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Madame Louis, nee Marie-Emmanuelle Bayon, was a French composer, pianist, and salonniere of considerable activity and influence.
According to her husband’s biographer, Victor Marionneau, Marie-Emmanuelle Bayon was born in Marcei, department of Orne (west of Paris), in 1746.
Diderot compared her work to that of Domenico Alberti, Johann Christian Bach, Johann Gottfried Eckard (Eckhardt), Johann Schobert, and other foreign composers whose music was currently admired in Paris. In 1770, on 20 June, Mlle Bayon married Victor Louis (1731–1800), an architect with important social and political connections similar to her own.
A few months before the Paris premiere of Fleur d’epine, Bordeaux was the site of a great ceremony when Louis-Philippe-Joseph d’Orleans, duc de Chartres, at the invitation of Victor Louis, came to lay the first stone for the new theatre. With the completion of the magnificent Grand-Theatre in 1780 the Louis family returned to Paris, where their residence on the rue de la Place-Vendome became a gathering place for distinguished literary and artistic figures.
With the notable exception of Fleur d’epine, Madame Louis evidently wrote and performed music principally for private gatherings.
During the Revolution of 1789–92 and the even more turbulent times that followed, when the French passion for theatre, including music theatre, continued to find new means of expression, “citizen Louis” still worked in Paris.
After Victor Louis died in 1800, Mme Louis remained in Paris and lived for a time in the Vandeul apartment.
Diderot’s first enthusiastic accounts appear in letters to his principal correspondent Mlle Volland. Late the year before, in 1769, Diderot had engaged a new teacher for his daughter Angelique, the theorist and pedagogue Anton Bemetzrieder (1739–ca. The next year, in 1771, Diderot published his famous account of his daughter's lessons, the Lecons de clavecin et principes d'harmonie, par M.
Some idea of Madame Louis's character, her own music, and the repertoire she has taught Angelique can be derived from the dialogues.
Diderot's musical references to the current repertoire of the music lesson corroborate Madame de Genlis's naming of performers and instruments at her l767 salon. A set of sonatas was the usual debut publication of a performer and composer already known in private circles, and typically when the composer was around 21, sometimes younger.
The style of the sontatas, as can be guessed from the preceding account of contemporary keyboard repertoire, combines traditional French keyboard writing and German and Italian influences. The first movement of Sonata II is the only first movement not marked Allegro; marked Andante affectuoso, it is an expressive melody over Alberti bass and other accompaniment patterns. The three sonatas with violin accompaniment are generally of a more lyrical character than the solo sonatas, in keeping with the violin’s ability to sustain tone. In several passages the violin melody is set over only a figured bass, not an unusual scoring even at this late date. As it was unusual for an amateur musician, let alone a woman, to have an opera-comique performed by the Comedie Italienne, it is evident that for the production of Fleur depine Madame Louis had the help of influential people. Voisenon’s friend and secretary, Mme la Comtesse de Turpin, in her edition of the Fleur d’epine libretto published in 1781, notes that it had been set once before, by the abbe Charles Gauzargues (ca. Information about the circumstances leading to performance appeared around the time of the premiere in the Memoires secrets, a collection of political, literary, and theatre news gathered by members of a salon in which Voisenon had been a colorful and noteworthy participant. The libretto was based on L’Histoire de Fleur d’epine, or The Story of May-Flower, a rather long, wonderfully rambling fairy tale by the Irish-born French writer Antoine Hamilton (1646–1720). Voisenon used Hamilton’s main characters and ideas in his Fleur d’epine, which is described (on the title page) as a comedie melee d’ariettes—a comedy [spoken dialogue] mixed with arias [and other musical numbers]. In Hamilton’s story, Tarare rescues Fleur d’epine and carries her back to the caliph’s court on the galloping Sonnante with the luminous cap lighting the way.
