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Hymne à la Victoire

Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842)

Hymne à la Victoire

Percussion also had an important role, and in 1793 Cherubini was offered the post of triangle player in the French revolutionary band, supposedly after being arrested by a mob of sans-culottes who were roaming Paris in search of musicians to accompany their singing. He also became Inspector of Instruction at the band’s school, and in 1796 wrote Hymne à la Victoire for a fête to celebrate the recent fall of Milan to the French army. In the same year, Xavier Lefèvre, the band’s deputy conductor since 1790, wrote Hymn à l’agriculture for the Fête à l’agriculture on 28th June. Is it possible that Beethoven had heard Lefevre’s introduction by the time he wrote the finale of the Pastoral Symphony over a decade later?

© John Humphries


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