AUX ARMES, CITOYENS! 
Revolutionary music by Francois-Joseph Gossec, arranged by Mathieu Lussier for wind sextet, and played by the classical wind sextet Les Jacobins.
Jane Booth and Martin Charpentier: clarinets
Mathieu Lussier and Nadina Mackie Jackson: bassoons
Louis-Phillippe Marsolais and Julie-Anne Drolet: horns
ATMA Classique is pleased to announce the release of Aux Armes, citoyens!, (Citizens, to arms!) the debut recording by period wind ensemble Les Jacobins, named for the most famous political group of the French Revolution. Under the artistic leadership of bassoonist Matthieu Lussier, Les Jacobins explore the rich but little-known repertoire associated with the French Revolution (1789-1799).
The music recorded on Aux Armes, citoyens! is arranged for clarinets, horns and bassoons, and ranges from Gossec’s first years in Paris to his fertile revolutionary period towards the end of the 18th century. Tracks include Suite d’Airs Révolutionnaires, La Bataille, Quatre Hymns à la liberté and Gossec’s own arrangement of La Marseillaise, the revolutionary song that became France’s national anthem.
Though Gossec’s name may not figure widely in concert programmes today, he is considered a pivotal figure in French music history. His working life spanned more than 50 years and included the transition between revivals of Lully’s operas to the Romantic symphonies by Berlioz. He was an innovator who pushed the limits of the orchestra at the time, and effectively created the wind orchestra.
Lussier observes that, “He was almost 100 years old when he died, having lived under ‘four kings, six years of revolution, the Consulate, the Directorate, and the Empire, not to mention two Restorations’, as one of his biographers wrote.”
“Listening to Gossec’s music immerses us in the period in which he lived and allows us to feel, along with the men and women emerging from centuries of tyranny and oppression, their incredible fervour for liberty.”