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Jean-Baptiste Barriere
Birth: May 2, 1707
Death: Jun. 6, 1747

Composer, Cellist. France's first great virtuoso cellist, he did much to popularize the instrument outside of its native Italy. Barrière was born in Bordeaux. He initially studied different types of viola da gamba before discovering the cello's richer sonorities. In 1731 he went to Paris as a string player for the Academie Royale de Musique (an early name for the Paris Opera), where his reputation soon blossomed. Within two years King Louis XV had granted him what amounted to a lifelong privilege to publish his music, and his first book of Cello Sonatas duly appeared in 1733; it went into a second edition in 1740. Barrière visited Italy in 1736 to perfect his technique with the virtuoso Franciscello, and again in 1737 for an acclaimed concert tour - no small feat in a country teeming with superb cellists. In the summer of 1738 he returned to Paris and capped his tour with two triumphant appearances at the Concert Spirituel. One critic praised his playing for its "grand precision". Just as quickly as he found the spotlight, Barrière slipped out of it. Apparently he published nothing after 1741 and his activities beyond that are obscure. Declining health may have been a factor, as he died in Paris at age 40. His renown was still tangible in the 1750s, when a French author described him as "the famous Barrière, deceased only recently, possessed all that one can desire...few could perform as well as he". After 1785 his remains were transferred to the Catacombs with those of millions of other Parisians when the churchyards and old cemeteries of the city were emptied. When Barrière began his professional career the cello had already superseded the middle-range viola da gambas in Italy, but in the rest of Europe it was slower going. (The gamba held on tenaciously in England until the 1780s). The first masterpieces for the instrument, the six Cello Suites of J. S. Bach, were written in Germany in the early 1720s but would not be published until 1824. Thus the 24 Cello Sonatas of Barrière, issued in four books between 1733 and 1740, were of vital importance. They made up the largest collection of cello music from any composer before Boccherini and Barrière's fame as a performer assured their popularity. All are scored for cello and basso continuo except for Book III's No. 2 in D minor (1739), which is actually a trio sonata with the addition of a treble instrument (usually a violin or recorder). He also produced a book of sonatas (1741) for Pardessus de Viole, an 18th Century French invention and the highest-pitched member of the gamba family; and a book of keyboard sonatas and pieces. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
Carrières de Paris
City of Paris
Île-de-France, France
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
Record added: Mar 21, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 87133832
Jean-Baptiste Barriere
Added by: Anonymous
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