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Link to Blog Days of Auguste
Louise Dubin has written the first comprehensive study in the English language on Auguste Franchomme, and the only in any language with a discussion of his cello technique, compositional style, innovations and influences. She has also transcribed three of his unpublished works from manuscript, to be published under her direction. She has given performances of his unknown compositions this year in New York City (earning praise in The New Yorker magazine and New York Concert Review), University of Connecticut, Grand Valley State University in Michigan, Chicago, Indiana, South Carolina, Texas, and Paris (France). Her world premiere recording of some of these compositions will be released concurrently with publications of her transcriptions and an edition of selected out-of-print works.
"Auguste Franchomme: A study of the virtuoso, pedagogue, and composer, with a focus on his contributions to violoncello repertoire and technique." D. M. dissertation, Indiana University Bloomington, 2011. http://www.worldcat.org/title/auguste-franchomme-a-study-of-the-virtuoso-pedagogue-and-composer-with-a-focus-on-his-contributions-to-violoncello-repertoire-and-technique/oclc/805728428&referer=brief_results
Franchomme was the most renowned Parisian cellist of his time, a dear friend and frequent performance partner of Chopin, and the dedicatee of Chopin's final work, the Cello Sonata. Their circle of friends also included Liszt, Mendelssohn, George Sand, Jane Stirling, the Rothschilds, and many other luminaries of 19th century Paris. Franchomme composed charming, virtuosic cello music influenced by his contemporary Conservatoire violinists and by Chopin. Most of his compositions are out of print and have never been recorded.
Ms. Dubin’s research trip to France, funded by two Grant-in-Aid of Doctoral Research Awards from Indiana University in Bloomington, allowed her to spend over a week in the Music Department of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. This library houses the most complete collection of his works in the world, including copies of first editions of almost all of Franchomme’s published works (most of which are out of print and impossible to find elsewhere) and many unpublished manuscripts. She also met direct descendants of Franchomme, who gave her access to unpublished family anecdotes, letters, manuscripts, Franchomme’s practice cello, and his library of cello music where she discovered a forgotten composition by the Baronesse Charlotte Nathaniel Rothschild, which inspired a paper which she presented at Arizona State University in Tempe in 2012 and at NYU in 2013. This paper will be published by Women In French in autumn 2014.
Trois Nocturnes Pour Le Violoncelle, Op. 14. One of the many original editions of Franchomme’s out-of-print works housed in the Bibliothèque Nationale Francaise in Paris.
Reading room of the music division of BNF, Paris.
10 Rue la Bruyere, Paris. Franchomme spent his happiest years in this apartment, living here at least until 1850.
Louise with Denys (last name removed for privacy reasons), descendant of Auguste Franchomme, relaxing at dinner after a tour of Parisian sites connected to his ancestor
Franchomme's gravestone, which has some lovely words he wrote about his wife, who predeceased him (as did his son and one of his two daughters).
(amazing stuff in the music department, but dress accordingly-- no air conditioning!)
Louise with Sophie Ruhlmann in Blois. Sophie is a renowned Chopin scholar who has also researched Franchomme
Louise playing Franchomme’s practice cello, at the house of Thierry (last name removed for privacy reasons), its owner.
Le Côteau is the since-enlarged house where Chopin and Franchomme spent a happy summer vacation in 1833. The house was owned by cellist/composer/lawyer Jules Forest, dedicatee of Franchomme's Adagio and Bolero. His daughter Adele was an accomplished pianist and the dedicatee of the Grand Duo Concertante on Robert le Diable. She began taking lessons from Chopin just before this vacation of his at her house. In September 1833, Chopin and Franchomme performed the piece in Tours (nine miles from Le Côteau), at a concert arranged by Jules Forest, in what may have been its first performance. Chopin remembered his vacation here fondly in several letters, and returned at least once more; Franchomme returned often. The son of Adele later bequeathed the house to Paul André, grandchild of Franchomme, and part of its surrounding forest to another grandchild, René Edouard André. Azay-sur-Cher, near Tours.
Franchomme's affection for Touraine began at Le Côteau and he returned to the region throughout his life. His daughter Louise later purchased this house with her husband Edouard André, in nearby La Croix en Touraine. Later in his life Franchomme would often stay there. In 2005, it was sold by Franchomme’s descendants to the town, and is now the Town Hall.
Louise with 7 direct descendants of Franchomme, Paris 2011: Elisabeth, Claire, Thierry, me, Denys, Marie-Christine, Florence, and Beatrice. A lovely 19th century painting of Auguste's son René in the background. René was a prodigy cellist and budding composer who died at age 19.
Louise playing Auguste Franchomme's Forster cello at a party in Paris, 2011. Among the guests were the seven Franchomme descendants pictured above!
Elisabeth P.-L. (great-great granddaughter of Auguste Franchomme) wearing a prized 19th century cameo of René Franchomme, son of Auguste