La Sinfonia parigina
In 1778 Mozart was spending several months in the French capital of Paris. He clearly must have met François-Joseph Gossec there, for Gossec was the undisputed master of the symphonic form in Paris at that time. Haydn’s music had already been presented at the Concert Spirituel five years before Mozart’s arrival in Paris; a symphony of his was included for the first time in the 906th Concert Spirituel on 7 April 1773. The entire programme of this recording devoted to the 20th anniversary of the Agrémens and their director Guy Van Waas is of music from this period, hence the emphasis that we have placed in these recordings on music by Walloon composers; our musicians have become their ambassadors and as such remind us of the important role that their forerunners played in Parisian musical life at the end of the 18th century. Before we enter the realm of the symphony and the concerto, we follow Leopold Mozart’s advice to his son and consider the career of André-Modeste Grétry, one of the inventors of the opéra-comique genre.