The published score contains an overture and twenty musical numbers—eleven ariettes, or arias, sung by four of the five characters (Dentillon has no aria), plus two duets, two trios, ensemble finales for each act, two small chorus numbers, and a brief instrumental fanfare for Seraine’s final entrance as dea ex machina. The Comedie Italienne was a cooperative, profit-sharing troupe; members chose the works to be performed (as noted earlier) and hired the orchestra and chorus. The first performance at the Comedie Italienne, on Thursday, 22 August 1776, was followed by performances on the next three Saturdays, Mondays, and Thursdays for a total of ten performances in August and September, and two more on 12 and 14 April 1777, a Saturday and Monday.
The first few evenings of Fleur d’epine’s run, it was preceded by a comedy of Italian origin, such as a harlequin play. The production of Fleur d’epine attracted the attention of several Paris writers and critics. The review in the Correspondance secrete dated 31 August pronounced the premiere performance “monstrous,” especially the sight of a man playing a woman (Dentue).


Diderot attended a performance, as might be expected, and pronounced the production cahin-caha, “so-so.” A substantial review appeared in the Correspondance litteraire, another chronicle of Paris literary culture, this one from Diderot’s circle. Another prominent critic, Jean-Francois de La Harpe, declared that the libretto “falls far short of” Hamilton’s delightful story, and that “the late abbe” had been overrated. In general, the composer’s contemporaries found the music and production to be stronger than the libretto.
Besides the full score, music from Fleur d’epine was published in many different arrangements for smaller, chamber forces. Correspondance secrete, politique et litteraire, ou Memoire pour servir a l’histoire des Cours, des Societes et de la litterature en France, depuis la mort de Louis XV, edited by Francois Metra.
Memoires secrets, pour servir a l’histoire de la Republique des Lettres en France depuis 1762 jusqu’a nos jours. A few months before the Paris premiere of Fleur d’epine, Bordeaux was the site of a great ceremony when Louis-Philippe-Joseph d’Orleans, duc de Chartres, at the invitation of Victor Louis, came to lay the first stone for the new theatre.  In the princely retinue was Madame Louis’s friend, Madame de Genlis, who was a lady-in-waiting to the duchesse de Chartres. With the notable exception of Fleur d’epine, Madame Louis evidently wrote and performed music principally for private gatherings.  Her social position, both before and after her marriage, prevented her from holding a paid, professional appointment, yet it gave her considerable influence in matters of taste and style. After Victor Louis died in 1800, Mme Louis remained in Paris and lived for a time in the Vandeul apartment.  Almost nothing else is known of her life.
After less than a year of lessons, Diderot no longer had much use for Bemetzrieder.  One reason, to be inferred from the Lecons, may have been Bemetzrieder's musical taste and his interest in becoming something of a public figure. A set of sonatas was the usual debut publication of a performer and composer already known in private circles, and typically when the composer was around 21, sometimes younger.  (In l769 when her op. It works round-the-clock, and for not just days or weeks, but for months and months, very own Money From Your Website making you tons of CASH! Her principal published works are, as Mademoiselle Bayon, a collection of six keyboard sonatas, three of them with violin accompaniment, opus 1 (1769), and, as Madame Louis, the full score of her two-act opera-comique, Fleur d’epine, or “May-Flower” (the heroine’s name), scored for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra.
