CHERUBINI AND FRANCHOMME

Autograph note signed ‘L. Cherubini’ regarding the cellist Auguste Franchomme.

[Paris,] 19 December 1825.

Note on a piece of paper (78 x 152 mm) evidently cut from a larger sheet; three lines; one fold-line, some minor staining.

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Autograph note signed ‘L. Cherubini’ regarding the cellist Auguste Franchomme.

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A short note in which the composer and director of the Conservatoire de Paris Luigi Cherubini records that ‘Mr. Franchomme’ has been admitted into the class of ‘Mr. Seuriot’ and that he will begin there on 22 December 1825.

‘Mr. Franchomme’ is almost certainly the French cellist and composer Auguste Franchomme (1808–1884). Considered by his contemporaries ‘the King of the French school’, Franchomme was a friend of Mendelssohn and Chopin, collaborating with the latter on the Grand Duo (1833) and also performing his Cello Sonata op. 65 at its première in 1847. ‘According to Fétis, he began his study of the cello at the age of 12, with Mas, at the Lille Conservatoire. He received his first prize in 1821, and continued his studies with Pierre Baumann. He then went to the Paris Conservatoire, studying with Norblin for one year before gaining a premier prix in December 1825’ (Grove). The present note suggests that Franchomme continued his studies at the Conservatoire after gaining his premier prix, under the supervision of the violinist and composer Louis-Auguste Seuriot, who taught counterpoint and fugue at the Conservatoire from 1823 to 1830.

Cherubini was director of the Paris Conservatoire for twenty years from 1822 until shortly before his death in 1842. ‘He proved to be a highly efficient administrator who gave the Conservatoire a sense of stability and a European reputation’ (Grove).

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