François-Joseph Gossec was a French composer of operas, string quartets and choral works. The son of a small farmer, Gossec was born at the village of Vergnies a French exclave in the Austrian Netherlands, now in Belgium. Showing an early taste for music, he became a choir-boy in Antwerp, he was taken on by the composer Jean-Philippe Rameau. He followed Rameau as the conductor of a private orchestra kept by the fermier général Le Riche de La Poupelinière, a wealthy amateur and patron of music, he became determined to do something to revive the study of instrumental music in France. Gossec's own first symphony was performed in 1754, as conductor to the Prince de Condé's orchestra he produced several operas and other compositions of his own, he imposed his influence on French music with remarkable success. His Requiem premiered in a ninety-minute piece which made him famous overnight. Years in 1778, Mozart visited Gossec during a trip to Paris, described him in a letter to his father as "a good friend and a dry man".
Gossec founded the Concert des Amateurs in 1769 and in 1773 he reorganised the Concert Spirituel together with Simon Leduc and Pierre Gaviniès. In this concert series he conducted his own symphonies as well as those by his contemporaries works by Joseph Haydn, whose music had become popular in Paris even superseding Gossec's symphonic work. In the 1780s Gossec's symphonic output decreased, he organized the École de Chant in 1784, together with Etienne Méhul, was conductor of the band of the Garde Nationale of the French Revolution, was appointed inspector of the Conservatoire de Musique at its creation in 1795. He was a chevalier of the Legion of Honour. In 1815, after the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, the Conservatoire was closed for some time by Louis XVIII, the eighty-one-year-old Gossec had to retire; until 1817 he worked on his last compositions, including a third Te Deum, was supported by a pension granted by the Conservatoire. He died in the Parisian suburb of Passy; the funeral service was attended by former colleagues, including Cherubini, at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
His grave is near those of Grétry. Some of his techniques anticipated the innovations of the Romantic era: he scored his Te Deum for 1200 singers and 300 wind instruments, several oratorios require the physical separation of multiple choirs, including invisible ones behind the stage, he wrote several works in honor of the French revolution, including Le Triomphe de la République, L'Offrande à la Liberté. While most people would have difficulty recognizing Gossec's Gavotte by its title, the melody itself remains familiar in the United States and elsewhere because Carl Stalling used an arrangement of it in several Warner Brothers cartoons, he was little known outside France, his own numerous compositions and secular, were overshadowed by those of more famous composers. Sei sinfonie a più strumenti, Op. 4 Sei sinfonie a più strumenti, Op. 5 Six symphonies, Op. 6 Six symphonies à grand orchestre, Op. 12 Deux symphonies Symphonie n° 1 Symphonie n° 2 Symphonie en fa majeur Symphonie de chasse Symphonie en ré Symphonie en ré Symphonie concertante en fa majeur n° 2, à plusieurs instruments Symphonie en do majeur for wind orchestra Symphonie à 17 parties en fa majeur Gavotte Allegretto Sei sonate a due violini e basso, Op. 1 Sei quartetti per flauto e violino o sia per due violini, alto e basso, Op. 14 Six quatuors à deux violons, alto et basse, Op. 15 Messe des morts La Nativité, oratorio Te Deum Te Deum à la Fête de la Fédération for three voices, men's chorus and wind orchestra Hymne sur la translation du corps de Voltaire au Panthéon for three voices, men's chorus and wind orchestra Le Chant du 14 juillet for three voices, men's chorus and wind orchestra Dernière messe des vivants, for four voices and orchestra Le tonnelier, opéra comique Le faux Lord, opéra comique Les pêcheurs, opéra comique en 1 act Toinon et Toinette, opéra comique Le double déguisement, opéra comique Les agréments d'Hylas et Sylvie, pastorale Sabinus, tragédie lyrique Berthe, opera Alexis et Daphné, pastorale Philémon et Baucis, pastorale La fête de village, intermezzo Thésée, tragédie lyrique Nitocris, opera Rosine, ou L'épouse abandonnée, opera Le triomphe de la République, ou Le camp de Grandpré, divertissement-lyrique en 1 acte, – includes a famous Tambourin.
