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Jean-Xavier Lefèvre


Methode de clarinette, volume 1 Methode
Methode de clarinette, volume 2 Methode
Methode de clarinette, volume 3 Methode
Methode de clarinette, volume 4 Methode

Jean-Xavier Lefèvre, was a Swiss-born clarinettist, soloist and pedagogue. Born in Lausanne on 6 March 1763, he moved to Paris at an early age and remained there until his death on 9 November 1829. After studying with the foremost clarinettist of the time, Michèl Yost (1754–1786), he joined the French Guards band in 1778 and after the Revolution was a member of the National Guard, becoming its deputy conductor in 1790. From 1791 to 1817 he was Principal Clarinet at the Opéra de Paris. He was made a chevalier of the Légion d’honneur in 1814. After the death of Michèl Yost, Lefèvre was generally recognized as his teacher’s successor. In addition to six clarinet concertos, Three Sonatas, Op. 12, and quartets for clarinet and strings, most of Lefèvre’s output consists of marches, overtures, hymns and revolutionary music, the last including a Hymne à l’agriculture pour la fête de l’agriculture célébrée le 28 juin (1796) for mixed choir and band, which conductor and musicologist John Eliot Gardiner suggested could have inspired the last movement of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony. This might not be the only piece of Lefèvre to have influenced Beethoven. The slow movement of his 3rd Sonata in D minor from the Méthode bears a striking resemblance to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor, which dates from 1808, just four years after the publication of Lefèvre’s Mèthode.

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