A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Panseron, Auguste

PANSERON, Auguste, born in Paris April 26, 1796, received his first instruction in music from his father, a musician, who scored many of Grétry's operas for him. He entered the Conservatoire as a child, passed successfully through the course, and, after studying harmony and composition with Berton and Gossec, ended by carrying off the 'Grand prix de Rome' (1813). He made good use of his time in Italy, took lessons in counterpoint and fugue from the Abbé Mattei, at Bologna, and studied especially the art of singing, and the style of the old Italian masters. After travelling in Austria and Germany, and even reaching St. Petersburg, he returned to Paris, and became a teacher. Shortly afterwards he was appointed 'accompagnateur' to the Opéra Comique, a position which enabled him to produce two small one-act pieces long since forgotten. He does not appear to have possessed the necessary qualities for success on the stage, but he had a real gift of tune, and this secured great popularity for a number of French romances composed between 1825 and 40, melodious, well written for the voice, easily remembered, and often pleasing or even more; but marred by too much pretension. The merits of such sentimental trifles as these would scarcely have earned Panseron a European fame, if it had not been for his didactic works. His wide experience during his professorships at the Conservatoire—solfeggio, 1826; vocalisation, Sept. 1831; and singing, Jan. 1836—taught him the requirements of pupils, and how those requirements can best be met. His works are thus of value from an educational point of view, and we give a complete list, classified under the various heads.

  1. Progressive solfeggios for single voice—'A B, C musical'; Continuation of do.; Solfége for mezzo soprano; Do. in F, low tenor and baritone; Do. for contralto; Do. for artists; Do. with changing clefs; 36 Exercises on changing clefs; Do., do., difficult.
  2. Progressive solfeggi for several voices—Primary manual, for 2 and 3 voices; Solfége for 2 voices; Progressive do. for bass and baritone; Do. concertante for 2, 3, and 4 voices; Do. d'ensemble for 2, 3, and 4 voices; Solfége à due with changing clefs.
  3. Do. for instrumental performers—Do. for Pianists; Do. for Violin players.
  4. On the art of singing—Method for soprano and tenor, in 2 parts; Appendix to do. (25 easy exercises for young tenor or soprano); 12 Special studies with 12 Exercises for soprano or tenor; 12 Exercises and 25 do. for 2 sopranos; Method of singing for low tenor, baritone, or contralto; 25 Exercises and 25 Progressive do. for bass, baritone, or contralto; 12 Special studies, with 12 Exercises for bass, baritone, or contralto; Complete method for mezzo soprano; 25 Exercises for mezzo soprano, and 25 easy and progressive do.
  5. On the art of composition—A Practical Treatise on harmony and modulation; with 60 exercises on figured basses and 70 on unfigured do., and a course of lectures on writing a bass to a given melody. The art of modulating on the Violin.
Panseron also composed 2 masses for 3 treble voices, and a 'Mois de Marie' containing motets and cantiques for 1, 2, and 3 voices. This painstaking musician, who was kind and amiable in private life, and possessed as much ability as learning, died in Paris, July 29, 1859.

[ G. C. ]