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BERGSON, MICHAEL:

Musician; born in Warsaw 1818; died at London March 9, 1898. He was a member of an eminent Jewish family of Warsaw, with which city he always preserved connection. Early in life he became a pupil of Chopin, and afterward settled in Geneva, where he became professor and later on principal of the Conservatoire de Musique. Professor Bergson resided for the greater part of his working life in Switzerland, and in the principal cities of France and Italy; but the last twenty-five years of his life he spent in London. He was, as a pianist, one of the personal inheritors of the Chopin tradition; but he also attained to some distinction as a composer, many of his productionsexhibiting inventive power, taste, and charm. He wrote two operas: "Louisa de Montfort" and "Salvator Rosa." Among his many hundreds of songs, the "Two Hearts," the "Better World," and the "Sérénade Moresque," as well as the clever pianoforte sketch, "A Storm on the Lagoons," were very widely known and admired. His more technical productions, too, have received much commendation, especially the "Douze Grandes Etudes," op. 62, and the "Ecoledu Mécanisme," op. 65. Mention should also be made of his "Flute Sonata," of his "Concert Symphonique," and his "Polonaise Héroïque." One of his best-known pieces is the "Scena ed Aria" for clarinet, played by military bands throughout the world.

Bibliography:
  • Jewish Chronicle and Jewish World, March 18, 1898.
J. G. L.
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