Mondonville, Jean Joseph Cassanea



French violinist and dramatic composer; born at Narbonne. His musical ability appeared very early, and after studying violin he traveled about, finally settling at Lille. In Paris in 1737 he produced three of his motets with such success that in 1744 he was appointed to succeed Gervais as superintendent of the Royal Chapel, Versailles. In 1752 when strife, known as Guerre des Bouffons, arose between factions upholding the Italian or French Opera, Mondonville was appointed representative of National Art, and under the patronage of Mme. de Pompadour achieved success for his opera, Titon et 1'Aurore. Owing to this success he became director of the Concerts Spirtituels in 1755, conducting the concerts with pronounced success and producing three oratorios, Les Fureurs de Saul, Les Israelites au mont oreb, and Les Titans. He wrote a number of operas, none of which was successful, among them being Isbe; Le Carnival du Parnasse; La serva Padrona; Daphne et Alcimadura; Les Fetes de Paphos; Thesee; Pscyhe; Venus et Adonis; Bacchus et Erigone, written for Mme. de Pompadour's Theatre in Versailles; and the ballet, Les Projets de I'Amour, as well as violin sonatas and concertos, pieces for harpsichord and violin, trios and motets.