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Home -> Composers -> Saint-Georges, Le Chevalier de -> Symphonies


Saint-Georges Symphonies

Selected Recordings


Table of Contents

  1 CBC SMCD 5225 
  2 Avenira AV 9985 2E
  3 Avenira AV 9987 2E
  4 Avenira AV 9988 2E
  5 Avenira AV 9989 2E
  6 Arion 55434

  7 Assai 222662
  8 Calliope 9373
  9 Avenira AV 276017
10 Avenira AV 276018


Audio Samples: CDs 2, 3 & 5

(1) CBC SMCD 5225 (2003)
Symphony in G Major, Op. 11, No. 1
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra; Jeanne Lamon, Conductor; CBC Records SMCD 5225 (2003).  Le Mozart Noir  also includes the  Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 3, No. 1  as well as the overture and ballet excerpts from the comic opera  L'amant anonyme [The Anonymous Lover].  François-Joseph Gossec (1734-1829) and Jean-Marie Leclair (1697-1764) are also represented on the disc by examples of their own compositions.  Gossec taught music to Saint-Georges, and Leclair may also have done so.

(2) Avenira AV 9985 2E (2000)
Symphony in D Major, Op. 11, No. 2 (11:45)

(3) Avenira AV 9987 2E (2000)
Symphony Concertante in A Major, Opus 10, No. 2  (14:47)
Symphony Concertante in E Flat Major, Opus 12 (13:44)

(4) Avenira AV 9988 2E (2000)
Symphony Concertante in F Major, Opus 10, No. 1 (10:59)

(5) Avenira AV 9989 2E (2000)
Symphony Concertante in C Major, Opus 9, No.1  (14:09);
Symphony Concertante in A Major, Opus 9, No. 2 (17:46)

Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges was a pioneer of the form known as symphony concertante, which pairs two or more soloists with an orchestra.  On all three CDs the soloists are Jiri Zilak, Violin, and Jan Motlik, Alto.  The Radio Symphony Orchestra of Pilsen is conducted by Frantisek Preisler.

Le Fleuret et l'Archet [Foil & Bow],  published by the Departmental Archives of Guadeloupe in 2001, says [Translation from French]:

With musical life at its height, focusing on concerts and on flourishing publishing activity, Paris saw the emergence, around 1770, of a new musical genre: the symphonie concertante.  Derived from the Italian concerto grosso, it gave the most attractive part of the performance of the entire symphony to a
dialogue allowed between two or three instruments. The symphonie concertante can be defined as a concerto with several solo instruments, varying from two to seven.  This galante genre of expression replaced the rocaille style of the preceding musical epoch. The galante style is based at once on virtuosity and on the power of melodicattraction. The choice of instruments is left to the imagination of the composer (two violins, two violins and alto, harpsichord and pianoforte, two clarinets, horn, bassoon, oboe and clarinet...).  Between 1770 and 1830, more than two hundred symphonies concertantes were composed and published in the capital, making Paris one of the premier musical centers of Europe.

(6) Arion 55434 (1998)
Symphony in G Major, Op. 11, No. 1
Symphony in D Major, Op. 11, No. 2
Anne-Claude Villars, Principal Violin; Chamber Orchestra of Versailles; Bernard Wahl, Conductor; Arion 55434 (1998)

(7) Assai 222662 (2004)
Symphony in G Major, Op. 11, No. 1
Symphony in D Major, Op. 11, No. 2
Stéphanie-Marie Degand, Violin; Le Parlement de Musique; Martin
Gester, Conductor; Assai 222662 (2004)

(8) Calliope 9373 (2007)
Symphony Concertante in G Major for 2 Violins, Op. 1, No. 3
Christophe Guiot and Bertrand Cervera, Violins; Les Archets de Paris;
Calliope 9373 (2007)

(9) Avenira AV 276017 (2008)
Symphony Concertante in C Major, Op. 6, No. 1
Symphony Concertante in B-flat Major, Op. 6, No. 2
Symphony Concertante in C Major, Op. 9, No. 1
Symphony Concertante in A Major, Op. 9, No. 2
Miroslav Vilímec, Jiří Žilák and Michal Pospíšil, Violins; Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra; Jiří Malát and František Preisler, Conductors; Avenira AV 276017 (2008).  Michelle Garnier-Panafieu writes in the liner notes:

With Giuseppe Maria Cambini and Jean-Baptiste Davaux, Saint-George was among the composers who excelled in the genre that was to survive the Revolution and to persist into the nineteenth century under the title of double concerto or triple concerto (we are, of course, thinking of Beethoven).

Saint-George composed eight symphonies concertantes: two Opus 6, two Opus 9, two Opus 10, one Opus 12 and one Opus 13.  They were published between 1775 and 1782, his most productive years as a composer, when he was at the forefront of Parisian musical life as conductor of the Concert des Amateurs, then of the Concert de la Loge Olympique.  So it was after acquiring ample experience in the composition of violin concertos - by 1775, when his two Concertos Opus 5 were published, he had already brought out six - that he explored the expressive possibilities of this new hybrid genre, half-way between the symphony and the concerto.

Only the second of his symphonies concertantes (Op. 6, No. 2) is in three movements; the others are in two (Allegro with cadential ornamentation, and Rondeau), following the general rule that was in force around 1775.  They require reasonable virtuosity of the soloists and their appeal lies above all in their charm and elegance, with melodic fluidity and grace always prominent.

(10) Avenira AV 276018 (2008)
Symphony Concertante in F Major, Op. 10, No. 1
Symphony Concertante in A Major, Op. 10, No. 2
Symphony Concertante in E-flat Major, Op. 12, No. 1
Symphony Concertante in G Major, Op. 13, No. 2
Jiří Žilák, Michal Pospíšil and Jan Motlik, Violins; Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra; František Preisler, Conductor; Avenira AV 276018 (2008)


This page was last updated on January 3, 2021

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