Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/39

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SYMPHONY.

and structural principles supplied an intelligible model for his successors to follow.

One of the most important of the contem- poraries of Haydn and Mozart in this depart- ment of art was F. J. Gossec. He was born in i733> one year after Haydn, and lived like him to a good old age. His chief claim to re- membrance is the good work which he did in im- proving the standard of taste for instrumental music in France. According to Fe"tis such things as instrumental symphonies were absolutely un- known in Paris before 1 754, in which year Gossec published his first, five years before Haydn's first attempt. Gossec's work was carried on most effectually by his founding, in 1770, the 'Concert des Amateurs,' for whom he wrote his most important works. He also took the management of the famous Concerts Spirituels, with Gavinie's and Leduc, in 1773, and furthered the cause of good instrumental music there as well. The few symphonies of his to be found in this country are of the same calibre, and for the same groups of instruments as those of J. C. Bach, Abel, etc., already described ; but Fe*tis attributes importance to him chiefly because of the way in which he extended the dimensions and resources of the orchestra. His Symphony hi D, no. 21, written soon after the founding of the Concert des Amateurs, was for a full set of strings, flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns, trumpets, and drums ; and this was doubtless an astonishing force to the Parisians, accustomed as they had been to regard the compositions of Lulli and Kameau as the best specimens of instrumental music. But it is clear from other indications that Gossec had considerable ideas about the ways in which instrumental music might be improved, analogous on a much smaller scale to the aspirations and attempts of Berlioz at a later date. Not only are his works carefully marked with pianos and fortes, but in some (as the Symphonies of op. xii.) there are elaborate directions as to how the movements are to be played. Some of these are curio us. For instance, over the 1st violin part of the slow movement of the second symphony is printed the following: ' La difference du Fort au Doux dans ce morceau doit gtre excessive, et le mouvement mode're', k 1'aise, qu'il semble se jouer avec le plus grand faciliteY Nearly all the separate movements of this set have some such directions, either longer or shorter; the inference from which is that Gossec had a strong idea of expression and style in performance, and did not find his bands very easily led in these respects. The movements themselves are on the same small scale as those of J. C. Bach, Abel, and Stamitz ; and very rarely have the double bar and repeat in the first movements, though these often make their appearance in the finales. The style is to a certain extent individual ; not? so robust or so full as that of Bach or Stamitz, but not without attractiveness. As his works are very difficult to get sight of, the following quotation from the last movement of a symphony in Bb will serve to give some idea of his style and manner of scoring.

��SYMPHONY.

��Allegro balldbile. Obol

���Another composer of symphonies, who is often heard of in juxtaposition with Haydn and Mozart, and sometimes as being preferred to- them by the audiences of the time, is Gyrowetz. His symphonies appear to be on a larger scale than those of the prior generation of composers of second rank like himself. A few of them are occasionally to be met with in collections of ' Periodical overtures,' ' symphonies,' etc., pub- lished in separate orchestral parts. One in C, scored for small orchestra, has an introductory Adagio, an Allegro of about the dimensions of Haydn's earlier first movements, with double bar in the middle; then an Andante con sordini (the latter a favourite device in central slow move- ments) ; then a Minuet and Trio, and, to end with, a Rondo in 2-4 time, Allegro non troppo. Others, in Eb and Bb, have much the same distribution of movements, but without the introductory Adagio. The style of them is rather mild and complacent, and not approaching in any way the interest or breadth of the works of his great contemporaries ; but the subjects are clear and vivacious, and the movements seem fairly developed. Other symphony writers, who had vogue and even

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