Personalities | André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry | Classical Era | Classical
(An-dra Âr-nest’ Mo-dest’ Gra’-tre) 1741–1813
Belgian (French) composer
Born in Liège, Grétry studied in Rome and in 1767 settled in Paris. With the success the next year of Le Huron he quickly became the leading composer of opéra comique, having particular successes with Zémire et Azor (1771), La caravane du Caire (‘The Caravan of Cairo’, 1783) and Richard Coeur-de-Lion (‘Richard the Lionheart’, 1784); he also wrote, less successfully, for the Opéra, although he helped fuse the comic and the serious in parallel to developments in Italian opera. He was a gifted melodist, drawing on Italian traditions as well as those of French declamation, and he was lauded at the time – and is remembered now – for his effective characterization, a talent achieved through his fresh, expressive music.
Le jugement de Midas (excerpts), soloists, La Petite Bande (cond) Gustav Leonhardt (Ricercar)
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