A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Paladilhe, Emile
PALADILHE, Emile, born at Montpellier June 3, 1844; at nine entered the Conservatoire under the protection of Halévy, and studied hard, carrying off the first piano prize in 1857, and the organ-prize and 'Prix de Rome' in 1860. The cantata which won him the latter distinction, 'Le Czar Ivan IV,' he neither printed nor sent to the library of the Conservatoire, doubtless from the consciousness that it was an immature work. The specimens of his composition received by the Institut during his stay in Italy gave a favourable idea of his powers, but on his return to Paris he had great difficulty in obtaining a libretto. A charming song, 'La Mandolinata,' at length drew attention to his merits, and he obtained Coppée's one-act piece, 'La Passant,' which was produced at the Opéra Comique April 24, 1872. Notwithstanding the favourable reception of the music, sung by Mme. Galli-Marie, and Marguerite Priola, three years passed before the appearance of 'L' Amour Africain' (May 8, 1875), in two acts. The libretto of this, though by Legouvé, was not approved, and the music was condemned as laboured. Nevertheless many of the numbers bear traces not only of solid musicianship, but of spontaneous and original melody. Up to the present time Paladilhe's best and most important work is 'Suzanne' (Dec. 30, 1878), an opéra-comique in three acts. Here we find something beyond mere ingenuity in devising effects; the melodies are graceful and refined, and show an unconventionality of treatment which is both charming and piquant. It is much to be regretted that this young composer has hitherto been unsuccessful in finding a really interesting libretto; should he succeed, the French stage will in all probability gain an opera destined to live.M. Paladilhe has also published detached songs with P.F. accompaniment, marked by flowing and melodious treatment.
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- A promising singer who died young.