Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: Gossec, François Joseph from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Belgian-born French composer. On the foundation of the Paris Conservatory in 1795 he became one of its directors and professor of composition. As one of the leading composers of the French Revolution, he wrote many works for public ceremonies, often using vast forces. His works include over 30 symphonies, church and chamber music, ballets and theatre music, and 19 operas. He wrote little after 1800.

Gossec was a chorister at Antwerp Cathedral. In 1751 he went to Paris, where with Jean-Philippe Rameau's help he obtained a post writing symphonies for La Pouplinière's private orchestra in 1754. He later became music director to the Prince of Condé. He founded the Concert des Amateurs in 1770, and in 1773 took over the direction of the Concert Spirituel. He also produced much chamber music and in 1760 performed a Requiem in which, as in other works, he anticipated the experimental manner of Hector Berlioz. From 1795 to 1816 he was professor of composition at the Conservatory.

WorksOperaLes Pêcheurs, Toinon et Toinette (1767), Thésée (1782), Rosine (1786), and others.

BalletLes Scythes enchaînés, added to Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride (1779), Mirsa, and Callisto.

Sacred oratorio La Nativité (1774); Requiem (1760), Dernière Messe des vivants, motets and other pieces; funeral music for Mirabeau.

SecularLe Chant du 14 juillet, L'Offrande à la liberté, and other music for the Revolution.

Other about 50 symphonies (1756–1809), overtures, and other orchestral works; 12 string quartets, trios, and other chamber music.

© RM, 2016. All rights reserved.

Related Credo Articles

Full text Article Reiter, Josef
The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Austrian composer. He studied with his father, an organist. He taught and conducted in Vienna 1886–1907; was director of the Mozarteum at Salzburg,

Full text Article Wagenseil, Georg Christoph
The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Austrian composer. He was also organist to the dowager Empress Elisabeth Christine 1741–50, and was appointed music master to the Empress Maria Ther

Full text Article Märzendorfer, Ernst
The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Austrian conductor. He studied at the Salzburg Mozarteum and conducted opera in Salzburg from 1940. He worked at Graz Opera 1945–51; the Deutsche Op

See more from Credo