Guy Van Waas / Les Agrémens

The Parisian Symphony

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The development of the Classical symphony is usually associated with Germanic composers, first through the efforts of the sons of J.S. Bach and the Stamitzes of the Mannheim school, then later with Franz Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven. But the symphony was by no means limited to this nationality or region, since others went to Paris to take advantage of its orchestral concerts, which promoted symphonies and concertos as the chief forms. Such composers as André-Modeste Grétry, François-Joseph Gossec, Dieudonné-Pascal Pieltain, Antoine-Frédéric Gresnick, and Ludwig August Lebrun are little known figures today, though their inclusion in Les Agrémens' 20th anniversary box set, The Parisian Symphony, provides a context for the symphony's growth in France and its subsequent importance to French Romanticism. These performances, led by the group's director and founder, Guy van Waas, are delivered in period style, with a bright, scintillating sound that is more closely associated with the rococo than with later Classicism. Whether the selections are evenly matched is another matter entirely, since the music of the lesser-lights hardly compares with the symphonies by Haydn and Beethoven, which seem to have been included mostly for the sake of comparison. The seventh disc in this set is an assortment of single-movement pieces by prominent figures of the time, including Antonio Salieri, Christoph Willibald Gluck, J.C. Bach, Étienne-Nicolas Méhul, and Gaspare Spontini, among others, who serve as links between the Classical style and the Revolutionary period that led to Beethoven.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Céphale et Procris (Airs de L'Aurore)
1 01:29 Amazon
2 05:25 Amazon
3 03:21 Amazon
4 02:13 Amazon
5 03:48 Amazon
6 02:24 Amazon
7 05:45 Amazon
8 02:56 Amazon
9 02:57 Amazon
10 01:27 Amazon
11 03:35 Amazon
Les Deux Avares (Airs d'Henriette)
12 04:52 Amazon
13 03:11 Amazon
14 03:09 Amazon
Anacréon chez Polycrate (Air d'Anais)
15 01:48 Amazon
16 01:34 Amazon
17 03:33 Amazon
La Caravane du Caire (Air de l'esclave italienne)
18 03:15 Amazon
19 07:35 Amazon
Concerto en do majeur, pour flûte et orchestre
20 04:48 Amazon
21 03:17 Amazon
22 04:49 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Grande Symphonie No. 1 en mi bémol majeur, Op. 8/1
1 04:35 Amazon
2 02:36 Amazon
3 04:00 Amazon
4 03:28 Amazon
Grande Symphonie No. 2 en fa majeur, Op. 8/2
5 01:29 Amazon
6 04:52 Amazon
7 03:33 Amazon
8 04:26 Amazon
Grande Symphonie No. 5 en mi bémol majeur, Op. 8/5
9 05:26 Amazon
10 04:46 Amazon
11 03:56 Amazon
12 03:59 Amazon
Sabinus (Suite de ballets)
13 03:51 Amazon
14 03:46 Amazon
15 01:59 Amazon
16 02:42 Amazon
17 01:58 Amazon
18 06:30 Amazon
Symphonie concertante en ré majeur, pour violon, violoncelle et orchestre
19 06:51 Amazon
20 04:38 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Symphonie à Grande Orchestre en mi bémol majeur, Op. 12 No. 5
1 05:02 Amazon
2 04:58 Amazon
3 03:28 Amazon
Symphonie à Grande Orchestre en ré majeur, Op. 12 No. 1
4 04:59 Amazon
5 04:41 Amazon
6 04:35 Amazon
Concerto en si bémol majeur, pour clarinette et orchestre
7 06:47 Amazon
8 03:35 Amazon
9 04:34 Amazon
Symphonie en do majeur, Op. 12 No. 3
10 07:13 Amazon
11 05:51 Amazon
12 03:19 Amazon
Symphonie D-Dur, VB 143
13 09:08 Amazon
14 04:55 Amazon
15 04:32 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 7

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Les Danaïdes
1 06:14 Amazon
Ipsiboé (Air d'Ipsiboé)
2 06:06 Amazon
Alceste (Air d'Alceste)
3 03:55 Amazon
Phèdre (Air de Phèdre)
4 04:57 Amazon
Amadis de Gaule (Air d'Arcabonne)
5 02:09 Amazon
Iphigénie en Tauride (Air d'Iphigénie)
6 03:37 Amazon
Orphée et Eurydice
7 05:12 Amazon
8 04:03 Amazon
Valentine de Milan (Air de Valentine)
9 03:40 Amazon
Lasthénie (Air de Lasthénie)
10 03:57 Amazon
Olympie (Air de Statira)
11 09:34 Amazon
Symphonie No. 2 en ré majeur
12 07:01 Amazon
13 03:44 Amazon
14 04:57 Amazon
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