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Gossec, François (Joseph)

Gossec, François (Joseph) (b Vergnies, 1734; d Passy, 1829). Belg. composer. Boy chorister Antwerp Cath. Went to Paris 1751 where he was helped by Rameau for whose patron's private band he comp. first Fr. syms. from 1754. Also comp. str. qts. for Prince de Condé, whose service he entered 1762–9. Dir., Concert Spirituel 1773–7. 2nd cond. at Opéra 1780–2. Organized and dir. École Royale de Chant 1784–95, when it became the Nat. Cons. Prof. of comp. at Paris Cons. 1795–1815. Comp. about 30 syms., 20 operas, church and choral mus. (incl. many pieces in favour of the Revolution), and ballets. His Te Deum (1790) anticipated Berlioz in requiring 1,200 singers and 300 wind instrs. A bold innovator in orchestration.

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Gossec, François Joseph

François Joseph Gossec (fräNswä´ zhôzĕf´ gôsĕk´), 1734–1829, Belgian composer; pupil of Rameau. In 1784 he organized the École Royale de Chant and taught (1795–1816) composition at its successor school, the Paris Conservatory. Enthusiastic about the French Revolution, he wrote many works to celebrate patriotic events, such as a Te Deum for 1,200 singers and 300 wind instruments. Among his works are chamber music, more than 30 symphonies, and many operas. His clarity of form and innovations in orchestral color strongly influenced the development of French instrumental music.

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