Les sabots et le cerisier, opera Thibaut, W. François Joseph Gossec, Chantre de la Révolution française and detailed work list François-Joseph Gossec: "Le Tyrtée de la Révolution" – the official composer of the French Revolution Free scores by François-Joseph Gossec at the International Music Score Library Project Free scores by François-Joseph Gossec in the Choral Public Domain Library
Givet is a commune in the Ardennes department in northern France close to the Belgian border. It lies on the river Meuse, it borders the French municipalities of Fromelennes to the east and Rancennes to the south and Foisches to the southeast. On, another building was added to the fort, the Caserne Rougé, the longest barracks of France at that time, named after Pierre François, Marquis de Rougé, general of the French armies k.a. 1761. The town's history claims that Saint Hubert lived there in 720 ).and performed a miracle. The town has changed hands several times since the Roman era before becoming part of France in 1678, was invaded by Russians and Germans. In World War II, Givet was occupied by the Germans on May 12, 1940; the city was liberated September 7, 1944. By December 1944, 11,000 American soldiers were billeted in the ancient Charlemont fortress; the German Ardennes Offensive targeted its crossing of the Meuse. The British, under Montgomery, organized a last-ditch defense, on 24 December, the German drive was stopped about 10 kilometers from Givet.
Givet is the birth place of writer Henry Bidou and oboist Gilles Silvestrini Communes of the Ardennes department INSEE Official Web site Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Givet". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press
A harpsichord is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. This activates a row of levers that turn a trigger mechanism that plucks one or more strings with a small plectrum; the term denotes the whole family of similar plucked-keyboard instruments, including the smaller virginals and spinet. The harpsichord was used in Renaissance and Baroque music. During the late 18th century, with the rise of the piano, it disappeared from the musical scene. In the 20th century, it made a resurgence, being used in informed performances of older music, in new compositions, in certain styles of popular music. Harpsichords vary in size and shape; the player depresses a key that rocks over a pivot in the middle of its length. The other end of the key lifts a jack; when the player releases the key, the far end returns to its rest position, the jack falls back. As the key reaches its rest position, a felt damper atop the jack stops the string's vibrations; these basic principles are explained in detail below.
The keylever is a simple pivot, which rocks on a balance pin that passes through a hole drilled through the keylever. The jack is a rectangular piece of wood that sits upright on the end of the keylever; the jacks are held in place by the registers. These are two long strips of wood, which run in the gap between bellyrail; the registers have rectangular mortises through which the jacks pass as they can move down. The registers hold the jacks in the precise location needed to pluck the string. In the jack, a plectrum juts out horizontally and passes just under the string. Plectra were made of bird quill or leather; when the front of the key is pressed, the back of the key rises, the jack is lifted, the plectrum plucks the string. The vertical motion of the jack is stopped by the jackrail, covered with soft felt to muffle the impact; when the key is released, the jack falls back down under its own weight, the plectrum passes back under the string. This is made possible by having the plectrum held in a tongue attached with a pivot and a spring to the body of the jack.
The bottom surface of the plectrum is cut at a slant. When the jack arrives in lowered position, the felt damper touches the string, causing the note to cease; each string is wound around a tuning pin at the end of the string closer to the player. When rotated with a wrench or tuning hammer, the tuning pin adjusts the tension so that the string sounds the correct pitch. Tuning pins are held in holes drilled in the pinblock or wrestplank, an oblong hardwood plank. Proceeding from the tuning pin, a string next passes over the nut, a sharp edge, made of hardwood and is attached to the wrestplank; the section of the string beyond the nut forms its vibrating length, plucked and creates sound. At the other end of its vibrating length, the string passes over the bridge, another sharp edge made of hardwood; as with the nut, the horizontal position of the string along the bridge is determined by a vertical metal pin inserted into the bridge, against which the string rests. The bridge itself rests on a soundboard, a thin panel of wood made of spruce, fir or—in some Italian harpsichords—cypress.
