• CPO5552632 Katalognummer
  • 761203526321 EAN
  • CD Format
  • 2019 Utgivelsesår

Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss

Gaudenz, Simon

Gossec, Francois-Joseph

Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss



Gossec, Francois-Joseph:
Symphonies op. IV

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Symphonies from Pre-Revolutionary France

Today the composer François-Joseph Gossec is closely associated with the
music of the French Revolution. However, the symphonic cycle being
presented here for the first time in complete recorded form was written
thirty years prior to 1789. Born on 17 January 1734 in the village of
Vergnies, today’s Hainaut (Hennegau) in Belgium, Gossec’s beautiful boy
soprano’s voice earned him admission to the church choirs in Walcourt and
Ste. Aldegonde in Maubeuge before he became a member of the choir at the
Antwerp Cathedral around 1742. He received excellent training in
composition and counterpoint as well as in violin and harpsichord, moved to
Paris in 1750 or 1751, and is thought to have been hired as a violinist for
de la Pouplinière’s orchestra in August 1753. He remained true to this
orchestra until the death of his employer in December 1762. Gossec’s some
fifty symphonies doubtless make him the most important French symphonist of
the second half of the eighteenth century. However, he wrote most of his
symphonic works prior to about 1780; after this date the increasing
popularity of Haydn’s symphonies in Paris may have caused him to lose
interest in this genre. His six Symphonies op. IV appeared in print around
1758. When compared with the first series from 1756, they offer
considerable innovations even in purely formal matters: they have four
movements, and oboes and/or horns have been added to the instrumentation
used in op. III, which was exclusively for strings. The symphonies are
distinguished primarily by attention-grabbing initial displays, though the
last two form exceptions to the rule. No. 5, the »Pastorella,« has a title
indicating that it is a work of pastoral character, that is, of country
expression, while No. 6 does not make use of the characteristic stylistic
elements, such as long crescendo passages and sudden forte-piano contrasts,
presumably imparted to Gossec by Stamitz. In any case, the interpretations
by Simon Gaudenz and the Neuss Chamber Academy anticipate future
revolutionary times.


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