1832 – Tulou, 1er Grand Solo

In his report about the 1832 concours Fétis writes in the Revue Musicale on 11 August: „The flute competition has rarely been so brilliant; four students, all very young, or to say still children, did great honour to Mr Tulou, their teacher, in this competition. These students are Mr Rémusat and Alkan, who shared the first prize, and Bisetzky and Bannières [sic], who also shared the second prize. Mr Rémusat has an embouchure of the finest quality and a brilliant, full-bodied execution. There is a great deal of clarity of execution in Mr Alkan’s playing, but his sound quality is less beautiful than that of Mr Rémusat. Mr Bisetzky appears to us to have well deserved the second prize which was awarded to him; but it seems to us that it is rather an injustice to make him share it with Mr Bannières, whose playing is less clear and whose tone is less powerful.“

Jean Rémusat, born on 11 April 1815 in Bordeaux, was 17 years old when he won the first price at the 1832 concours. His life was quite colorful. He played one year in the Opéra (1/1/1847 – 1/2/1848), was engaged at the theatre of the Queen in London, moved back to Paris in 1853 and played at the Théâtre Lyrique, before he went again to London where he became director of an opera company in 1859, the same post at the opera of her majesty. In 1860 he played concerts in Bordeaux and Paris. In Bordeaux he became flute player and chef d’orchestre at the theatre. In 1863 he founded a series of popular classical music. Than he moved to Shanghai where organized concerts as well. He published around 80 works. He must have been an outstanding flutist as he is counted as one of Tulou’s best students.

Ernest Alkan, born on 11 July 1816 in Paris, was 16 years old when he won the first price at the 1832 concours. A year before he won the second price. Ernest was born into a musical family, all his siblings studied music, among them his brother, pianist and composer Charles-Valentin Alkan, the most famous family member. Ernest later played in the Orchestre du Gymnase.

Joseph-Bertrand Bagnières, born on the 19 June 1814 in Paris, was 18 years old when he won the second price at the 1832 concours. He later played in the Orchestre de la Porte Saint Martin and the Variétés.

Antoine-François-Élie Bisetzki, born on  5 July 1817 in Saint-Germain, was 18 years old when he won a second price at the 1832 concours. A year later he won the first price. He played in the Variétés, but must have stopped playing the flute at some point, as he became employee of the railway service chemin de fer du Nord. Antoine-François-Élie might be a son of Antoine Joseph Bisetzki who studied the flute with Hugot & Wunderlich. He became répétiteur de flûte at the Concervatoire, composed quite many flute pieces and augmented one of the many editions of Devienne’s flute methods. It was published in around 1822.

In 1840, all four flute players appear in an article about the famous competition between Tulou and Coche (simple system flute versus Boehm flute). Bagnières and Bisetzki have refused to adopt the Boehm flute. Rémusat and Alkan abandoned the Boehm flute after having studied it.

The four-keyed flute used in that video was made by Clair Godfroy aîné (no° 1097) around 1830. The piano is a 1829 Pleyel.