The soundboard efficiently transduces the vibrations of the strings into vibrations in the air. A string is attached at its far end by a loop to a hitchpin. While many harpsichords have one string per note, more elaborate harpsichords can have two or more strings for each note; when there are multiple strings for each note, these additional strings are called "choirs" of strings. This provides two advantages: the ability to vary ability to vary tonal quality. Volume is increased when the mechanism of the instrument is set up by the player so that the press of a single key plucks more than one string. Tonal quality can be varied in two ways. First, different choirs of strings can be designed to have distinct tonal qualities by having one set of strings plucked closer to the nut, which emphasizes the higher harmonics, produces a "nasal" sound quality; the mechanism of the instrument, called "stops" permits the player to select the other. Second, having one key pluck two strings at once changes not just volume but tonal quality.
A vivid effect is obtained when the strings plucked are an octave apart. This is heard by the ear not as two pitches but as one: the sound of the higher string is blended with that of the lower one, the ear hears the lower pitch, enriched in tonal quality by the additional strength in the upper harmonics of the note sounded by the higher string; when describing a harpsichord it is customary to specify its choirs of strings called its disposition. Strings at eight foot pitch sound at the normal expected pitch, strings at four foot pitch sound
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, based in London, was formed by Sir Thomas Beecham in 1946. In its early days the orchestra secured profitable recording contracts and important engagements including the Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the concerts of the Royal Philharmonic Society. After Beecham's death in 1961 the orchestra's fortunes declined steeply. Since Beecham's death the RPO has had seven chief conductors, including Rudolf Kempe, Antal Doráti, André Previn and Vladimir Ashkenazy. Others associated with the orchestra have included Sir Charles Groves, Sir Charles Mackerras, Peter Maxwell Davies, Yehudi Menuhin and Leopold Stokowski. In 2004 the orchestra acquired its first permanent London base, at the new Cadogan Hall in Chelsea; the RPO gives concerts at the Royal Festival Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and venues around the UK and other countries. From its earliest days the orchestra has been active in the recording studios, making film soundtracks and numerous gramophone recordings. In 1932 the conductor Sir Thomas Beecham had founded the London Philharmonic Orchestra, with the backing of rich supporters, he ran until 1940, when finances dried up in wartime.
Beecham left to conduct in Australia and the US. On Beecham's return to England in September 1944 the LPO welcomed him back, in October they gave a concert together that drew superlatives from the critics. Over the next months Beecham and the orchestra gave further concerts with considerable success, but the LPO players, now their own employers, declined to give him the unfettered control he had exercised in the 1930s. If he were to become chief conductor again it would be as a paid employee of the orchestra. Beecham responded, "I emphatically refuse to be wagged by any orchestra... I am going to found one more great orchestra to round off my career." In 1945 he conducted the first concert of Walter Legge's new Philharmonia Orchestra, but was not disposed to accept a salaried position from Legge, his former assistant, any more than from his former players in the LPO. His new orchestra to rival the Philharmonia would, he told Legge, be launched in "the most auspicious circumstances and éclat".
In 1946 Beecham reached an agreement with the Royal Philharmonic Society: his orchestra would replace the LPO at all the Society's concerts. He thus gained the right to name the new ensemble the "Royal Philharmonic Orchestra", an arrangement approved by George VI. Beecham arranged with the Glyndebourne Festival that the RPO should be the resident orchestra at Glyndebourne seasons, he secured backing, including that of record companies in the US as well as Britain, with whom lucrative recording contracts were negotiated. The music critic Lyndon Jenkins writes: Naturally, it became known that he was planning another orchestra, at which the cry "He'll never get the players!" went up just as it had done in 1932. Beecham was unmoved: "I always get the players," he retorted. "Among other considerations, they are so good they refuse to play under anybody but me". Beecham appointed Victor Olof as his orchestral manager, they started recruiting. At the top of their list were leading musicians with whom Beecham had worked before the war.
