevented the princess from meeting people whom her mother and Conroy deemed undesirable, was designed to render her weak and dependent upon them; the Duchess avoided the court because she was scandalised by the presence of King William's illegitimate children. Victoria shared a bedroom with her mother every night, studied with private tutors to a regular timetable, spent her play-hours with her dolls and her King Charles Spaniel, Dash, her lessons included French, German and Latin, but she spoke only English at home. In 1830, the Duchess of Kent and Conroy took Victoria across the centre of England to visit the Malvern Hills, stopping at towns and great country houses along the way. Similar journeys to oth
The violin, sometimes known as a fiddle, is a wooden string instrument in the violin family. Most violins have a hollow wooden body, it is highest-pitched instrument in the family in regular use. Smaller violin-type instruments exist, including the violino piccolo and the kit violin, but these are unused; the violin has four strings tuned in perfect fifths, is most played by drawing a bow across its strings, though it can be played by plucking the strings with the fingers and by striking the strings with the wooden side of the bow. Violins are important instruments in a wide variety of musical genres, they are most prominent in the Western classical tradition, both in ensembles and as solo instruments and in many varieties of folk music, including country music, bluegrass music and in jazz. Electric violins with solid bodies and piezoelectric pickups are used in some forms of rock music and jazz fusion, with the pickups plugged into instrument amplifiers and speakers to produce sound. Further, the violin has come to be played in many non-Western music cultures, including Indian music and Iranian music.
The name fiddle is used regardless of the type of music played on it. The violin was first known in 16th-century Italy, with some further modifications occurring in the 18th and 19th centuries to give the instrument a more powerful sound and projection. In Europe, it served as the basis for the development of other stringed instruments used in Western classical music, such as the viola. Violinists and collectors prize the fine historical instruments made by the Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati families from the 16th to the 18th century in Brescia and Cremona and by Jacob Stainer in Austria. According to their reputation, the quality of their sound has defied attempts to explain or equal it, though this belief is disputed. Great numbers of instruments have come from the hands of less famous makers, as well as still greater numbers of mass-produced commercial "trade violins" coming from cottage industries in places such as Saxony and Mirecourt. Many of these trade instruments were sold by Sears, Roebuck and Co. and other mass merchandisers.
The parts of a violin are made from different types of wood. Violins can be strung with Perlon or other synthetic, or steel strings. A person who makes or repairs violins is called a violinmaker. One who makes or repairs bows is called an bowmaker; the word "violin" was first used in English in the 1570s. The word "violin" comes from "Italian violino, diminutive of viola"; the term "viola" comes from the expression for "tenor violin" in 1797, from Italian viola, from Old Provençal viola, Medieval Latin vitula" as a term which means "stringed instrument," from Vitula, Roman goddess of joy... or from related Latin verb vitulari, "to exult, be joyful." The related term "Viola da gamba" means "bass viol" is from Italian "a viola for the leg"." A violin is the "modern form of the smaller, medieval viola da braccio." The violin is called a fiddle, either when used in a folk music context, or in Classical music scenes, as an informal nickname for the instrument. The word "fiddle" was first used in English in the late 14th century.
The word "fiddle" comes from "fedele, fidel, earlier fithele, from Old English fiðele "fiddle,", related to Old Norse fiðla, Middle Dutch vedele, Dutch vedel, Old High German fidula, German Fiedel, "a fiddle. As to the origin of the word "fiddle", the "...usual suggestion, based on resemblance in sound and sense, is that it is from Medieval Latin vitula." The earliest stringed instruments were plucked. Two-stringed, bowed instruments, played upright and strung and bowed with horsehair, may have originated in the nomadic equestrian cultures of Central Asia, in forms resembling the modern-day Mongolian Morin huur and the Kazakh Kobyz. Similar and variant types were disseminated along East-West trading routes from Asia into the Middle East, the Byzantine Empire; the direct ancestor of all European bowed instruments is the Arabic rebab, which developed into the Byzantine lyra by the 9th century and the European rebec. The first makers of violins borrowed from various developments of the Byzantine lyra.