Louis sought membership in the Academie Royale d’Architecture but, owing to internal politics, was rejected, a major disappointment to him. In August 1768, he implies that Bayon had some concern with her musical reputation outside France. The first four sonatas—the three for solo keyboard and the first of the sonatas with violin accompaniment—are, like Alberti's sonatas, in two movements, both in the same key but with contrasting tempos and characters. Her husband specialized in the design and construction of theatres; by the time of his marriage in 1770 he had worked with some of the leading writers, composers, and directors. Hamilton’s story, which was familiar to many in the audiences at the Comedie Italienne in 1776, begins in the court of the idyllic caliphate of Kashmir and recounts the adventures of the courageous Tarare (literally, Nonsense) on his quest for the magical maiden Fleur d’epine (May-Flower) who could save the caliph’s daughter. Voisenon reduces Hamilton’s story to the plight of the two young lovers, Fleur d’epine and Tarare, a beautiful princess and her brave prince. The monsters are turned back into men, and Fleur-d’epine and Tarare can be married and live happily ever after. The Overture is in two sections, Allegro and Andante, each in Classic key-area form (sonata form). Antoine D’Origny in the Annales du Theatre Italien for August 1776 (published in 1788) reported that, while the words were sometimes funny, sometimes bizarre or in bad taste, the music had “moments of real beauty,” the most striking being a trio in dialogue, Fleur d’epine’s virtuosic aria, and her sleep aria.
Victor Louis, Architecte du Theatre de Bordeaux: Sa vie, ses travaux et sa correspondance 1731–1800. The full score of Fleur d’epine, probably published around the time of the premiere, includes a dedicatory preface to the duchesse de Chartres in which the composer employs the conventionally flattering, obsequious phrases of a courtier addressing her patron.
Louis sought membership in the Academie Royale d’Architecture but, owing to internal politics, was rejected, a major disappointment to him.  He began working with the duc de Chartres on plans for extensive development at the Palais Royal, including a newly designed theatre (l’Opera du Palais-Royal). She died at the family’s country residence at Aubevoye, a rich abbey her husband had owned in the vicinity of Rouen, canton of Gaillon, department of Eure, on 19 March 1825. We performed not only some proverbs but an opera-comique for which my friend Mlle Baillon [sic] (later Mme Louis, wife of the famous architect) composed the music.  M. The woman gives Tarare a small packet of bird-salt for ruining Dentue’s brew, and he in turn presents her with a diamond, demonstrating his generosity. Dentue has entrusted Dentillon with the all-important key, which he has attached to his boutonniere. Composed to a libretto by Claude-Henri Fusee, abbe de Voisenon (1704–1775), a leading writer and librettist, Fleur d’epine had twelve performances in Paris during the 1776–77 season by the Comedie Italienne, one of the official, privileged French theatrical companies of the ancien regime; the final performance was attended by the queen, Marie-Antoinette, and members of the royal family. 1 sonatas she refers to “the many kindnesses bestowed upon me since my tenderest infancy” by the family of Madame la Marquise de Langeron to whom the volume is dedicated. She names the actors—three men and three women, including herself and Mlle Bayon—and refers to fifteen spectators, of whom she names eleven. In London, Johann Christian Bach (1735–1782), the composer, keyboardist, and royal chapelmaster, had suggested to two English friends that they look up his friend Diderot in Paris.


The absence of a publication date is typical of eighteenth-century music, and was perhaps intended to allow music sellers to proclaim an edition to be the latest thing in subsequent years. The other two accompanied sonatas, like many sonatas of Eckard and Schobert, have three movements in the pattern fast-slow-fast; middle movements are in the dominant key.
He was the protege of the duc de Richelieu who was one of the king’s Premiers Gentilshommes de la Chambre who supervised the Comedie Italienne (which performed Fleur d’epine) and the Comedie Francaise. The entry for 21 August referred to the efforts of Mme Turpin, Voisenon’s “intimate acquaintance” whom he had appointed as “his residuary legatee for his manuscripts and literary productions,” to have the play accepted for performance with music by Mme Louis, and noted that it was scheduled ahead of other plays that had been accepted earlier. The evil fairy Dentue has kidnapped Fleur-d’epine, who is the daughter of the good fairy Seraine, and has taken her far away. The energetic opening section in G Major modulates to D major and then explores D minor and other keys, with new melodic motives, before returning to the home key.
