mardi 12 juillet 2011

George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower: The Abyssinian Prince and the Kreutzer Sonata.

Son of Frederich Bridgetower, an African prince and a Polish woman of German descent named Mary Ann (Born Sovinki, who died in Dresden in 1807), George Augustus Polgreen born February 29, 1780 in Biala in Poland.
         He has a brother named Frederick, also gifted in music. At nine, he demonstrated an exceptional musical talent that push parents to send him to London. After a year at the Drury Lane Theater in London under the patronage of the Prince of Wales, he studied music with renowned masters such as Franz Josef Hadyn (1732-1809), Francois Hyppolite Bartelemon Jarnovich and Giovanni Mane Giornovichi ( 1735-1804).
         For 14 years, he played in the orchestra of the Prince Royal Pavilion in London. In May 1803, he is 23 years old when he meets in Vienna, Ludwig von Beethoven (1732-1809). They work together. The latter impressed with the mastery of the violin when the man nicknamed "The Abyssinian Prince", he dedicated the "Violin Sonata" known in history under the title "Kreutzer Sonata", originally titled "Sonata per uno mulaticco lunattico".
A racist remark of Ludwig von Beethoven outrageous to his friend Bridgetower disturbed their beautiful friendship. Beethoven decided to dedicate his Rudolf Kreutzer Sonata (1766-1831) and changed the title of the sonata "Kretzer Sonata."
         When Kreutzer received the composition in Paris, he said it was impossible to perform. Bridgetown is agreed to ensure the creation of the work, accompanied by Beethoven on the piano May 24, 1803 in Vienna Auergarten Hall.
         This is the major work of Ludwig von Beethoven also known as Sonata No. 9 in C Major, Opus 47.
After Vienna, Paris and Bridgetower visit to Dresden were his mother lived with his brother Frederick. In December 1789, it was a huge success when he occurs in the Brighton Pavilion from Windsor Castle to the King George II of Great Britain (1706-1760) and  550 guests.
"The young African prince, whose musical talents were commemorated, gave Sunday morning, the concert's most popular and most beautiful city that I never had the opportunity to host. There were over 550 people, and they were rewarded for such performance on the violin that astonishment has taken hold of the audience, as and when the joy was visible on the face of the boy. His father was in the gallery, and was so moved by the applause given to his son, that tears of joy and gratitude in abundance have cast on his face", could be read in the newspaper" The Bath Chronicle "of December 3, 1789.

In June 1811, he earned a degree in music at the University of Cambridge and married Roanne Edwards. He later composed scores that make the tour of Europe. He knows a lonely old age in Peckham in South London.
February 29, 1860, he died in London in total anonymity and is buried at Kensal Green Cemetery. On his death certificate, one could read a single word "Gentleman".
In 1973, a handwritten letter from Beethoven to Bridgetower was auctioned by Christie's in London at U.S. $ 3,600.

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