Overtures to Gaspare Spontini‘s La Vestale & Fernand Cortez, arranged for two flutes (parts)
Gebauer, Etienne Jean François
Etienne Jean François Gebauer
Overture of La Vestale, grand opera by G. Spontini, arranged for two flutes (ca 1807?)
Overture of Fernand Cortez, music by G. Spontini, arranged for two flutes (ca 1809?)
(Versailles, 7 March 1776 – Paris, ? 1823)
The flautist and composer Etienne Gebauer studied under his elder brother, the oboist, conductor and composer Michel Joseph Gebauer (1763-1812) and under the renowned flautist and teacher Antoine Hugot (1761-1803). From 1801 onwards, he was attached to the orchestra of the Opéra-Comique, first as second flute and from 1813 onwards as first flute. He composed more than one hundred pieces for flute solo and created numerous successful arrangements of fragments of opera for diverse instrumental duos. His arrangements illustrate clearly which operas were popular in the Parisian opera houses at the time. It is therefore an obvious choice that he also created different arrangements of pieces of Parisian operas by Gaspare Spontini (1774-1851), including:
– Julie, ou le pot de fleurs (1805): arrangements of the overture for two violins and two flutes;
– La Vestale (1807): arrangements of the overture for two flutes and two clarinets,
and an arrangement for wind orchestra;
– Fernand Cortez (1809): arrangement of the overture for two flutes and concert band.
In these two arrangements, Gebauer demonstrates his skills in the way he, despite the restrictions of a flute duo, succeeds in conveying the beauty, expressivity and grandeur of these two heroic Spontini overtures.
These arrangements were published in Paris by the Mademoiselles Erard, i.e. Marie Françoise and Catherine-Barbe Marcoux, cousins of the instrument makers Sébastien and Jean-Baptiste Erard. Spontini, who would later marry Céleste Erard (the daughter of Jean-Baptiste), had his Parisian operas published by the Erards.
(Tanslation: Jasmien Dewilde)
Facsimile of a score housed in the library of the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp (KVC 207.608-207.609). This score was published in collaboration with the nonprofit Study Centre for Flemish Music (www.svm.be) and the Province of Antwerp and is part of a project regarding four autograph manuscripts by Gaspare Spontini that were retrieved at the d’Ursel Castle in Hingene.