François Martin (1727-1757, French)

My only encounter with the music of François Martin is from the disc of Concerto Köln, La Prise de la Bastille: Music of the French Revolution (Davaux, Martin, Dittersdorf, Gossec), on Capriccio 10 280. And it’s only by the hair that Martin is pulled into the bag of composers of the French revolution, since he died more than four decades before it happened, at the young age of thirty. Not that I’m complaining: his Symphony in G-minor op. 4 No. 2 is a highly original and valuable work. If I may quote myself, “the outer movements have an agitation that harks back to the Italian baroque but also points to the austro-german Sturm und Drang style of 20 years later, but the composition’s true highlight is its exquisite and wonderfully original second movement, written entirely in string pizzicatti and sounding, really, like a symphony for harps”.

I don’t know that any more Martin has been recorded. I’d love to hear the rest of his opus IV. Bibliothèque Nationale de France happens to have a copy of the score, Simphonies et ouvertures pour deux violons, alto viola et basso… par Mr Martin. Oeuvre IV. Naxos, musicologists, anybody listening?