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On Truth

What We Were, What We Are, What We Ought to Be

André-Ernest-Modest Grétry
Stephen Thomson Moore, Translator
May 1, 2020

435 pp.


ISBN: 9781576473474


Out-of-Print. This book is no longer available from Pendragon Press.


André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry (1741-1813) was born in Liège, Belgium, to a poor violinist, and went on to become one of the most famous and successful composers in Europe, producing a long succession of comic operas for the Parisian stage. Late in life he turned his pen from musical composition to writing prose, producing a volume of Memoirs or Essays on Music in 1789. This was republished in 1797 with additional essays. In 1802 he published a new work, On Truth, or What We Were, What We are, What We Ought To Be, in three volumes. Approaching the end of his life, he was working assiduously on a third and even larger work of philosophy, the Reflections of a Solitary Man. Although he had announced its imminent publication, it was left in manuscript at his death, and was only published more than a century later, by Solvay and Closson (1919-1922). This edition of the Major Prose Works intends to make the writings of this major musical figure available to the reader in an English-language edition for the first time, providing a different view of a leading European cultural figure at the transition from the Classical to the Romantic age.


André-Ernest-Modest Grétry:
Stephen Thomson Moore, Translator: Tom Moore holds degrees in music from Harvard and Stanford and studied traverso with Sandra Miller. He is presently Head of the Sound & Image Department of the Green Library, Florida International University, Miami, Florida. Before moving to Miami he was a freelance translator from Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, and Italian, doing scientific and technical translation in a wide variety of subject areas. His translation from the Italian of Why We Like Music, by Silvia Bencivelli, was published by Music Word Media in 2012. From 2004 to 2007, he was visiting professor of music at the University of Rio de Janeiro (UniRio), where he co-directed the early music ensemble, Camerata Quantz. On traverso he has recorded with Kimberly Reighley and M�lomanie for Lyrichord (USA), and with Le Triomphe de l'Amour for Lyrichord and A Casa Discos (Brazil). He participated as flutist and interviewer for the CD released in Oct. 2006 marking ten years of music for flute by Sergio Roberto de Oliveira. Dr. Moore writes about music for Flute Focus, Flute Talk, Flutist Quarterly, BrazilMax, Musica Brasileira, 21st Century Music, Opera Today, and other journals. He contributes a composer interview to each quarterly issue of Sonograma, published in Barcelona, and has been the CD Review Editor for Early Music America since 2008. He has also sung professionally with the Symphonic Chorus of Rio de Janeiro, including performances of the Mahler symphonies no. 2 and 8 under Karabtschevsky, and with Concert Royal and Pomerium Musices of New York.


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