Meifred, Joseph-Émile

Joseph-Émile Meifred (1791-1867) was a horn player, a teacher and horn designer. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Louis-Francois Dauprat and won first prize in horn performance in 1818.

In 1819 he joined the orchestra of the Paris Théâtre-Italien. From 1822 to 1850 he also was a member of the orchestra of the Paris Opéra. In 1828 he helped to found the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire in Paris and gave the first public solo performance of the valved instrument in Paris on its inaugural concert. His interest in the valve horn led him to work with the instrument makers Labbaye and Halary in improving its performance. He was also instrumental in the formation of the Gymnase de musique militaire in 1836 as a school for military musicians. He was a well-known and respected performer and teacher, and was awarded the cross of the Légion d'honneur.

In 1833, he became the first professor of valved horn at the Conservatoire until his retirement in 1864. He wrote his Méthode pour le cor chromatique ou à pistons in 1840, promoting an interesting way of combining hand technique with the use of valves. He also included these vocalises, taken from the conservatoire singing method, as opportunites to practice lyrical playing.

All the Vocalises are recorded by Anneke Scott and Steven Devine on Le cor mélodique: Mélodies, Vocalises & Chants by Gounod, Meifred & Gallay on the Resonus label RES10228

Three of the Vocalises also feature on Musique de salon - 19th Century French music for horn and piano played by Jeffrey Snedeker and Marilyn Wilbanks, available on Amazon, iTunes, and other digital services.

Lithograph by courtesy of Bibliothèque national de France (BnF)


Joseph Meifred

Compositions in catalogue

Catalogue no.

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Chamber Music series


Horn and Piano


10 Vocalises by Panseron and Bordogni

(edited by Jeffrey Snedeker and Bob Ashworth)

  Joseph-Émile Meifred