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Amédée Méreaux

Engraving of Amédée Méreaux
Photograph of Amédée Méreaux

Amédée Méreaux (full name Jean-Amédée Lefroid de Méreaux) (Paris, 17 September 1802 – Rouen, 25 April 1874) was a French musicologist, pianist, and composer. He was the author of Les clavecinistes de 1637 à 1790, written from 1864 to 1867, which had essays on the composers it mentioned.[1] His grandfather, Nicolas-Jean Lefroid de Méreaux (1745–1797), was a composer of operas and oratorios, while his father, Jean-Nicolas Lefroid de Méreaux, was an organist and pianist and was a composer of piano sonatas.[2] He was a friend of Frédéric Chopin.

His music, while obscure, is somewhat known for its sometimes immense difficulties (his piano works are sometimes more difficult than even those of Charles-Valentin Alkan), and his most famous work is his 60 Études, Op. 63. For example, his "Bravura" étude, Op. 63 No. 24, has passages where the pianist's two hands cross over each other simultaneously every quaver, at the speed of quarter note = 100. However, not all of his works have such difficulties. Although his works are considered by some (including Marc-André Hamelin) to be unmusical, this view is not held by all. Despite his current obscurity, some of his Op. 63 études were included in some piano collections edited by Isidor Philipp, and there is a street in Rouen named after him.[2] Recently, five of his Op. 63 études have been recorded by Cyprien Katsaris.

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