Four had been founder members of the LPO fifteen years previously: Reginald Kell, Gerald Jackson, James Bradshaw and Jack Silvester. From the current LPO they engaged the oboist Peter Newbury. Beecham persuaded the veteran bassoonist Archie Camden, pursuing a solo career, to return to orchestral work; the cellos were led by Raymond Clark, enlisted from the BBC Symphony Orchestra. The principal horn player was Dennis Brain, who held the same post in Legge's Philharmonia, but managed to play for both orchestras. Jenkins speculates that as Beecham knew all Britain's orchestral leaders at first hand he decided not to try to lure any of them away, his choice was John Pennington, first violin of the London String Quartet from 1927 to 1934, had had a career in the US as concertmaster, successively, of the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Paramount Pictures orchestras. On 11 September 1946 the Royal Philharmonic assembled for its first rehearsal. Four days it gave its first concert, at the Davis Theatre, Croydon.
Beecham telegraphed a colleague, "Press unanimous in praise of orchestra. First Croydon concert huge success". Beecham and the orchestra played a series of out-of-town engagements before venturing a first London concert on 26 October; the Times spoke of "a hall filled with golden tone which enveloped the listener". Before its London debut the orchestra made its first recording, within two years had made more than 100. Within a few months Pennington was forced to resign when the British Musicians' Union discovered that he was not one of its members, he was succeeded by his deputy Oscar Lampe, "a man who eschewed most social graces but played the violin divinely", according to Jenkins. In the early days the orchestra comprised 72 players all on yearly contract to Beecham, giving him first call on their services, subject to reasonable notice, but not otherwise restricting their freedom to play for other ensembles. A review of the London orchestral scene of the late 1940s said of the RPO and its main rival: "The Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic share a serious disability: that n
The Bourbon Restoration was the period of French history following the first fall of Napoleon in 1814, his final defeat in the Hundred Days in 1815, until the July Revolution of 1830. The brothers of the executed Louis XVI came to power, reigned in conservative fashion, they were nonetheless unable to reverse most of the changes made by the French Revolution and Napoleon. At the Congress of Vienna they were treated respectfully, but had to give up nearly all the territorial gains made since 1789. Following the French Revolution, Napoleon became ruler of France. After years of expansion of his French Empire by successive military victories, a coalition of European powers defeated him in the War of the Sixth Coalition, ended the First Empire in 1814, restored the monarchy to the brothers of Louis XVI; the Bourbon Restoration lasted from 6 April 1814 until the popular uprisings of the July Revolution of 1830. There was an interlude in spring 1815—the "Hundred Days"—when the return of Napoleon forced the Bourbons to flee France.
When Napoleon was again defeated by the Seventh Coalition, they returned to power in July. During the Restoration, the new Bourbon regime was a constitutional monarchy, unlike the absolutist Ancien Régime, so it had some limits on its power; the new king, Louis XVIII, accepted the vast majority of reforms instituted from 1792 to 1814. Continuity was his basic policy, he did not try to recover property taken from the royalist exiles. He continued in peaceful fashion the main objectives of Napoleon's foreign policy, such as the limitation of Austrian influence, he reversed Napoleon regarding Spain and the Ottoman Empire, in order to restore the friendship that had prevailed until 1792. The period was characterized by a sharp conservative reaction, consequent minor but consistent occurrences of civil unrest and disturbances. Otherwise, the political establishment was stable until the late reign of Charles X, it saw the reestablishment of the Catholic Church as a major power in French politics. Throughout the Bourbon Restoration, France experienced a period of stable economic prosperity and the preliminaries of industrialization.
