André Ernest Modeste Grétry

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Grétry, André Ernest Modeste

 

Born Feb. 8 or 11, 1741, at Liège; died Sept. 24, 1813, in Montmorency, near Paris. French composer. Of Belgian descent. Member of the Institute of France (1795).

Grétry studied music with his father, the violinist François Grétry.and with other musicians of Liège. Between 1759 and 1766 he completed his education in Italy (in 1765, he passed the examination at the Bologna Music Academy). He moved to Paris in 1767. He became an inspector at the Paris Conservatory at the time of its founding (1795).

Grétry’s work, which developed under the influence of the aesthetics of the Encyclopedists, especially J. J. Rousseau, represents a significant stage in the history of French 18th-century comic opera, and prepared the way for French 19th-century lyric opera. Grétry composed about 60 operas (the librettos of many were written by J. F. Marmontel and M. J. Sedaine). including Huron (1768), Lucile (1769). and The Samnite Weddings (2nd ed., 1776). One of Grétry’s popular operas, Richard the Lion-Hearted (1784). anticipates many features of the “salvation opera” genre. He composed operas on national-patriotic and revolutionary themes—Peter the Great (1790), Guillaume Tell (1791), and The Festival of Reason, or the Republic’s Chosen One (1794)—as well as instrumental works (symphonies, quartets, and so on). He wrote several works about music. His Memoirs are a clear example of French sentimentalist aesthetics.

WORKS

Mémoires, ou Essais sur la musique, vols. 1–3. Paris, 1796–97.
In Russian translation:
Memuary, ili Ocherki o muzyke, vol. I. Moscow-Leningrad, 1939.

REFERENCES

Rolland, R. Sobranie muzykal’no-istoricheskikh sochinenii, vol. 4: Muzykanty proshlykh dnei. Moscow, 1938. (Translated from French.)
Levasheva, O. “Opernaia estetika Gretri.” In Klasskheskoe iskusstvo za rubezhom. Moscow, 1966.
Bobillier, M. Grétry, sa vie et ses oeuvres, par M. Brenet {Marie Bobillier). . .. Paris, 1884.
Wichmann, H. Grétry und das musikalische Theater in Frankreich. Halle, 1929.
Degey, M. A. M. Grétry. [Brussels. 1939.]
Marsick, P. L. A. M. Grétry. Brussels. 1944.

S. M. GRISHCHENKO

References in classic literature ?
In the centre of the room was a Roller and Blanchet "baby grand" piano in rosewood, but holding the potentialities of an orchestra in its narrow and sonorous cavity, and groaning beneath the weight of the chefs-d'oeuvre of Beethoven, Weber, Mozart, Haydn, Gretry, and Porpora.
Some of the composers frequently represented in the first effort include Andre-Ernest-Modeste Gretry (1741-1813), Nicolas-Marie Dalayrac (1753-1809), Pierre Gaveaux (1761-1825), Henri-Montan Berton (1767-1844), Nicolas Isouard (1775-1818), Francois Adrien Boieldieu (1775-1834), Fromental Halevy (1799-1862), and Adolphe Adam (1803-1856).
An example is the following query: Maurice Frison, avocat, rue van Artevelde 69, Bruxelles soumet a l'analyse du laboratoire de chimie communal une bouteille de vin d'Italie achetee au magasin de vins d'Italie portant l'enseigne "Primitivo", rue Gretry no.
Its repertoire was composed of pieces for example from works by Wagner, Tobani, Litolff, Myddleton, Bendix, Friedman, Flotow, Strauss, Mozart, Weber, Puccini, Rossini, Tchaikovsky, Massenet, Thomas, Meyerbeer, Boito, Verdi, Ponchielli, Donizetti, Gretry, Beethoven, Grieg, Bizet, Suppe, Mascagni and others.
But amid it all, the sight and sound I carried most indelibly from that night is of Resnik as the nightgowned, wigless Countess (impressionable me never thinking at the time that the wigless pate was yet another wig), sitting nearly immobile in her armchair, singing the Gretry air recollected from her youth with a spellbinding quiet intensity.
There was a sprinkling of Scarlatti and Gretry and Karol's own Mazurkas and a Pensee Musicale.
In December 2011, the 'lost' autograph score of the opera L'Officier de fortune by Gretry was discovered in the Gretry Museum in Liege.
An affable being, he certainly enjoyed chatting with the corps de ballet and the opera-singers at the Parisian theatres he frequented in the age of Rameau and Gretry.
Modeste Gretry comes forward for Belgium with a brisk and engaging C major Flute Concerto; as the insert note points out, of the four solo instruments on this disc, the flute was the only one regularly selected for concerto prominence during the rococo / classical periods.
Eighteenth-century music critics did not commonly understand that Haydn and Mozart were categorically superior to Christoph Gluck, Luigi Chembini, Domenico Cimarosa, and Andre Modeste Gretry.
She was a leading member in a number of orchestras during high school in Madison, WI, and studied oboe at the Academie de Musique Gretry in Li[c]ge, Belgium, the year after she graduated.
The Royal Library bought the correspondence of the Belgian composer Jean-Theodore Radoux (1835-1911), a letter from Gretry, and the autographic manuscript of La jeunesse de Gretry of the Brussels pianist and composer Felix Pardon (1851-1921).