Today marks the anniversary of the birth of Pierre Rode, a child musical prodigy so talented that the famed Giovanni Battista Viotti tutored him on the violin without charging any fee, so impressed was he by the natural skill he detected in the boy.
Rode's career was stratospheric and glittering and, as the personal violist to a certain Napoleon, he travelled Europe garnering such acclaim in Russia that he remained there for more than half a decae. However, these years away from his homeland would come back to haunt Rode when he returned to France and found that his star had faded somewhat.
French audiences detected rather too much Russian style to Rode's playing and, though he continued to enjoy plaudits elsewhere in Europe and Beethoven wrote music for Rode to play, music fans in his adopted home of Paris continued to greet his work with indifference. He died aged fifty six without ever recapturing their adoration yet I hope you will find much to enjoy in his work on this musical Monday.