DEBORAH HAYES

Marie-Emmanuelle Bayon Louis

1746–1825


Madame Louis, née Marie-Emmanuelle Bayon, was a French composer, pianist, and salonnière of considerable activity and influence. In 1770, she married the architect Victor Louis (1731–1800).  In 1774 the couple’s only child was born, Marie-Hélène-Victoire Louis (d. 1848). 


   As Mademoiselle Bayon, she published a collection of six keyboard sonatas, three of them with violin accompaniment, opus 1 (1769). As Madame Louis, she composed a two-act opéra-comique titled  Fleur d’épine (“May-Flower”), to a libretto by Claude-Henri Fusée, abbé de Voisenon (1704–1775),  Fleur d’épine had twelve performances in Paris during the 1776–77 season by the Comédie Italienne; the final performance was attended by the queen, Marie-Antoinette, and members of the royal family.  Arrangements of musical numbers from the work were also published until around 1786. 


   The composer’s unpublished works, discussed during her lifetime but not yet found, include further instrumental chamber music and opéra-comiques, and music for La fête de Saint Pierre, a divertissement to a libretto by Antoine-François Quétant (1733–1823), performed at the Château de la Cour-Neuve in Paris in 1771. Her sonatas were compared to those of Domenico Alberti, Johann Christian Bach, Johann Gottfried Eckard (Eckhardt), Johann Schobert, and other foreign composers whose music was currently admired in Paris.  She was credited with bringing the forte-piano into fashion in Paris.

    Note: A full study of this composer is available here in PDF.


CONTENTS

I.     HER LIFE 

II.    PERFORMER AND COMPOSER

III.  THE SONATAS

IV.  FLEUR D’´ÉPINE (1776)

V.  PERFORMERS AND AUDIENCES

VI.   THE MUSIC

VII. CONCLUSIONS

VIII. LIST OF WORKS

   IX. BIBLIOGRAPHY

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