(b Hamburg, 16 Feb 1854; d Hamburg, 11 Jan 1931). German conductor and composer. The son of a journalist, he was educated in Hamburg and studied music with August Herzog (1870–72). He began a career in business, but from 1880 was active as conductor and composer of waltzes, polkas, and other dances and marches. His waltz Mondnacht auf der Alster op.60 (c1890) achieved lasting international popularity and earned him the title of the ‘Hamburg Waltz King’, making him in demand as guest conductor in cities and spas throughout Germany. His later works embraced 20th-century dances such as the tango and foxtrot, and he also composed incidental music for stage productions. Fetrás was an ardent admirer of Johann Strauss (ii), and he built up a collection of Strauss memorabilia and important manuscripts, acquired by the Vienna Stadtbibliothek in 1971.
(b Kolomed [now Kolomyya, Ukraine], 22 Nov 1902; d New York, 25 May 1942). Austrian cellist, active in the USA. In 1909 his family moved to Vienna, where he studied with Anton Walter; he later continued his studies privately with Klengel in Leipzig (1917–19). At the age of 16, on Klengel's recommendation, Feuermann was appointed head of cello at the Cologne Conservatory, as well as cellist of the Gürzenich Quartet and principal cellist with the Gürzenich Orchestra. His successful career as a solo artist led him to resign his orchestral duties, and from 1923 to 1929 he toured continuously in Europe, including a recital tour in Russia with Artur Schnabel. In 1929 Feuermann succeeded Hugo Becker as professor of cello at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, and with Hindemith and Joseph Wolfsthal (later replaced by Szymon Goldberg) he formed a string trio. As a Jew, he was dismissed from his position in 1933 by the Nazis. Until his emigration to the United States in 1938, he toured throughout the world, including East Asia and South America. He made his New York début with Bruno Walter in 1935 playing Haydn's D major Concerto. In 1938 he gave a pioneering series of concerts with the National Orchestral Association at Carnegie Hall, where within four concerts he played 13 works for cello and orchestra. He collaborated closely with Heifetz – their 1939 recording of Brahms's Double Concerto with Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra remains a milestone – and later formed a renowned trio with Heifetz and Rubinstein, which made famous recordings of trios by Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms. In 1928–9 Feuermann made the first commercial recording of Dvořák's Cello Concerto with the Berlin Staatsoper orchestra conducted by Michael Taube. His other notable recordings include Don Quixote and Bloch's Schelomo. In 1941 he was appointed to the Curtis Institute, Philadelphia. His many distinguished students included Hideo Saito, George Neikrug, Bernard Greenhouse, Claus Adam and Zara Nelsova. His principal instruments were a David Tecchler, a Montagnana and the ‘De Munck’ Stradivarius.
Feuermann, arguably more than Casals, was responsible for revolutionizing cello technique. His astonishing technical facility made him the first cellist to play with the ease of a violinist, while his purity of tone, intensity of sound, clarity of articulation and fine musicianship mark him out as one of the greatest string players of the 20th century. His untimely death from peritonitis appears to have been the result of a medical mishap.
His brother, Sigmund Feuermann (b 1900), was a brilliant child prodigy on the violin, playing concertos at the age of 11 under Nikisch and Weingartner in Leipzig, Berlin and London, and making frequent tours with his brother playing Brahms's Double Concerto. But Sigmund's early promise was not fulfilled. After a period teaching the violin in the USA, he moved with his parents to Palestine in 1939. From 1941 to 1945 he taught at the American University in Beirut. He died from a brain tumour in Israel in 1952.
S.W.Itzkoff: Emanuel Feuermann, Virtuoso: a Biography (Montgomery, AL, 1979/R) [with discography by F. Calland and S.W. Itzkoff]
J.Samuels: ‘A Complete Discography of the Recordings of Emanuel Feuermann’, Journal of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections, xii/1–2 (1980)
E.M.Ennulat: Arnold Schoenberg: Correspondence (Metuchen, NJ, and London, 1991)
(b 1659–60; d 14 June 1710). French choreographer, dancing-master and author. He worked at the court of Louis XIV. His fame rests on his Chorégraphie, a book describing a system of dance notation that was used in Europe throughout the 18th century. He probably did not invent the system himself (although he said he had) but derived it from the original work of Pierre Beauchamps, Louis XIV's personal dancing-master. Unlike previous methods, which describe movement verbally and use letters to refer to the sequence of steps, Feuillet's system is a track notation (see illustration). It represents symbolically not only the steps of the dancer, with his turns, leaps and slides, but also the floor pattern in which he is to travel. The dance music is printed at the top of the page, and the steps are marked off in a manner corresponding to the structure of the music (see Little and Marsh for an inventory of the extant dances).
