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Napoléon Coste

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Compositions for: Violin

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Cavatine, Op.37Fantaisie, Op.36Fantaisie-sonate, Op.34b
Claude Antoine Jean Georges Napoléon Coste (27 June 1805 – 14 January 1883) was a French classical guitarist and composer.
Napoléon Coste was born in Amondans (Doubs), near Besançon, France. He was first taught the guitar by his mother, an accomplished player. As a teenager he became a teacher of the instrument and appeared in three concerts in the Franche-Comté. In 1829, at the age of 24, he moved to Paris where he studied under Fernando Sor and quickly established himself as the leading French virtuoso guitarist [source: Ari van Vliet: Napoléon Coste, Biography, 2016] However, the demand for guitarists was in decline and, though his brilliance provided financial stability, he published many of his works by himself, which was customary at the time, apart from finding publishers for his music. As such, he had to fund his publications himself. Napoléon Coste was influenced by the Early Classical-Romantic composers of the time including Hector Berlioz. Coste's Opus no.47, La Source du Lyson is inspired by nature much like Berlioz's program music.
Coste injured his left shoulder in 1863 as a result of an accident, which didn't bring his performing career to a premature end because he performed in public until 1881. After Sor's death, Coste edited and republished Sor's original method for guitar as Méthode complète pour la Guitare par Ferdinand Sor, rédigée et augmentée [refingered and expanded] de nombreux exemples et leçons par N. Coste.
Coste was a member of the masonic lodge Les Frères Unis Inséparables.
He had a special fondness for playing on a seven string guitar. He is known as one of the first composers to transcribe guitar music of the 17th century into modern musical notation. He died at age 77, leaving a significant catalogue of original compositions. Napoleon Coste was famous for his unique seven string guitar with a “floating” 7th string typically tuned to D or C called the Lacôte Heptachord. Tonally this invention created more depth when played as the floating string would vibrate sympathetically even as the other strings were plucked.