Tarade, Théodore-Jean

(b Paris, 1 Nov 1731; d La Flèche, 14 Sept 1788). French violinist and composer. He may have been a pupil of Jean-Marie Leclair. He played for the balls at the Paris Opéra in 1750–51 and was a member of the Opéra orchestra from 1751 until he was pensioned in 1776. Between 1754 and 1757 he appeared as soloist at the Concert Spirituel on four occasions, and he played in the orchestra there from 1755 to 1772. His operetta La réconciliation villageoise (1765) was well received, the Mercure de France finding its music ‘agreeable, and extremely well suited to the light kind of spectacle to which it is adapted’. Its success was reflected by 14 performances in 1765–6, by two published editions of the score (dedicated to Papillon de la Ferté, Intendant des menus plaisirs du roy) and by the appearance of its airs in several anthologies. From the 1760s to the early 1780s he ran a music shop with his wife, the former Françoise-Madeleine Dutartre, graveuse de la reine, who during these years published works under the name Mme Tarade. In 1783 the couple moved to La Flèche, where Tarade taught violin at the Collège Royal.

Apart from preserving Gaviniès’s famous Romance and demonstrating contemporary taste, Tarade’s music is of slight worth. More important are his two violin treatises. The first of these is known only from excerpts published in Cartier’s L’art du violon (1798) in which Tarade is cited as an authority on bowing. The second, a reworking of the first published about 1778, offers an excellent formulation of the basic French violin technique of an earlier generation (Anet, Senaillé, Leclair, Mondonville, Guignon). Of particular interest are instructions for the proper bowing of notes inégales, cadences, appoggiaturas and martèllements. Although the technique of his own day had already been handled in the better-known, more forward-looking treatise of L’abbé le fils (1761), Tarade’s Traité remains an important document for the study of performing practice.

WORKS

operas

La reconnaissance (comédie, 1), 1765; F-Pc, according to EitnerQ

La réconciliation villageoise (comédie, 1, Poinsinet, after La Ribardière), Comédie-Italienne, 15 July 1765 (Paris, 1765)

other works

Le triomphe de l’amour, premier cantatille (de la Hogue), 1v, insts (Paris, 1760–61)

6 sonates, vn, b, op.1 (Paris, 1761)

Premier recueil des plus beaux airs et la Romance de M. Gaviniès variés (Paris, 1773)

6 duos, 2 vn, op.3 (Paris, 1776)

Symphonie concertante, 2 vn, va, orch (Paris, 1778), lost

Les amusements d’un violon seul, ou 2e recueil d’airs connus et autres variés (Paris, n.d.)

theoretical works

Nouveaux principes de musique & de violon beaucoup plus instructifs que ceux qui ont paru jusqu’à présent (Paris, 1774) [lost; extracts in J.B. Cartier: L’art du violon (Paris, 1798)]

Traité du violon, ou Règles de cet instrument à l’usage de ceux qui veulent en jouer avec la parfaite connaissance du ton dans lequel on est (Paris, c1778 [lost], 2/?1777–9/R)

Méthode de principes pour la clarinette (Paris, c1780), lost

BIBLIOGRAPHY

BrooksF

HopkinsonD

La LaurencieEF

A. Wirsta: Ecoles de violon au XVIIIe siècle d’après les ouvrages didactiques (diss., U. of Paris, 1955)

B. Gérard: Inventaire alphabétique des documents répertoriés relatifs aux musiciens parisiens conservés aux Archives de Paris’, RMFC, xiii (1973), 181–213

J.L. Schwartz and C.L. Schlundt: French Court Dance and Dance Music: a Guide to Primary Source Writings (Stuyvesant, NY, 1987)

NEAL ZASLAW/SARAH J. ADAMS