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“Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and ability.
There is no stond or impediment in the wit,
CHARLES SIMON CATEL,
MEMBER OF THE CONSERVATOIRE DE MUSIQUE AT PARIS.
Translated by Mrs. COWDEN CLARKE, FROM THE SRIGINAL French, EXPRESSLY FOR NOVELLO'S
LIBRARY FOR THE DIFFUSION OF MUSICAL KNOWLEDGE. THE MUSICAL PORTION HAS
ALSO BEEN REVISED BY MR. JOSIAH PITTMAN, Organist op Lincoln's Inn.
J. ALFRED NOVELLO, 69, DEAN STREET, SOHO, AND 24, POULTRY ;
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE OF CATEL.
Charles Simon Catel, born at l'Aigle, in the month From the commencement of the Conservatoire at Paris, of June, 1773, repaired, when quite young, to Paris, Gossec, Mehul, and Cherubini were inspectors there; in where he devoted himself entirely to the study of music. 1810, a fourth place of this kind was appointed, and Catel Sacchini, who took much interest in him, caused him to was the one chosen to occupy the post. He did not long enter the Royal School for Singing and Declamation, enjoy the advantages of this new position; for, the events founded, in 1783, by Papillon de la Ferté. Catel there of 1814 having deprived Mons. Sarette of the administrastudied the piano, under the direction of Gobert, and of tion of the Conservatoire, his friend chose to follow him Gossec, who, taking a great liking to him, gave him in his retreat, and sent in his resignation. “Since then,” lessons in harmony and composition. In a short time, (says Mons. Fétis, writing in 1837,) "he has declined all he became well skilled in harmony, and in all the branches the situations that have been offered him; his nomination of the art of writing music. Towards the middle of 1787, as member of the French Institute, in 1815, being the he was appointed accompanyist and assistant professor in only one he has accepted. In 1824, he was made Chevalier this same school. In 1790, the directors of the Opera of the Legion of Honor, without having taken a single selected him for accompanyist at the theatre; and he step for obtaining the favor.” retained this situation until 1802, when more important A strong party existing against the strict school in avocations compelled him to resign it. It was in the year
musical art, of which the Conservatoire was looked upon 1790, that the band of music of the National Guard was as the centre, Catel's dramatic productions met with organized under the auspices of Mons. Sarette, who sub- slender success from the Parisian public, and brought sequently founded the Conservatoire de Musique, and their author little fame and less profit. After composing became its director. The intimate friendship which al- eleven operatic pieces, between the years 1802 and 1819, ready subsisted between himself and Catel, determined Catel retired from public life, wrote no more, derived his Mons. Sarette to furnish him with means of displaying chief pleasure from encouraging talent in young rising his talent, by engaging him in this band as assistant artists, and passed the greater part of each year in a musical director, in conjunction with his master, Gossec. country house he possessed, a few leagues from Paris. Catel fulfilled the duties of his office by writing a large Catel composed a variety of instrumental pieces; overnumber of marches and quick movements, which were tures, military marches, quintetts, quatuors, sonatas for generally adopted by the French regiments during the piano-forte, a symphony, several national songs and civic wars in the time of the revolution. The first production romances, and took large part in the compilation of the which marked the talent of Catel for great works was a De Profundis, performed in 1702, on the occasion of the was published in 1815, for which he wrote a methodical funeral honors paid by the National Guard to their major- | detail of the principles of music; but the work on which general, Gouvion.
his reputation will chiefly rest, is incontestably his In the third year of the Republic (1795), when the « TREATISE ON HARMONY." Conservatoire de Musique was organized, Catel was ap- “ However excellent the talents of Catel,” (proceeds pointed professor of harmony there. This establishment Mons. Fétis,) “ they formed only one portion of his title was hardly completed, ere the views of those distinguished to the esteem-I may say—to the veneration, of those professors, who formed its staff, were directed to the ne- who knew him. To an understanding the most just and cessity there existed for fixing the basis of a system of clear, to a gift of observation the most discerning, he instruction, and for compiling elementary works in all joined a probity the most strict, together with all the branches of the art. Each had his portion of these pro- qualities belonging to the purest of natures. For the ductions, in consonance with his specific studies; and, space of forty years, his friendship, his gratitude towards according to this arrangement, Catel was entrusted with Mons. Sarette, who had supported him with his utmost the compilation of a Treatise on Harmony. The work influence throughout his career, never for an instant was proposed amidst an assemblage of ten professors ; abated; while his benevolence on behalf of young musiwas adopted; and appeared in the tenth year (1802). cians who sought his counsel and assistance, knew no This book has been, during a period of twenty years, the limit." sole authority with professors of harmony in France.
a “Solfeggi of the Conservatoire," of which a second edition