The New Colorado Festival Orchestra will present the music of the French composer, Théodore Gouvy (1819-1898). Gouvy was very well known by all of the composers of the 19th Century, and was good friend of Berlioz, Liszt, and Grieg. Berlioz wrote of Gouvy, “I found such beauty and the most serious meaning of this term in one of Gouvy’s symphonies. There should be more space than I have here to pay even half enough homage to a remarkable composition, whose adagio, conceived in the newly written form and on a huge stage, but as much astonishment as admiration to me…” In the late 1800s, the New York Philharmonic commissioned works from Gouvy. He was recently re-discovered in France, and now there is a Gouvy Institute in the town where he lived, Hombourg-Haut. In addition, there have been many recordings made of his music in Europe.
The six concerts that the NCFO plans to produce will consist of his songs, four-hand piano sonatas, string chamber music, woodwind chamber music, the Stabat Mater combined with a symphony on the same program, and his Requiem Mass and a Symphony. The wealth of this music deserves to be rediscovered in the United States. This will be the only undertaking of its kind in the United States and will certainly demonstrate his musical relevance.
The committed performers will come from professional organizations in the Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins area, and some will travel from universities in the United States and Rome, Italy. There will also be lectures and seminars presented by the guest artists. After the Gouvy Festival has concluded, the New Colorado Festival Orchestra will be maintained in existence to give yearly performances of rare and obscure music, in addition to music of the avant-garde.