Napoléon Coste


Napoléon Coste (1805 – 1883) was a French composer and guitarist. His first teacher was his mother, who was also an accomplished guitarist. Coste was already himself teaching as a teenager. By age 24 he moved to Paris where he began studying with the great Spanish composer and guitarist Fernando Sor

Among Coste’s many original works for guitar were a set of 25 Etudes (Op.38). He also wrote several programmatic works with nature as their theme. These latter pieces include:

  • La Source du Lyson (“The Lyson River Spring”) (Op.47)
  • La Valée d’Ornans (“The Ornans Valley”) (Op.17)
  • Les Bord du Rin (“The Banks of the Rhine”) (Op.18)
  • Le Passage des Alpes (“The Trail in the Alps”) (Op.27)
  • Les Soirées d’Auteuil (“Evenings in Auteuil”) (Op.23)

Hector Berlioz, another composer who wrote much programmatic nature music (and who played guitar), was a big inspiration for Coste.

Coste was unique in that he typically played a seven-stringed instrument. This guitar was designed by Lacôte and featured a “floating” seventh string.

Napoléon Coste (1805 – 1883) Sheet Music

Sheet Music

Souvenirs de Flandres, Op.5

Souvenirs de Flandres, Op.5 (PDF download)

Fantaisie de Concert, Op.6

Fantaisie de Concert, Op.6 (PDF download)

Grand Caprice, Op.11:

Grand Caprice, Op.11 (PDF download)

La Valée d’Ornans, Op.17:

La Valée d’Ornans, Op.17 (PDF download)

Die Ufer des Rheins (Walzer), Op.18:

Die Ufer des Rheins (Walzer), Op.18 (PDF download)

Les Soirées d’Auteuil, Op.23:

Les Soirées d’Auteuil, Op.23 (PDF download)

Grand Solo, Op.24:

Grand Solo, Op.24 (PDF download)

Le Passage des Alpes, Op.27, 28, 40:

Le Passage des Alpes, Op.27, 28, 40 (PDF download)

La Chasse des Sylphes, Op.29:

La Chasse des Sylphes, Op.29 (PDF download)

Le Départ: Fantaisie Dramatique, Op.31:

Le Départ: Fantaisie Dramatique, Op.31 (PDF download)

25 Études, Op.38:

25 Études, Op.38 (PDF download)

Fête Villageoise, Op.47:

Fête Villageoise, Op.47 (PDF download)

La Source du Lyson, Op.47:

La Source du Lyson, Op.47 (PDF download)


Le Départ: Fantaisie Dramatique, Op.31 (Meng Su, guitar)