“Some maintain his temper was very even, because he was always angry" - that's what the composer Adolphe Adam said about Luigi Cherubini, the man Beethoven named when asked the question, "who is the greatest composer in Europe - apart from you?" Italian by birth, from a modest background, he was singled out early by his prodigious talent, and by 18 he was completing his studies with Giuseppe Sarti, one of the leading Italian opera composers of the day.
Operatic commissions followed, and before long he had won enough recognition to receive an invitation to become house composer at the King's Theatre in London's Haymarket. From here it was a short step to Paris, where Cherubini settled at the age of 25; he would remain there for the rest of his life, during which he came to bestride Parisian music like a colossus.
Available since: Mon 9 Jun 2014
- Luigi Cherubini
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Donald Macleod investigates the life and work Luigi Cherubini
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