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A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Fayolle, François

< A Dictionary of Music and Musicians

FAYOLLE, François Joseph Marie, born in Paris Aug. 15, 1774; after a brilliant career at the Collège de Juilly, entered the corps des ponts et chaussées in 1792, and became 'chef de brigade' of the École polytechnique on its foundation in 1794. Here, under the instruction of Prony, Lagrange, and Monge, he studied the higher mathematics, but without neglecting literature, and with Fontanes' assistance translated a great part of the Æneid. Of his verses the following line has alone survived:—

'Le temps n'épargne pas ce qu'on a fait sans lui.'

Though forgotten as a mathematician and a poet, Fayolle has acquired a solid reputation for his services to musical literature. He studied harmony under Perne, and the violoncello under Barni, but abstained from printing his compositions; and contented himself with publishing 'Les quatre Saisons du Parnasse' (Paris 1805–9), a literary collection in 16 vols. 12mo. for which he wrote many articles on music and musicians. He also furnished the greater part of the biographical notices in the 'Dictionnaire historique des Musiciens,' published under the names of Choron and himself (Paris 1810–11), a work to which Fétis is much indebted. He collected materials for a History of the Violin, of which however only fragments appeared, under the title 'Notices sur Corelli, Tartini, Gaviniés, Pugnani, et Viotti, extraites d'une histoire du violon' (Paris 1810). After the fall of Napoleon, Fayolle came to England, where he taught French, and wrote for the 'Harmonicon.' On the eve of the Revolution of 1830 he returned to Paris, and resumed his old occupation as a musical critic. Among his later works may be mentioned a pamphlet called 'Paganini et Bériot' (Paris 1830), and the articles on musicians in the supplement to Michaud's 'Biographie Universelle.' He died Dec. 2, 1852, at Ste. Perrine, a house of refuge in Paris.

[ G. C. ]