Lalo, Edouard(-Victoire-Antoine) (opera)
- Hugh Macdonald
(b Lille, Jan 27, 1823; d Paris, April 22, 1892). French composer. He studied at the Lille Conservatoire and then went at the age of 16 to Paris. He attended Habeneck’s violin class at the Conservatoire and made a living for many years as a violinist and teacher. He was a founder member of the Armingaud quartet in which he played the viola and later second violin. His early compositions were songs and chamber music; two early symphonies were apparently destroyed. His interest in opera was aroused by his marriage in 1865 to a singer, Julie Besnier de Maligny. He at once embarked on his first stage work, the grand opéra Fiesque, which was completed in 1868 and submitted to a competition for performance at the Théâtre Lyrique. Its failure to win the prize or to be staged in any theatre had a deeply discouraging effect on Lalo. Success might have led to a productive career as an opera composer, but he made his name instead in the field of instrumental music, which was fortunately then, in the 1870s, experiencing a bright renaissance in France under Saint-Saëns’ leadership. His friendship with Pablo Sarasate led him to write a number of violin concertos, including the popular ...