Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges Negotiated Commission for Haydn's 'Paris Symphonies'

[Le Mozart Noir: Music of Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges; Tafelmusik Orchestra; Jeanne Lamon, conductor; CBC Records SMCD 5225 (2003)]

The Paris Symphonies are a group of six symphonies written by Joseph Haydn on commission from Count d'Ogny for performance by the Concert de la Loge Olympique in Paris.  Parisians had long been familiar with Haydn's symphonies, which were being printed in Paris as early as 1764.” “The work was composed for a large Parisian orchestra called 'Le Concert de la loge “Olympique"' (Orchestra of the 'Olympic' (Masonic) Lodge). This organization consisted in part of professionals and in part of skilled amateurs. It included 40 violins and ten double basses, an extraordinary size of orchestra for the time.” “They performed in a large theater with boxes in tiers. The performances were patronized by royalty, including Queen Marie Antoinette, who particularly enjoyed the Symphony No 85, giving rise to its nickname.”

“The actual negotiations with Haydn were carried out at Ogny's request by Joseph Boulogne, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the talented leader of the Loge Olympique orchestra. Haydn was paid 25 louis d'or for each symphony plus 5 louis for the French publication rights; the sum was apparently very satisfactory from Haydn's point of view, since the lack of copyright laws had generally prevented him from profiting much from his popularity as a composer.” [Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges and the Concert de la Loge Olympique premiered Haydn's 6 Paris Symphonies,  Nos. 82-87, in a triumphant series of concerts in 1787. Saint-Georges is the subject of several pages at the website AfriClassical.com, covering his biography, fencing career and selected recordings.] 


G. Y. F. said...

Some day, soon, let us hope that history does not continue to be mangled and "omitted" for senseless reasons.

G. Y. F. said...

Some day, soon, history will not always be denied, omitted and obscured.