The publication of the Beauchamp-Feuillet notation meant that specific dances could easily be distributed throughout Europe. It also added to France's pre-eminence in the world of dance. Today the system makes it possible for scholars to study some of the dances in use in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, an important period for the development of the classical French ballet style and technique. Over 350 choreographies are extant in the notation; some are ball dances, intended for use at social functions, and some are theatrical dances, which are the more elaborate choreographies seen in the ballets and operas of the period. Many dances of the types usually known to musicians from the music alone are included in both categories: minuets, bourrées, gavottes, sarabandes, gigues, passepieds, loures, rigaudons, chaconnes, passacailles, forlanes, canaries, pavanes, galliards, hornpipes, courantes and various other entrées. Reconstruction of these choreographies is possible in most cases with the help of verbal descriptions of the steps by writers such as Pierre Rameau (Le maître à danser, Paris, 1725/R), Kellom Tomlinson (The Art of Dancing, London, 1735), and Gottfried Taubert (Rechtschaffener Tantzmeister, Leipzig, 1717).
After the appearance of Chorégraphie, Feuillet began publishing dances that he had written into the new notation. He started in 1700 with two collections, one containing 15 of his own works and one with nine dances and dance suites by his illustrious contemporary Louis Guillaume Pécour. In 1704 there was published a superb collection of theatrical dances choreographed by Pécour and written by Feuillet, many of them giving the names of the dancers who had performed them and the opera or ballet in which they occurred. In 1706 came a simplified method for notating English country dances (or contredanses, as they were called in France), along with ten individual compositions. Beginning in 1702 Feuillet published eight collections of ball dances which were to be performed at important social gatherings of aristocrats. They were issued in annual collections of three or four dances the year before they were to be used, so that everyone could learn them. On Feuillet's death the privilege to publish dances passed to his pupil Dezais, who continued the annual collections until at least 1725 (it is in the preface to the ninth collection of dances for the year 1711 that Dezais referred to the date of Feuillet's death at the age of 50).
At least 38 choreographies by Feuillet himself survive: 15 in the collection of 1700; 10 ball dances in the annual collections; the separately published ball dance La Madalena; and 12 solo dances in manuscript (F-Po Rés.817). His works show expert craftsmanship and a sensitive use of step patterns to form graceful dances. He will always, however, be in the shadow of Pécour, 120 of whose exquisite choreographies survive, and although Chorégraphie was paraphrased or translated into many languages as French dances spread throughout Europe, the system proved to be unsuitable for recording the inevitable changes in style in theatrical dancing. Still, the Beauchamp-Feuillet notation appears in slightly altered form in as late a work as Franz Anton Roller's Systhematisches Lehrbuch der bildenden Tanzkunst (Weimar, 1843). The notation was much used in England in the early 18th century, and at least 74 theatrical and ball dances using it are found in the publications and manuscripts of choreographers such as Anthony L'Abbé, Isaac, Josias Priest, Siris, Tomlinson, Thomas Caverley and Grover Leach.
Chorégraphie ou L'art de décrire la dance, par caractères, figures et signes démonstratifs, avec lesquels on apprend facilement de soy-même toutes sortes de dances (Paris, 1700; 2/1701/R; [with Dezais] 3/1709/R; Eng. trans., J. Weaver: Orchesography, London, 1706/R, 2/1710
Recüeil de dances, composées par M. Feuillet (Paris, 1700/R)
Recüeil de dances composées par M. Pécour … et mises sur le papier par M. Feuillet (Paris, 1700/R)
La Madalena (Paris, 1703)
Recüeil de dances contenant un très grand nombre des meillieures entrées de ballet de Mr. Pécour, tant pour hommes que pour femmes, dont la plus grande partie ont été dancées à l'Opéra. Recüeillies et mises au jour par Mr. Feuillet (Paris, 1704/R)
Recüeil de contredances mises en chorégraphie d'une manière si aisée, que toutes personnes peuvent facilement les apprendre sans le secours d'aucun maître et même sans avoir eu aucune connoissance de la chorégraphie (Paris, 1706/R; Eng. trans., J. Essex: For the Further Improvement of Dancing, London, 1710/R)
Recüeilles de toutes les dances de bal & qui ont été gravées depuis l'année 1700, in F-Po Rés.841 [contains the annual collections of ball dances, Paris, 1702–9; continued by Dezais, 1709–22; La Madalena by Feuillet (1703) and 4 single works by Pécour]
J.-G.Noverre: Lettres sur la danse, et sur les ballets (Lyons, 1760, 2/1783, enlarged 1803 as vol.i of Lettres sur la danse, sur les ballets et les arts; Eng. trans., 1930/R), letter 13
I.K.Fletcher, S.J.Cohen and R. Lonsdale: Famed for Dance: Essays on the Theory and Practice of Theatrical Dancing in England, 1660–1740 (New York, 1960/R)
F.Derra de Moroda: ‘Chorégraphie, the Dance Notation of the Eighteenth Century: Beauchamp or Feuillet?’, Book Collector, xvi (1967), 450–76
K.H.Taubert: Höfische Tänze: ihre Geschichte und Choreographie (Mainz, 1968)
F.Lancelot: ‘Ecriture de la danse: le système Feuillet’, Revue d'ethnologie française, new ser., i (1971), 29–58
W.Hilton: Dance of Court and Theater (Princeton, NJ, 1981/R)
M.Little and C.Marsh: La Danse Noble: an Inventory of Dances and Sources (New York, 1992)
F.Lancelot: La Belle Dance: Catalogue raisonné (Paris, 1996)