The eras of the French Revolution and Napoleon brought a series of major changes to France which the Bourbon Restoration did not reverse. First of all, France became centralized, with all important decisions made in Paris; the political geography was reorganized and made uniform. France was divided into more than 80 departments; each department had an identical administrative structure, was controlled by a prefect appointed by Paris. The complex multiple overlapping legal jurisdictions of the old regime had all been abolished, there was now one standardized legal code, administered by judges appointed by Paris, supported by police under national control; the Catholic Church lost all its lands and buildings during the Revolution, these were sold off or came under the control of local governments. The bishop still ruled his diocese, communicated with the pope through the government in Paris. Bishops, priests and other religious people were paid salaries by the state. All the old religious rites and ceremonies were retained, the government maintained the religious buildings.
The Church was allowed to operate its own seminaries and to some extent local schools as well, although this became a central political issue into the 20th century. Bishops were much less powerful than before, had no political voice. However, the Catholic Church reinvented itself and put a new emphasis on personal religiosity that gave it a hold on the psychology of the faithful. Public education was centralized, with the Grand Master of the University of France controlling every element of the national educational system from Paris. New technical universities were opened in Paris which to this day have a critical role in training the elite. Conservatism was bitterly split into the returning old aristocracy and the new elites arising after 1796; the old aristocracy felt no loyalty to the new regime. The new elite, the "noblesse d'empire," ridiculed the older group as an outdated remnant of a discredited regime that had led the nation to disaster. Both groups shared a fear of social disorder, but the level of distrust as well as the cultural differences were too great, the monarchy too inconsistent in its policies, for political cooperation to be possible.
The old aristocracy recovered much of the land they had owned directly. However, they lost all their old seigneurial rights to the rest of the farmland, the peasants were no longer under their control; the old aristocracy had dallied with the ideas of the rationalism. Now the aristocracy was supportive of the Catholic Church. For the best jobs, meritocracy was the new policy, aristocrats had to compete directly with the growing business and professional class. Public anti-clerical sentiment became stronger than before, but was now based in certain elements of the middle class and the peasantry; the great masses of French people were peasants in the countryside or impoverished workers in the cities. They gained a new sense of possibilities. Although relieved of many of the old burdens and taxes, the peasantry was still traditional in its social and economic behavior. Many eagerly took on mortgages to buy as much land as possible for their children, so debt was an important factor in their calculations.
The working class in the cities was a small element, had been freed of many restrictions imposed
Ariodante is an opera seria in three acts by George Frideric Handel. The anonymous Italian libretto was based on a work by Antonio Salvi, which in turn was adapted from Canti 4, 5 and 6 of Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso; each act contains opportunities for dance composed for dancer Marie Sallé and her company. The opera was first performed in the Covent Garden Theatre, London, on 8 January 1735. Ariodante opened Handel's first season at Covent Garden and competed against the rival Opera of the Nobility, supported by the Prince of Wales. Handel had the tacit and financial support of the King and Queen and, more vocally, of the Princess Royal; the opera received 11 performances during its premiere season at Covent Garden. Like Handel's other works in the opera seria genre, despite its initial success, fell into oblivion for nearly two hundred years. An edition of the score was published from the Hallische Händel-Ausgabe. In the 1970s, the work began to be revived, has come to be considered one of Handel's finest operas.
On 29 March 1971, the Handel Society of New York performed the American premiere of the work in a concert version with mezzo-soprano Sophia Steffan in the title role and Judith Raskin as Ginevra. Charles Cudworth has discussed the influence of French dance music in the opera. Winton Dean has noted that act 2 of the opera, in its original version, is the only act in a Handel opera which ends with accompanied recitative; the German-born Handel had brought Italian opera to London stages for the first time in 1711 with his opera Rinaldo. An enormous success, Rinaldo created a craze in London for Italian opera seria, a form focused overwhelmingly on solo arias for the star virtuoso singers. Handel had presented new operas in London for years with great success. One of the major attractions in Handel's operas was the star castrato Senesino whose relationship with the composer was stormy and who left Handel's company to appear with the rival Opera of the Nobility, set up in 1733. Handel moved to another theatre, Covent Garden, engaged different singers.
