Personalities | Etienne-Nicolas Méhul | Early Romantic | Classical

(A-tyen’ Ne-ko-las’ Ma-ül’) 1763–1817
French composer

Méhul is known primarily for his many opéras comiques and for his symphonies. Between 1778 and 1779 he moved to Paris, where he studied with the composer Jean-Frédéric Edelmann. When the Paris Conservatoire was founded in 1795, Méhul was made one of its inspectors. Although heavily influenced by Gluck, he was one of the most original French composers of his time, renowned for his striking innovations in orchestration. Joseph (1807), his most famous opéra comique, was his last important stage work; Méhul became disillusioned with operatic composition and turned to symphonic writing, becoming the most important French composer of symphonies between François-Joseph Gossec (1734–1829) and Berlioz.

Recommended Recording:
Joseph, soloists, NWDR Choir & Orchestra, Hamburg (cond) Wilhelm Schüchter (Gala)

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