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Not With a Bang But a Whimper - The End of the Concert Spirituel

Duration:
1 hour
First broadcast:
Friday 09 December 2011

Donald Macleod is joined for the last time this week by his studio guests Dr Lionel Sawkins and Beverly Wilcox to discuss the final years of the Concert Spirituel. From 1777 the series was presided over by a new director, Joseph Legros, one of the most celebrated operatic singers of his day. One of his chief innovations was a new emphasis on the work of contemporary composers, among them Mozart and JC Bach, but above all, Haydn - whose music had previously been played from time to time - now became the mainstay of the programming. His Stabat Mater proved enormously popular, but it was his symphonies that received the lion's share of attention. In most cases the concert listings don't specify which symphony was performed on what date, but on 13 April 1784 we are told that the "Symph. où l'on s'en va" was heard - the one we know as the 'Farewell'. The occasion was the last concert of the series to be held in the Salle des Cent Suisses, which had been the venue for the Concert Spirituel right from the start. The new venue - still in the Tuileries Palace - was the Salle des Machines, and it remained home to the concert series until the end of 1789, when larger events intervened; in October of that year, the French royal family were forcibly removed from Versailles and installed in the Tuileries Palace, where they could be kept an eye on. So the Concert Spirituel had to move again. It kept going for a few more months, moving from one theatre to another, then simply fizzled out.

Music Played

4 items
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • Image for Joseph Haydn

    Joseph Haydn Stabat mater H.20bis

    Performer: Nikolaus HARNONCOURT - Cello Performer: Concentus Musicus Vienna

    WARNER, 2564-69939-8

  • Image for François Devienne

    François Devienne Symphonie concertante no. 2 in F major for flute, oboe, bassoon, horn and orchestra

    Performer: Bernard Chapron -flute Performer: Jean-Michel Penot - oboe Performer: Gilbert AUDIN - Bassoon Performer: Daniel Gatalanotti - horn Performer: Orchestre de Chambre Bernard Calmel Performer: Bernard Calmel- conductor

    BNL Production, BNL 112762, 2

  • Image for François-Joseph Gossec

    François-Joseph Gossec Messe des morts

    Conductor: Diego FASOLIS Performer: Claude DARBELLAY - Bass Performer: Gruppo Vocale Cantemus Performer: Italian Swiss Orchestra Performer: Italian Swiss Radio Chorus

    NAXOS, 8.-554750

  • Image for Joseph Haydn

    Joseph Haydn Symphony no. 45 in F sharp minor H.1.45 (Farewell)

    Conductor: Roy GOODMAN Performer: Hanover Band

    Helios, CDH55118

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