Simon, Henri


Simon, Henri

Trois solo pour le violon avec accompagnement d’un second violon (2 copies)



Henri Simon – Trois solo pour le violon avec accompagnement d’un second violon (before 1813)

(Antwerp, 11 April 1783 – Antwerp, 10 February 1861)

(Jean) Henri Simon received his first music training as a choir boy at the St James’s church in Antwerp. Later he went to Paris where he studied the violin with Pierre Lahoussaye and Pierre Rode, harmony with Charles-Simon Catel, and composition with François-Joseph Gossec and Jean-François Lesueur. After his return to Antwerp, shortly after 1800, he opened a business. In addition he also organized chamber music nights, and from 1802 to 1807 he was first violinist at the Théâtre d’Anvers. In 1807 he was one of the co-founders of the Société Philharmonique, a popular music organisation that organized concerts and balls. In 1813 he became the conductor of the Société Olympique and he was actively involved in the Société d’Harmonie as well.

Simon wrote a violin method (Nouvelle méthode élémentaire pour le violon) and composed many pieces for violin, including seven concertos. He also taught the violin and one of his students, Lambert Joseph Meerts, would later become a violin teacher at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. In addition to violin music, Simon also composed liturgical music, cantatas, an oratorio, and choir and orchestra pieces. For unknown reasons he lived in Besançon between 1844 and 1845, where he composed an Ouverture en grand orchestre en symphonie and a Pot pourri à grand orchestre en harmonie. Because of a series of setbacks he spent the final years of his life in trying circumstances. In his Biographie universelle des musiciens François-Joseph Fétis put it like this: ‘Des revers de fortune altérèrent sa santé et le mirent dans une situation gênée.’ (The adversities affected his health and put him in a financially tight situation.)

Compositions for violin, accompanied by a second violin, were popular in those days and were often written for didactic purposes. Composers of these kinds of works were, among others, Louis Spohr (Études pour violon avec accompagnement d’un second violon), Pierre Baillot (Six airs variés ou Études pour violon avec accompagnement d’un second violon), Johann Baptist Moralt (Leçons méthodiques pour le violon avec accompagnement d’un second violon) and Peter Fux [Fuchs] (Neuf variations sur l’air O mein lieber Augustin! pour un violon avec accompagnement d’un second violon). As a violin teacher at the Brussels Conservatory, Simon’s student Meerts even created a method for this instrumentation (Méthode élémentaire de violon avec accompagnement d’un second violon, 1855). A couple of years later Henryk Wienawski, a violin teacher in Saint Petersburg, wrote his Études-caprices pour violon avec accompagnement d’un second violon op. 18, which lie somewhere between purely educational pieces and concert pieces.

For Simon didactic purposes go hand in hand with artistic ambitions as well. The three solos are structured in the same way, starting with a slow, rather melodious intro, followed by a fast and more virtuoso part. Simon must have composed this piece no later than 1813, given that Weissenbruch ended its activities as a music publisher in May 1813. The identity of ‘Monsieur Brue’, to whom Simon dedicated the piece, could not be discovered.

Jan Dewilde
(translation: Jasmien Dewilde)

This score was published in collaboration with the Study Centre for Flemish Music ( Reprint of copies belonging to the library of the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp.

Read Flemish  preface > HERE

Score Data

Special Edition

The Flemish Music Collection


Chamber Music


225 x 320 mm


2 copies





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