Morceaux, Op. 59 No. 1
Sonata in D minor, Op. 36
Sonata in C minor, Op. 49
Sonata in F major, Op. 51
Morceaux, Op. 59 No. 2
Ghribizzi, Op. 83 No. 5
Scherzo, Op. 77 No. 1
Aubande, Op. 77 No. 2
Duo Tal & Groethuysen
(Yaara Tal, Andreas Groethuysen)
Louis Théodore Gouvy (1819 – 1898)
Gouvy was born into a French speaking family in the Alsatian village of Goffontaine, in the Sarre, a region on the France-Prussia border. Because this region fell under Prussian control shortly before his birth, Théodore Gouvy could not attain French citizenship until the age of 32. As a child, he showed no significant talent for music and after a normal preparatory education was sent to Paris in 1836 to study law. While there, he also continued piano lessons and became friendly with Adolphe Adam. This led to further music studies in Paris and Berlin. Unable to pursue music instruction at the Conservatoire de Paris, he took up private courses.
Gouvy was a man of two cultures, divided between France and Germany, from which he drew his inspiration, his characteristics and his force. While to a certain extent he was known and recognized in his lifetime, he fell into obscurity following his death. Gouvy, drawn toward pure instrumental music as opposed to opera, set himself the unenviable task of becoming a French symphonist. It was unenviable because the French, and especially the Parisians, throughout most of the 19th century were opera-mad and not particularly interested in pure instrumental music. It was this disdain for instrumental music in general which led to Gouvy living the last third of his life almost entirely in Germany where he was much appreciated.
During his lifetime, his compositions, and especially his chamber music, were held in high regard and often performed in those countries (Germany, Austria, England, Scandinavia, and Russia) where chamber music mattered. But in France, he never achieved real acclaim. Gouvy was universally acknowledged for being a master of form and for his deft sense of instrumental timbre. Mendelssohn and Schumann were his models and his music developed along the lines one might have expected of those men had they lived longer. Virtually all of his works show that he was a gifted melodist whose music is a joy to hear.
That he and his music were held in high regard but nonetheless failed to achieve great fame is surely in part because he was a man of some means who was not forced to earn his living from music. There has always been a bias against those who had the freedom to live for their art but did not need to live by it. Musicians of the first rank such as Johannes Brahms, Carl Reinecke, and Joseph Joachim, who were familiar with Gouvy's music, held it in high regard.
: Extract from Wikipedia
Louis Théodore Gouvy - List of Compositions (Partly Japanese notation) :