André Ernest Modeste Grétry

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


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.


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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Positioned on Rue Gretry just off Brussel's famous Grand Place, considered one of the world's most beautiful squares, the 50 bedroom property known as Hotel Opera, is an independent hotel that has been popular with visitors to the Belgian capital for over 30 years.
In June 1777, Boyer notes that the Academie Royale de Musique (the Paris Opera) has just revived Cephale & Procris, adding that Andre-Ernest-Modeste Gretry "treated with nobility and expression" all the pieces where the librettist Jean-Francois Marmontel had provided opportunity to develop the riches of his art; however:
Finally, Favart and Blaise's Annette et Lubin appeared a decade after the Querelle des Bouffons, a time when the genre of opera comique was undergoing a fundamental transformation as the old comedie en vaudeville of the Parisian fairground theaters was gradually being replaced with operas comiques comprised of entirely new musical numbers, such as those composed after 1760 by Andre Ernest Modeste Gretry and his contemporaries.
Belgian ambassador Bart De Groof said that his country cherishes a rich tradition, culture and heritage in musical composition from such Renaissance pioneers as Orlandus Lassus to classical era giants like Gossec and Gretry or from the 19th to 21st centuries, Cesar Franck, Peter Benoit, Eugene Ysave and more recently Wim Mertens and Dirk Brosse.
There are important memoirs by Andre Gretry, a leading opera composer who goes on to occupy himself almost entirely with phi losophical reRections; by Lorenzo da Ponte, Mozart's most important librettist; by G.
Giacomo Meyerbeer, Coronation March; Hector Berlioz, Chante Sacre'; Benoit Constant Fauconnier, Quatour; Andre' Gretry, Trio from Richard Coeur de Lion; Guiseppe Verdi, Fragments melodiquies sur Messe de Requiem; Henry Distin, Distin's Polka; John Distin, Distin's Military Quadrilles; George Frederick Handel, "Let the Bright Seraphim" from Samson; James Kent, Blessed Be Thou Lord God of Israel; Thomas Arne, Rule Britannia; Traditional, The Last Rose of Summer; Theodore Distin, Victory; Guiseppi Verdi, Sinfonia from Nabucco.
Roldan, who incorporated African rhythms in an avant-garde/nationalistic style, composed chamber works, two ballets, piano solos, works for orchestra, and some transcriptions of compositions by Brahms, Gretry, Laureano Fuentes Matons, and others.
Gretry, to see his personal art collection, Gretry comments about one painting that up close "it's just a lot of little daubs" (199) but that, from a distance, it comes into focus and makes sense.
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.