On 9 August 1846 Édouard Monnais alias Paul Smith reports in the Revue musicale: „In the flute class held by M. Tulou, five competitors: 1st prize, M. Blanco; 2nd prize, M. Lascoretz; accessit, M. Penas and M. Morrel. It was one of the best competitions of this class which has provided so many superior students. (…) That, in summary, is what the competitions were this year; that is what happened in 30 and 36 degrees of heat in the Conservatoire hall, transformed into a fiery furnace by the rays of the sun, and by the extraordinary influx of an audience whose strength, patience and enthusiasm could not be exhausted. It is true that this audience is generally made up of parents, friends and fellow students, who, while applauding the winners, say to themselves in petto: This is how I will be next year!“
Pierre-Eugène Blanco, born on 17th January 1826 in Poitiers (Vienne), was 20 years old when he won the first price at the 1846 concours. Blanco started studying the flute at the age of 15. He was an average student who fought with several issues as we read in Tulou’s reports „works with zeal but makes little progress. His embouchure is quite good and his tongue, with study, becomes lighter (1842); Embouchure quite good, no equality in the fingers, tongue not very easy, no accent in the execution and no progress (1843); being often ill, has made little progress; has made little progress in spite of his zeal for work. (1844); his musical organisation does not give great hope for the future and yet he has made some progress this year; very accurate in class, works well, has made much progress. (1845); very accurate in class, works fairly well, has made some progress. (1846)“ Right after his studies he got employed as flute player in the Théâtre Délassements – Comédie. It is not known how long he held this position. In 1850 his name appears in a report about a possible affiliation of the music section of the society for the arts and industry of Poitiers with the Association des Artistes musiciens in Paris (Revue et Gazette musicale 23 June 1850, p. 215f), so he might have returned to his hometown. However, I didn’t find any information about his further career.
François-Émile Lascoretz, born on 14th October 1825 (or 1826) in Troyes, was 19 or 20 years old when he got the the second price at the 1846 concours. One year later he won the first price. Lascoretz came from a family of (military) musicians. His father Jean-Baptiste-François-Antoine l’aîné (1786-1854) played the clarinet and composed. He was the tenant of the Café de la Comédie and ran a music school. In 1835 he went to Paris (this explains his son’s connection with the Conservatoire) and later returned to Troyes, where he taught music and traded in musical instruments. His younger brother Adrien-Antoine-Jean-Baptiste le jeune (1787-1857) was a clarinettist and military musician, like their father.
François-Emile first played in the orchestra of the Théâtre de l’Ambigu-Comique. As his father, his uncle and Tulou he was member of the Association des Artistes musiciens. Around 1850 François-Emile returned to his home town. There he played an active role in the city’s cultural life. He conducted the Orchestre de la Société philharmonique, became director of the Orphéon (a musical institution dedicated to singing and music education) and founded a fanfare, which was expanded to harmony music in 1859. Unfortunately, François-Emile did not live to be old. He died on 8 September 1860. He composed several pieces, including Trois trios faciles et brillants for flute, horn and bassoon, a polka for piano and orchestra (1853) and a chanson politique et patriotique. The Musée d’art et archéologie in Troyes houses a bust of Emile. It was made in 1851 by his friend Louis-Auguste Delécole (1828-1868).
Jean-Baptiste Penas, born on 22 February 1828 in Metz, entered the class on 4 October 1844 at the age of 16. He was 19 years old when he got the first Accessit at the 1846 concours. He played two more concours in 1846 and 1847 where he won the second and first price respectively.
Penas was a good student and got good reports since the beginning. Tulou writes: “has only been in my class since the beginning of the holidays. I think he will be a good pupil (1844), in (?) at the Conservatoire – good subject, working hard; but not advancing very rapidly; works hard and makes good progress (1845), good worker, has made progress; good pupil (1846), works with zeal – good musician – has made good progress (1847), good musician, easy execution, good orchestral flute. (1848)”
In 1846-47 Penas was flutist in the Théâtre français, and in 1847 he played in the Société philharmonique. Shortly after he must have inscribed in the Gymnase Musical Militaire, another Conservatory in Paris, where he studied solfège and harmony. In 1851 we read in the Revue and Gazette musicale: „Distribution of prizes: (…) Among the crowned students, several took double crowns. One of them, Jean-Baptiste Pénas, of the 7th line regiment, winner of the solfège and harmony, was also made head of music (chef de musique) by the section of the Institute (…) Before the distribution of the prizes, a pas rédoublé, composed by the student Penas, was performed by the cavalry music [= brass band], placed in the open air, next to the room where the session was held (…) [In the following concert] the students Penas and Piau played an oboe duet very well.” (Revue et Gazette de Paris 19.10.1851). Penas stayed in the military and continued leading the 7th line regiment at least until 1859.
Étienne-Joseph Morel, born on 3 January 1827 in Strasbourg, entered the class on 22 March 1842 at the age of 15 and was 19 years old when he got the first accessit at the 1846 concours. He did not proceed his studies afterwards. Tulou’s reports show that in the course of his studies he somehow lost his passion for the flute: “good worker, fairly good musician, embouchure passable but tongue heavy. He has only been in my class for two months (1842), works with courage; is a fairly good musician, but despite the effort he puts into it, his progress is not very noticeable; works a lot but makes little progress (1843), makes very little progress despite the effort he puts into it and the desire he has to succeed; poor musical organisation, has made very little progress. (1844), makes no progress and is not exact in his classes; very impaired in class, works very little, no progress (1845), very little means and very little zeal for work; little progress, no courage at work (1846)”. I didn’t find any information about his further career.
The fifth student was probably Jules-Adolphe Couplet. He got an accessit the previous year, but then stopped studying.
Tulou used 12th Grand Solo again for the 1855 competition. It was also chosen by Dorus in 1869.
The five-keyed flute played in the video is stamped “Buffet jeune a Paris”. In 1838 Buffet jeune modified the 1832 Boehm system flute together with flute player Victor Coche who played a significant role in the 1840 verbal proces. Louis Auguste Buffet (le jeune) had a workshop for quite a long time (1830-1885). This flute might have been made in the 1830s to 1850s. The piano is a 1829 Pleyel.