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Baillot collection

This collection – family archives – belongs to Daniel Lainé, who is a direct descendant (great-great grandson) of the violinist Pierre Baillot. Pierre Baillot’s daughter, Augustine Baillot, was a pianist, and she married Eugène Sauzay, a violinist who studied with Baillot; their son, Julien Sauzay, was also a violinist; his daughter, Henriette Sauzay, was Daniel Lainé’s mother. Two donations have already been made to the Bibliothèque nationale de France, but the rest of the collection, still in the hands of Daniel Lainé, contains many precious autograph documents. Some cover Pierre Baillot’s career, while others are private papers

Those covering his career are primarily to do with with the seasons of public chamber concerts that he organised from 1814 to 1840 (manuscript programmes including the incipits of the works presented, subscription lists, notes from friends, receipts, takings, printed prospectuses with manuscript alterations, etc.). Others concern his activities as a composer (catalogues of his works, some manuscripts) and a teacher at the Conservatoire (lists of his students and assistants), and his appointments (to the Musique impériale, then the Musique royale, and the Paris Opéra) ; there are also articles about his contemporaries (Beethoven, Viotti, Marie Bigot, Catel, Reicha), various writings relating to the Paris Conservatoire or to musical life in Paris, and also copies (and one translation) of contemporary treatises on harmony and counterpoint, and evidence of lessons taken by the young violinist.

The private papers (correspondence, family memoirs, jottings) include an exceptional series of letters to his friend and pupil Francis Montbeillard (1795-1842). Some of these documents were copied out (with others) by Pierre Baillot’s daughter, Augustine Baillot-Sauzay, for the descendants of her brother, the pianist René Baillot.

Finally, the absolute jewel of the Baillot Collection is the impressive manuscript of L’Art du violon (1834), with many additions and together with a separate volume of original drawings by Gatteaux (‘Dessins originaux faits selon nature par Gatteaux’), many of which were not included in the final work, probably because of lack of space.

The Palazzetto Bru Zane digitised these documents in 2014 in preparation for an international symposium (9-10 January 2015) and also with this online presentation in mind.

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