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AmicoThe Life of Giovanni Battista Viotti$
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Warwick Lister

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195372403

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372403.001.0001

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Paris, 1782–92

Paris, 1782–92

Performer, Composer, Teacher

(p.66) CHAPTER THREE Paris, 1782–92

Warwick Lister

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes Viotti's becoming the most acclaimed violinist of his time after his sensational debut at the Concert spirituel in Paris. After only two seasons Viotti renounced public performance, but continued to play in private salon concerts (which this chapter treats in some detail) and for a time he was in the service of the queen, Marie Antoinette. Viotti's Paris works are described, including a section on his improvising, as well as his activities as a violin teacher. The possibility that Viotti's trip to his hometown, Fontanetto, took place in the summer and autumn of 1782, rather than the summer of 1783, as is commonly thought, is considered. Viotti's friendships with Madame Vigée-Lebrun, the painter, and Madame de Genlis, the educator and novelist, are introduced in this chapter. Viotti's putative musical participation in the Masonic Concert olympique, of which he was a member in 1786, is speculated upon.

Keywords:   Concert olympique, Concert spirituel, Fontanetto, Genlis, improvising, Marie Antoinette, Paris, salon concerts, Vigée-Lebrun

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