A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Plantade, Charles
PLANTADE, Charles Henri, born at Pontoise, Oct. 14, 1764; was admitted at 8 to the school of the king's 'Pages de la musique,' where he learned singing and the cello. On leaving this he studied composition with Honoré Langlé (born at Monaco, 1741, died at Villiers le Bel, 1807), a popular singing-master, the pianoforte with Hullmandel (born at Strassburg, 1751, died in London, 1823), an excellent teacher, and the harp, then a fashionable instrument, from Petrini (born in 1744, died in Paris, 1819). Having started as a teacher of singing and the harp, he published a number of romances, and nocturnes for 2 voices, the success of which procured him admission to the stage, for at that time the composer of 'Te bien aimer, O ma chère Zélie,' or some such simple melody, was considered perfectly competent to write an opera. Between 1791 and 1815 Plantade produced a dozen or so dramatic works, three of which, 'Palma, ou le voyage en Grèce,' 2 acts (1798), 'Zoé, ou la pauvre petite' (1800), and 'Le Mari de circonstance' (1813), 1 act each, were engraved. The whole of this fluent but insipid music has disappeared. His numerous sacred compositions are also forgotten; out of about a dozen masses, the 'Messe de Requiem' alone was published, but the Conservatoire has the MS. of a 'Te Deum' (1807), several motets, and 5 masses. From these scores it is evident that with an abundance of easy-flowing melody, Plantade had neither force nor originality. He had a great reputation as a teacher, was a polished man of the world, and a witty and brilliant talker. Queen Hortense, who had learned singing from him, procured his appointment as Maître de Chapelle to her husband, and also as professor at the Conservatoire (1799). He gave up his class in 1807, but resumed it in 1815; was dismissed on April 1, 1816, reinstated Jan. 1, 1818, and finally retired in 1828. He was decorated with the Legion of Honour by Louis XVIII. in 1814. His best pupil was the celebrated Mme. Cinti-Damoreau. He died in Paris, Dec. 18, 1839, leaving two sons, one of whom, Charles François, born in Paris April 14, 1787, died March 25, 1870, composed numerous chansons and chansonnettes, some of which have been popular.
[ G. C. ]