These included the lira da braccio. The violin in its present form emerged in early 16th-century northern Italy; the earliest pictures of violins, albeit with three strings, are seen in northern Italy around 1530, at around the same time as the words "violino" and "vyollon" are seen in Italian and French documents. One of the earliest explicit descriptions of the instrument, including its tuning, is from the Epitome musical by Jambe de Fer, published in Lyon in 1556. By this time, the violin had begun to spread throughout Europe; the violin proved popular, both among street musicians and the nobility. One of these "noble" instruments, the Charles IX, is the oldest surviving violin; the finest Renaissance carved and decorated violin in the world is the Gasparo da Salò owned by Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria and from 1841, by the Norwegian virtuoso Ole Bull, who used it for forty years and thousands of concerts, for i
Alexis-Emmanuel Chabrier was a Romantic composer and pianist, born in Ambert, central France. His bourgeois family did not approve of a musical career for him, he studied law in Paris and worked as a civil servant until the age of thirty-nine while immersing himself in the modernist artistic life of the French capital and composing in his spare time. From 1880 until his final illness he was a full-time composer. Although known for two of his orchestral works, España and Joyeuse marche, Chabrier left a corpus of operas and piano music, but no symphonies, quartets, sonatas, or religious or liturgical music, his lack of academic training left him free to create his own musical language, unaffected by established rules, he was regarded by many composers as an important innovator and a catalyst who paved the way for French modernism. He was admired by, influenced, composers as diverse as Debussy, Richard Strauss, Satie and the group of composers known as Les six. Writing at a time when French musicians were proponents or opponents of the music of Wagner, Chabrier steered a middle course, sometimes incorporating Wagnerian traits into his music and at other times avoiding them.
Chabrier was associated with some of the leading painters of his time. Among his closest friends was the painter Édouard Manet, Chabrier collected Impressionist paintings long before they became fashionable. A number of such paintings from his personal collection by artists known to him are now housed in some of the world's leading art museums, he penned a large number of letters to friends and colleagues which offer an insight into his musical opinions and character. Chabrier died in Paris at the age of fifty-three from a neurological disease caused by syphilis. Chabrier was born in a town in the Auvergne region of central France, he was the only son of a lawyer, Jean Chabrier, his wife, Marie-Anne-Evelina, née Durosay or Durozay. The Chabriers were of old Auvergne stock of peasant origin, but in recent generations merchants and lawyers had predominated in the family. A key member of the household was the boy's nanny Anne Delayre, who remained close to him throughout her life. Chabrier began taking music lessons at the age of six.
The earliest of Chabrier's compositions to survive in manuscript are piano works from 1849. A piano piece, Le Scalp!!! was modified into the Marche des Cipayes. The first piece to which the composer gave an opus number was a waltz for piano, Julia, op. 1, 1857. Tarnovky advised Chabrier's parents that their son was talented enough to pursue a musical career, but Jean Chabrier was determined that his son should follow him into the legal profession, he moved the family to Paris in 1856. From there Chabrier went on to law school, but did not neglect music, continuing his studies in composition and piano. After graduating from the law school in 1861 he joined the French civil service at the Ministry of the Interior, where he worked for nineteen years. Chabrier was well regarded at the ministry, but his passion was music, to which he devoted his free time, he continued his studies, with teachers including Edouard Wolff, Richard Hommer, Théophile Semet and Aristide Hignard. In a study of the composer published in 1935 Jacques-Gabriel Prod'homme commented that it would be wrong to class Chabrier as an amateur in this period: "For, while in quest of the technique of his art, he displayed a curiosity in the painting and literature of the'modernists' of his day that, among musicians, had few parallels."From 1862 Chabrier was among the circle of the Parnassians in Paris.
Among his friends were Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam and Paul Verlaine. He did not complete it, his full-time official post restricted Chabrier's ability to compose large-scale works. He began an opera on a Hungarian historical theme entitled Jean Hunyade, to a libretto by Henri Fouquier, but abandoned it, after completing four numbers, in 1867. In December 1872 he scored a success at a private theatre club, the Cercle de l'union artistique with a three-act opérette bouffe Le Service obligatoire written in collaboration with two other composers, which according to Victorin de Joncières was acclaimed by the audience as undoubted proof of Chabrier's talent. Another attempt at operatic comedy, Fisch-Ton-Kan, with Verlaine and Lucien Viotti, was performed in March 1875 at the same club with Chabrier at the piano, he did not set any poems by Villiers de L'Isle Adam or Verlaine, although the latter wrote a sonnet À Emmanuel Chabrier as a remembrance of their friendship. There are several descriptions of Chabrier's piano-playing at around this time.
The composer and critic Alfred Bruneau said of Chabrier, "he played the