Composers / Thomas Tellefsen / Places catalog
Tellefsen – chamber musician
Apart from his solo performances, in the 1850s and 1860s, Tellefsen regularly performed chamber music with eminent Parisian musicians. They included the cellist Auguste Franchomme and the violinist Charles-Eugène Sauzey. Their repertoire featured works by Viennese Classical composers.
Tellefsen's chamber performances seem to have intensified from the winter of 1853/1854. In later years, he was active in the most renowned Parisian chamber music societies. In the spring of 1854, he performed in a prestigious series of concerts called Musique de chambre par MM. Alard et Franchomme. In 1847, Alard and Franchomme created the Alard Quartet and organised, together with other artists, many chamber music performances. The performances of Tellefsen were discussed several times in 1850 in La Revue et Gazette musicale. Tellefsen and Franchhomme, as well as the composer Charles Gounod, were also active members of Princess Marcelina Czartoryska's chamber music society, called the Club des Mozartistes.
Between the company of chamber musicians among whom Tellefsen was active and the values of French chamber music theory popularised in the nineteenth century, numerous parallels can be observed. These ideas seem to reflect an important trend in French culture, called the juste milieu. This concept was related to the need to establish a stable culture after the times of revolutionary turmoil. The most important part of it was to avoid extreme positions and to select the golden mean (Fr. juste milieu). With regard to the chamber music of that time, the ideal source of inspiration for new compositions were the works of Beethoven from around 1810, which were to lead French instrumental music on a path which was different from the proposed progressive new German music.
Auguste Franchomme, pencil drawing, Jean-Auguste-Alfred Masson, Fryderyk Chopin Museum (F/143).
Charles Gounod, 1859, author unknown. Bibliothèque nationale de France.
Eugène Sauzay, author unknown. Bibliothèque nationale de France.