Niedermeyer, Louis

1802-1861

 

Composer; born at Nyon, Switzerland, in 1802. He was a pupil in Vienna under Forster and Moscheles, then went to Rome and Naples for further study. In Naples he met Rossini; they became staunch friends and Rossini's influence helped Niedermeyer to produce his one-act opera, La Casa nel bosco at the Theatre Italien in Paris in 1828. This, however, proved a failure and Niedermeyer left Paris to become a musicmaster in a school in Brussels. He had previously lived in Geneva, and won recognition as a composer of songs, and when the duties of teacher became wearisome to him he returned to Paris and published a number of melodies set to poems by Victor Hugo, Lamartine and fimile Deschamps. They met with success and Niedermeyer then returned to opera, but his second production like his first failed, as did Robert Bruce for which he adapted the libretto from Donna del Lago, when commissioned to the task by Rossini. He made one more unsuccessful attempt in the opera, La Fronde, and then turned his attention to the composition of sacred music. He reorganized Choron's Institute for church-music and, as the ficole Niedermeyer, it has become a flourishing institution. He founded the La Maitrise, a journal for church-music, and published a method of accompaniment for the plain-chant, and composed a number of masses, motets and hymns which were well received. Some of his melodies, The Light, Evening, The Sea and Autumn were popular and are still well known. He died in Paris.