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François Devienne

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Biography

A celebrated bassoonist and flutist in late seventeenth century France, François Devienne is remembered now for the several concertos he wrote for his own performance, although he also wrote a dozen operas and many chamber works. Devienne's early training seems to have been with family members and locals in his home town of Joinville. His first known professional position was last-stand bassoon at the Paris Opera in 1779; while there, he studied with the orchestra's principal flutist. It's likely, but not confirmed, that Devienne began working as a chamber musician for the Cardinal de Rohan in 1780, and remained there until 1785. It's also possible that, as a Mason, he performed in the Masonic Loge Olympique Orchestra during this time. The first record of a Parisian performance of Devienne's music is in 1780, when someone else premiered one of his bassoon concertos. In 1782 Devienne himself played one of his flute concertos when he gave the first of at least 18 solo performances through 1785 at the Concert Spirituel. His activities during the last half of the decade are unclear; he may have been playing in the Swiss Guards band in Versailles. He was certainly back in Paris by 1790, playing bassoon in what would become the Feydeau Theater, a poorly paid position he would hold until 1801. He also joined the Paris National Guard during this period, where he taught in and administered a music program for children of French soldiers; this was a precursor of the Paris Conservatory, at which he would serve as flute professor. Devienne published a famous method for single-key flute in 1794. Devienne wrote a great number of well-crafted concertos and chamber works for flute and bassoon in the 1790s, as well as many pedagogical pieces, but he was best known in Paris during this period as an opera composer. His fortunes declined suddenly in the new century, though; he died in 1803, four months after being committed to the Charenton insane asylum.
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   Sonata n. 5 in Sol Maggiore: I. Allegro con gusto: I. Allegro con gusto
  3.   Flute Quartet in B minor, Op. 16, No. 3 - I. Largo
  4.   Sonata n. 7 in Mi Minore: I. Allegro poco moderato: I. Allegro poco moderato
  5.   Flute Quartet in D major, Op. 66, No. 2 - I. Allegro
  6.   Sonata n. 5 in Sol Maggiore: III. Tarantella: III. Tarantella
  7.   Clarinet Sonata in B-Flat Major - I. Allegro: Tempo guisto
  8.   Les visitandines - Aria: Enfant cheri des dames
  9.   Quartet in G minor, Op. 73, No. 3 - II. Adagio, non troppo
  10.   Flute Quartet in A minor, Op. 66, No. 1 - II. Adagio
  11.   Flute Quartet in A minor, Op. 66, No. 1 - I. Allegro amabile
  12.   Flute Quartet in C major, Op. 66, No. 3 - III. Rondo allegretto
  13.   Flute Quartet in D major, Op. 66, No. 2 - III. Rondo allegretto
  14.   Bassoon Sonata No. 5 in G minor, Op. 24 - I. Allegro con expressione
  15.   Bassoon Sonata No. 4 in C major, Op. 24 - I. Allegro moderato
  16.   Bassoon Sonata No. 1 in C major, Op. 24 - III. Menuet avec des variations
  17.   Sonata n. 7 in Mi Minore: II. Adagio: II. Adagio
  18.   Sonata n. 6 in Re Maggiore: I. Allegro poco moderato ma non troppo lento: I. Allegro poco moderato ma non troppo lento
  19.   Bassoon Sonata No. 4 in C major, Op. 24 - II. Adagio
  20.   Flute Quartet in B minor, Op. 16, No. 3 - II. Allegro affectuoso
  21.   Bassoon Sonata No. 2 in G major, Op. 24 - II. Adagio
  22.   Flute Quartet in C major, Op. 66, No. 3 - II. Adagio
  23.   Sonata n. 7 in Mi Minore: III. Andante con variazioni: III. Andante con variazioni
  24.   Duo in C minor - II. Adagio
  25.   Quartet in F major, Op. 73, No. 2 - I. Allegro
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