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François-Joseph Gossec
Birth: Jan. 17, 1734
Death: Feb. 16, 1829

Composer. He helped popularize the symphony in France, and his original approach to scoring anticipated several techniques of the Romantic movement. Gossec used larger musical forces than any composer before him. His "Te Deum" (1779) requires 1200 singers and a wind orchestra of 300. He also experimented with spatial music by placing groups of vocalists and instrumentalists at different parts of a venue, and by employing offstage voices. Gossec was born in Vergnies, Belgium, and studied music as a choirboy at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Antwerp. In 1751 he moved to Paris and became a violinist, and later conductor, of the private orchestra of Le Riche de La Poupliniere, a wealthy patron of the arts. While there he met composers Jean-Philippe Rameau and John Stamitz; it was through Stamitz that he discovered the new symphonic form, which until then had been confined mainly to Germany and Austria. Gossec composed the first of his 50 symphonies in 1754 and did the most to develop that genre in his adopted homeland. His huge "Requiem" (1760) brought him immediate fame. As founder-conductor of the Concerts des Amateurs from 1769 to 1773, and the Concert Spirituel from 1773 to 1778, Gossec introduced much new music to the Paris public, including the symphonies of Haydn. His greatest symphonies and the oratorio "The Nativity" (1774) date from this period. With the French Revolution he sided with the Republic and produced revolutionary-themed works for the band of the Garde Nationale, among them the "Te Deum Celebrating the Federation" (1790), and the "Song of July 14th" (1791), with lyrics by the poet Chenier. Gossec was a founding member of the Institute of France and, in 1795, of the Paris Conservatory, where he taught and was an administrator for two decades. His last major opus was the Symphony in 17 Parts (1809). After the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815, the Conservatory was closed and Gossec forced into retirement. His last years were devoted to a third setting of the "Te Deum", which might have been his most grandiose creation had he completed it. He died in Passy at the age of 95. Gossec's music is still little-known outside France but it's influence is not to be ignored. Mozart and Berlioz admired his "Requiem" and used it as a model for their own great funeral masses. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
Cimetière du Père Lachaise
City of Paris
Île-de-France, France
Plot: Division 13
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Dec 19, 1999
Find A Grave Memorial# 7759
François-Joseph Gossec
Added by: Bobb Edwards
François-Joseph Gossec
Added by: Mike Shakinovsky
François-Joseph Gossec
Added by: Jacqueline De Smet
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