François Joseph Gossec

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gossec, François Joseph

 

Born Jan. 17, 1734, in the village of Vergnies, Hainault Province, Belgium; died Feb. 16, 1829, in Passy, near Paris. French composer. Member of the Institut de France (1795).

Of Belgian origin, Gossec was the son of a peasant. Beginning in 1751 he lived in Paris, where he worked as a choirmaster and directed the Amateur Concerts Society, which he founded in 1770 and reorganized as the Sacred Concerts Society in 1773. In 1784 he founded the Royal School of Singing and Declamation, on the basis of which the National Music Institute was organized in 1793. (In 1795 the institute became a conservatory.) Gossec was a professor and one of the inspectors at the Paris Conservatory when the Bourbons were restored in 1816. A confirmed republican, he was dismissed from his position.

Gossec was a precursor of the French symphony; he wrote 29 symphonies, the first in 1754. The greatest music figure of the Great French Revolution, he was the conductor of the band of the National Guard. Gossec wrote a great number of musical compositions for popular revolutionary festivals and processions, hymns (“Eulogy of the Federation”), songs (“Song of July 14”), and monumental works for brass bands (for example, a symphony, a Te Deum, and a funeral march), which are imbued with revolutionary and patriotic spirit. Among Gossec’s operas (about 20) are Sabinus (1773), Theseus (1782), The Triumph of the Republic, or the Camp at Grandpré (1793), and a series of comic operas. Gossec also wrote oratorios, masses, quartets, and methodical textbooks on music theory.

REFERENCES

Tiercot, J. Pesni i prazdnestva Frantsuzskoi revoliutsii. Moscow,1933. (Translated from French.)
Radiguer, H. Muzykanty epokhi Velikoi frantsuzskoi revolïutsii. Moscow, 1937. (Translated from French.)
Prod’homme, J. F. J. Gossec. Paris, 1949.

B. S. STEINPRESS

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
According to the composer Francois-Joseph Gossec (1734-1829), who in 1780 had been named sous-directeur at the Opera, its school served only to spoil voices, break them, and establish the worst vocal principles.
In 1835 the German music critic Gottfried Wilhelm Fink reacted angrily to a claim, put forward in a French journal and then translated into German by the influential Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik, that the Parisian composer Francois-Joseph Gossec, not Franz Josef Haydn, was the true creator of the modern symphony.
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Even more popular were the anthologies of ariettas, arrangements of arias from operas by composers such as Francois-Joseph Gossec, Andre-Modeste Gretry and Antonio Sacchini.
Particularly valuable is the breadth of Schleuning's chosen repertory, which ranges from familiar members of the canon - Johann Sebastian Bach's passions and Christmas Oratorio, Joseph Haydn's Creation and Seasons, Ludwig van Beethoven's "Moonlight" and "Pastoral" sonatas - to lesser-known but in this context fascinating works by Carl Heinrich Graun (his opera Montezuma [1755]), Francois-Joseph Gossec ("Hymne & la nature" [1793]), Friedrich Heinrich Himmel (his song "Unsterblichkeit" [ca.
Simon LeDuc, for example, perhaps the finest French instrumental composer of his generation, is represented by fifty works; Francois-Joseph Gossec, well known to students of the early French symphony, has seventy-five; and Charles Avison, prolific representative of the conservative concerto tradition in Britain, has forty-six.
In a reexamination of the historical link traditionally made between the poet Marie-Joseph Chenier and the composer Francois-Joseph Gossec, Jean-Louis Jam demonstrates that the two individuals may have worked together for a time, but nevertheless undertook divergent political aims in the process.
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