The new theatre at Covent Garden, run by impresario John Rich, added the attraction of a troupe of dancers led by the celebrated Marie Sallé, so Handel's two new operas for 1735, "Ariodante" and "Alcina" both include dance sequences, for the first time in Handel opera for London. The singers for whom Handel wrote "Ariodante" included a young soprano, Cecilia Young, whom he had not worked with before, considered by contemporary musicologist Charles Burney to be the finest English soprano of the day, the virtouso castrato Carestini, whose astonishing technique and huge vocal range Handel made full use of in the scena "E vivo ancora? E senza il ferro? oh Dei!... Scherza infida in grembo al drudo" and in the jubilant and bravura "Dopo notte, atra e funesta". Medieval Scotland. Ginevra, daughter of the King, is betrothed to Prince Ariodante, she rejects the amorous advances of the Duke of Albany, who cruelly tricks Ariodante and Ginevra's father into believing that Ginevra has been unfaithful. Ariodante attempts suicide and Ginevra is condemned, but after a challenge to a duel by Lurcanio, Ariodante's brother, the dying Polinesso admits his plot and the lovers are reunited.
The royal cabinet, in the palace Princess Ginevra, in front of her mirror, is adorning herself to make herself beautiful for her beloved.. Polinesso, Duke of Albany, bursts into the room and, thinking that having the king's daughter as his sweetheart would advance his prospects, declares his love for her. Ginevra indignantly leaves. Dalinda, secretly in love with Polinesso, advises him that his rival is Prince Ariodante but advises him that all he has to do is open his eyes to see someone else who loves him. Left alone, Polinesso can see that Dalinda is in love with him and plans to use her to thwart his rival and win Ginevra for himself; the royal gardens Ariodante sings of. Ginevra joins him and they pledge their love; the King joins the lovers, gives them his blessing, orders his courtier Odoardo to make the preparations for the wedding. Alone, Ariodante swears to be faithful to Ginevra. Polinesso hatches his plot – he tells Dalinda that if she will dress as Ginevra that evening and invite him into her apartments, he will be hers.
Lurcanio, Ariodante's brother appears to Dalinda and declares his love for her but she has lost her heart to Polinesso. A delightful valley Ariodante and Ginevra enjoy each other's company, they are joined by shepherdesses who dance to entertain them. By ancient ruins, within sight of Ginevra's apartments. Ariodante refuses to believe it; this is all being observed by Lurcanio, hidden. Polinesso tells Ariodante to watch as "Ginevra" Dalinda wearing Ginevra's clothes, admits Polinesso into her bedroom for the night. Ariodante is in despair and wants to die but Lurcanio comes from the shadows and advises Ariodante to live, seek revenge. Ariodante sadly bewails his beloved's infidelity; as day breaks and Dalinda emerge from the palace. Polinesso promises he w
Sir Thomas Beecham, 2nd Baronet, CH was an English conductor and impresario best known for his association with the London Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic orchestras. He was closely associated with the Liverpool Philharmonic and Hallé orchestras. From the early 20th century until his death, Beecham was a major influence on the musical life of Britain and, according to the BBC, was Britain's first international conductor. Born to a rich industrial family, Beecham began his career as a conductor in 1899, he used his access to the family fortune to finance opera from the 1910s until the start of the Second World War, staging seasons at Covent Garden, Drury Lane and His Majesty's Theatre with international stars, his own orchestra and a wide repertoire. Among the works he introduced to England were Richard Strauss's Elektra and Der Rosenkavalier and three operas by Frederick Delius. Together with his younger colleague Malcolm Sargent, Beecham founded the London Philharmonic, he conducted its first performance at the Queen's Hall in 1932.
