FRANÇOIS-JOSEPH GOSSEC (1734 - 1829)
Born in the South Netherlands, Gossec received encouragement from Rameau when he first went to Paris in 1751, gradually establishing his reputation as a versatile composer and as a director of orchestras. He wrote operas but made a more significant contribution to instrumental music, notably with his symphonies. After the Revolution he turned to the composition of appropriately republican works, but wrote little in later years.
Orchestral and Choral Music
Gossec contributed to the development of the symphony in France, introducing elements of the Mannheim style and composing both symphonies and symphonies concertantes. His Grande Messe des morts introduces novel instrumental elements. Written in 1760, it was used with revolutionary effect in 1789. His Symphonie à 17 parties was written in 1809.