Concert in La Plantation , April 23rd 7.30pm

Concert in La Plantation , April 23rd 7.30pm


Philomele Choir (France)

La Grande Messe des Morts


François-Joseph GOSSEC (1734-1829)

Thursday 23rd of April 67.30pm

With reservation (internet,telephone,wechat)

150 rmb

80 rmb (student/children)

At the door


100 (student/children)

La Plantation / 璃 墟

La Plantation theater

Beijing, Chaoyang district, shunbai road hegezhuang village.

Tel : 5166 1201

Subway line 15 Maquanying station

reservation :

Telephone : 5166 1201

Wechat : chinese: chineseliving

Wechat : english/french/spanish : philippe2046

After Switzerland, Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland and Russia, the choir will undertake a trip in 2015 to Beijing and Shanghai to meet two Chinese choirs and, accompanied by an orchestra and their usual organist, to produce an important French work from the classical repertory.

Francois-Joseph Gossec Grande Messe des morts

Francois-Joseph Gossec, a French composer of the classical period, was born in 1734 in Vergnies, a village that was French at that time but is now in the province of Hainault, Belgium. The son of a farmer, he studied music in local churches, including learning to play the violin and harpsichord, as well as composition, harmony and singing in the church choirs. In 1751, Rameau persuaded him to come to Paris and introduced him as a conductor (at the age of 17) to La Pouplinière, a . fermier général . and arts patron. He went on to become director of the Prince of Condé's private theatre in Chantilly. He founded

in 1769 the Concert des Amateurs, a privately-owned association involved in organising concerts, in which he held a prime position as conductor. He was the first to conduct a Haydn symphony in France. Gossec was made assistant director of the Opéra in 1780 and then director of the Ecole Royale de Chant et de Déclamation in 1784. Very early on, Gossec subscribed to revolutionary ideals. Having few financial ambitions, he lived from 1789 onwards on his salary as a lieutenant of the Garde Républicaine, then as inspector of the Conservatoire. He lived for music and humanistic ideals. Gossec composed revolutionary hymns, conducted the music of the Garde Nationale and, with Grétry, founded the Paris Conservatoire, of which he became inspector of teaching. Napoleon made him a member of the Opéra's examination committee.

Gossec retired in 1815 and moved to a house in Passy where he died in 1829, aged 95. Popular throughout Europe during his lifetime, he was extremely prolific: 21 operatic works, 10 oratorios, more than 40 symphonies (which were very successful at the time but most of which are now unfortunately lost), more than 40 chamber works and 40 revolutionary . works. We know that Mozart admired Gossec's symphonies, that he heard the Grande Messe des Morts during a visit to Paris and that he had a copy of the score in Vienna. Mozart had met Gossec while in Paris and, in a letter to his father, referred to him as a very good friend.

The Grande Messe des Morts was composed in Paris and performed in May, 1760 at the Jacobean monastery, rue St Jacques. It was Gossec's first large-scale work and was highly appreciated by the public and restaged regularly.

Published in 1774, it was performed several times in July 1789 in memory of citizens killed during the storming of the Bastille. It is a monumental work, lasting altogether nearly 80 minutes, mostly composed in the traditional baroque style but whose orchestration and melodies have a classical feel to them.. The enthusiasm of many musicologists for this work, which is both powerful and easy on the ear, makes us regret and want to redress its loss of popularity.

“Philomèle" is the French poetical word for a nightingale and means . a lover of song .. In Greek mythology, Philomèle, the daughter of the King of Athens, was transformed by the gods into a nightingale to enable her to escape from her brother-in-law.

The choir was founded in September 1979 by its current director, Alain Lechevalier. Its members, of whom there are around 60, are amateurs and meet and rehearse in the thirteenth arrondissement of Paris. Their repertoire is mainly sacred music, with instrumental accompaniment, and often music for which the choir deliberately aims to increase the audience. A good voice is needed but there is no requirement for sight-reading. Chorists must be sufficiently motivated by work in-depth on the musical programme.Philomèle is a non-profit association set up under the Law of 1901 and belongs to the à Coeur Joie movement.The choir is very attached to the ethics of this movement, involving giving equal priority to friendly relations between chorists, musical standards, a good ambience during its activities and a genuine participation of chorists in those activities. We are independent and are not sponsored or financed by any political, religious or entertainment organisation. This allows us to choose our own programmes.

The choir gives a substantial number of concerts every year (around 280 since its foundation more than 30 years ago). It often takes the responsibility itself for the organisation of these concerts.Ensemble choral Philomèle Rehearsal by the choir in Ebersmunster (Alsace), in connection with the Festival.



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