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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » G » Gossec, Francois-Joseph

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Francois-Joseph Gossec (1734 - 1829)

François-Joseph Gossec won a place for himself above all as the progenitor of the French symphony, a form to which he made a significant contribution in the earlier part of his long career.

Born at Vergnies, Belgium in 1734, Gossec had his early musical experience as a chorister at Walcourt, in Maubeuge and finally at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Antwerp. In 1751 he moved to Paris, where an introduction to Rameau brought employment by the latter’s patron, the fermier-général Le Riche de La Pouplinière, at first as a violinist and bass player. His position brought not only a connection with Rameau but also with the Mannheim composer Johann Stamitz, who directed the house-orchestra in 1754-55 and was a leading figure in the creation of the Mannheim style of symphony. It was for La Pouplinière’s orchestra, of which he later served as director, that Gossec wrote his first symphonies in a period of employment that continued until his patron’s death in 1762.



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