Classical Music Buzz > Composers Datebook > Pleyel in the Old World (and the...
Drop the name “Pleyel” among a group of classical music aficionados and one of them might say, “Oh, yeah, Pleyel. He was a French piano maker. I think Chopin liked Pleyel pianos.” Another might add, “He was a composer, too, but... I don’t think he was really French…” Another might add, “Didn’t he have something to do with Haydn?” Well, they’re ALL right. Ignace Joseph Pleyel was born near Vienna on today’s date in 1757. As a teenager, he became a pupil of Haydn, and in 1791, ended up in London, where, for a time, Pleyel’s orchestral concerts even competed with Haydn’s. The two remained friends, however, dined together and even attended each other’s programs. In 1795, Pleyel set up shop in Paris, where he founded a publishing house and piano factory. His own compositions remained enormously popular. In 1805, Pleyel travelled to Vienna, visited the aging Haydn and heard that young upstart Beethoven improvising at the piano. In 1822, the small town of Nantucket, Massachusetts, then still a whaling port, formed a Pleyel Society ‘to chasten the taste of listeners,’ in the words of a local newspaper. According to the New Grove Dictionary of Music, “The most telling evidence of the appeal of Pleyel’s music lies in the thousands of manuscript copies that filled the shelves of archives, libraries, churches, castles and private homes, and in the thousands of editions of his music produced in Europe and North America.” Pleyel died at his estate near Paris in 1831.
31 days ago |