In the 1940s he worked for three years in the United States where he was music director of the Seattle Symphony and conducted at the Metropolitan Opera. After his return to Britain, he founded the Royal Philharmonic in 1946 and conducted it until his death in 1961. Beecham's repertoire was eclectic, his specialities included composers whose works were neglected in Britain before he became their advocate, such as Delius and Berlioz. Other composers with whose music he was associated were Haydn, Schubert and the composer he revered above all others, Mozart. Beecham was born in St Helens, Lancashire, in a house adjoining the Beecham's Pills laxative factory founded by his grandfather, Thomas Beecham, his parents were Joseph Beecham, the elder son of Thomas, Josephine, née Burnett. He was an uncle of poet Audrey Beecham. In 1885, with the family firm flourishing financially, Joseph Beecham moved his family to a large house in Ewanville, near Liverpool, their former home was demolished to make room for an extension to the pill factory.
Beecham was educated at Rossall School between 1892 and 1897, after which he hoped to attend a music conservatoire in Germany, but his father forbade it, instead Beecham went to Wadham College, Oxford, to read Classics. He did not find university life to his taste and sought his father's permission to leave Oxford in 1898, he studied as a pianist, but had difficulty because of his small hands, any career as a soloist was ruled out by a wrist injury in 1904. He studied composition with Frederic Austin in Liverpool, Charles Wood in London, Moritz Moszkowski in Paris; as a conductor, he was self-taught. Beecham first conducted in public in St Helens in October 1899, with an ad hoc ensemble comprising local musicians and players from the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hallé in Manchester. A month he stood in at short notice for the celebrated conductor Hans Richter at a concert by the Hallé to mark Joseph Beecham's inauguration as mayor of St Helens. Soon afterwards, Joseph Beecham secretly committed his wife to a mental hospital.
Thomas and his elder sister Emily helped to secure their mother's release and to force their father to pay annual alimony of £4,500. For this, Joseph disinherited them. Beecham was estranged from his father for ten years. Beecham's professional début as a conductor was in 1902 at the Shakespeare Theatre, with Balfe's The Bohemian Girl, for the Imperial Grand Opera Company, he was engaged as assistant conductor for a tour and was allotted four other operas, including Carmen and Pagliacci. A Beecham biographer calls the company "grandly named but decidedly ramshackle", though Beecham's Carmen was Zélie de Lussan, a leading exponent of the title role. Beecham was composing music in these early years, but he was not satisfied with his own efforts and instead concentrated on conducting. In 1906 Beecham was invited to conduct the New Symphony Orchestra, a formed ensemble of 46 players, in a series of concerts at the Bechstein Hall in London. Throughout his career, Beecham chose to programme works to suit his own tastes rather than those of the paying public.
In his early discussions with his new orchestra, he proposed works by a long list of known composers such as Étienne Méhul, Nicolas Dalayrac and Ferdinando Paer. During this period, Beecham first encountered the music of Frederick Delius, which he at once loved and with which he became associated for the rest of his life. Beecham concluded that to compete with the two existing London orchestras, the Queen's Hall Orchestra and the founded London Symphony Orchestra, his forces must be expanded to full symphonic strength and play in larger halls. For two years starting in October 1907, Beecham and the enlarged New Symphony Orchestra gave concerts at the Queen's Hall, he paid little attention to the box office: his programmes were described by a biographer as "even more certain to deter the public than it would be in our own day". The principal pieces of his first concert with the orchestra were d'Indy's symphonic ballad La forêt enchantée, Smetana's symphonic poem Šárka, Lalo's little-known Symphony in G minor.
Beecham retained an affection for the last work: it was among the works he conducted at his final recording sessions more than fifty years later. In 1908 Beecham and the New Symphony Orchestra parted company, disagreeing about artistic control and, in particular, the deputy system. Under this system, orchestral players, if offered a better-paid engagement elsewhere, could send a substitute to a rehearsal or a concert; the treasurer of the Royal Philharmonic Society