Mengal, Martin Joseph



Composer, conductor and player of the horn; born in Ghent. He began his musical education with his father, and at the age of twelve is said to have written compositions for the horn. Entering the Conservatory of Paris in 1804, he studied the horn with Duvernoy, harmony with Catel and composition under Reicha. He joined the band of the Imperial Guard and went through the Austrian campaign, 1805, and the Prussian campaign in 1806. In 1807 he joined the orchestra of the Odeon Theatre at Paris, changing in 1812 to that of the Feydeau. In 1824 he assumed the management of a theatre at Ghent, but when this proved unsuccessful he became conductor, filling a similar position at Antwerp until 1832, and at The Hague from 1832 to 1835. He was appointed director of the Conservatory of Ghent in 1835. Among his writings are two horn concertos, duets for horn and harp; fantasias for horn and piano; besides his operas, Une nuit au chateau; L'ile de Babilary, and Les Infideles.