A second report on 7 September noted that in a subsequent performance Fleur-d’Epine had undergone so many “corrections” that it was “tolerable enough” to continue playing. Bartlet of Duke University, who worked in Paris in 1996–97 and generously shared her extensive knowledge and understanding of eighteenth-century French operatic productions. Extraits de sa correspondance inedite, avec son mari, avec Jacques-Henri Meister de Zurich (1746–1826) et de divers lettres et documents inedits du fonds Diderot-Vandeul aux Archives Departementales de la Haute-Marne.
One of the copies of the full score now in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris bears the coat of arms of the duc de Chartres, and another that of Madame de Genlis. Correspondence between Diderot and his daughter, Madame de Vendeul, indicates that Mme Louis devoted considerable energy to furthering her husband’s interests. 3, in F major but he plays only the keyboard part without its accompaniment of violin and two horns. This movement, unlike the first movement, has occasional piano and forte markings.  Left-hand notation in alto clef occurs here and in other sonatas in this set as well. Fleur d’epine, left alone with Dentillon, tries to lull him to sleep so that Tarare, who is hiding in the bushes, can come and steal the key. Collections of musical numbers from the work arranged for unaccompanied voice were also published, as was an arrangement of the overture for keyboard with violin and cello accompaniment; other vocal arrangements appeared in music periodicals and collections from 1776 until around 1786. In the early 1770s, through the patronage of the duc de Richelieu, Louis was commissioned to design and supervise construction of the Grand-Theatre in Bordeaux, the building for which he is perhaps most famous today. In 1763, Louis had been scenic designer for a production at the Comedie Italienne under the direction of Charles-Simon Favart (1710–1795), created at the request of the government in celebration of the ending of the Seven Years War; Voisenon (librettist of Fleur d’epine) wrote the words and Francois-Andre Danican-Philidor (1726–1795) the music. Upon Voisenon’s death in 1775, Mme Turpin had “some men of letters” read Fleur d’epine to members of the Comedie Italienne, in accordance with the troupe’s procedures for considering new plays.
The influential playwright, teacher, and musician Stephanie de Genlis (1746–1830) considered her a friend. While no new musical works by her are reported, Fleur d’epine was performed in Brussels, and in 1784 it was performed in Bordeaux.  A play by Victor Louis was performed in Paris the same year. The arias are generally in “ABA” form with a brief orchestral introduction.  Voisenon’s ariette texts that contrast two states of mind are given musical settings that contrast “A” and “B” sections in different tempos and keys. The composer’s unpublished works, discussed during her lifetime but not yet found, include further instrumental chamber music and opera-comiques, and music for La fete de Saint Pierre, a divertissement to a libretto by Antoine-Francois Quetant (1733–1823), performed at the Chateau de la Cour-Neuve in Paris on St. In the two-movement works no repeat marks are printed but they may be assumed—at double bars at the end of each reprise and at the end of the rondo's first couplet.
Louis apparently became a good friend of the prominent composer Andre Ernest Modeste Gretry (1741–1813); in late 1782 he accompanied Gretry to the composer’s native Liege, where both men were honored by the government. In the two-movement works no repeat marks are printed but they may be assumed—at double bars at the end of each reprise and at the end of the rondo's first couplet.  There are several printing errors as well—occasional wrong notes, misplaced trills, and, most often, missing sharps or natural-signs with the modulation to the dominant in the first reprise. Fleur d’epine now sings a gentler song, her famous “sleep aria”; Dentillon falls asleep, and Tarare steals the key. His actual daughter, Angelique, later Madame de Vandeul (1753–1824), studied harpsichord with her from about 1765 until 1769 and remained her lifelong friend and confidante.
Bach's sons Johann Christian Bach and Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach (1714–1803), and the Mannheimer Ignaz-Franz von Beecke (1733–1803). She sings a brilliant, virtuosic aria, because Dentillon has said that music puts him to sleep—a reaction he attributes to his being a “great nobleman.” When Tarare, hidden, says something to Fleur d’epine, Dentillon half awakes and asks who was talking.



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