Nicodé's "Gloria!" Symphony

Performance material of the monumental work for the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra

The composer and conductor Jean Louis Nicodé (1853-1919) had been active in Dresden since 1878, first as a teacher at the Royal Conservatory, later as director of the Philharmonic Concerts. From 1900 he lived in the Dresden villa suburb of Langebrück and devoted himself to composition. His main work is the six-movement symphony "Gloria!".

"Jean Louis Nicodé (1853 - 1919)" - composer and conductor in Dresden ©free/public domain; Wikipedia.

Jean Louis Nicodé - composer and conductor in Dresden

Jean Louis Nicodé was born on August 12, 1853 in Jersitz in the district of Posen, the son of a violinist and music teacher. In Berlin he was trained as a pianist and in composition. Nicodé obtained a position at the Royal Conservatory in Dresden in 1878, moved back to Berlin in 1885, and later returned to Dresden to take over as conductor of the Philharmonic Concerts there. He was thus one of the founding fathers of the Dresden Philharmonic. From 1900 until his death, he lived in the Dresden villa suburb of Langebrück, where he spent more than five years writing his major work, the "Gloria!" symphony.

The "Gloria!" Symphony

The full title of Nicodé's symphony is "Gloria! Ein Sturm- und Sonnenlied - Symphonie in einem Satze für Grosses Orchester, Orgel und (Schluss-) Chor". It bears the opus number 34.

Nicodé describes his symphony as being in one movement. However, it is divided into six sections. Not only is the score size and the performance duration of over two hours monumental, but so is the scoring: In addition to a boy's voice and eight-part choir, large-scale woodwinds and brass, percussion, two harps, organ, and strings are required.

Excerpt from the "Gloria!" score

Nicodé's estate is largely housed in the Saxon State Library - State and University Library (SLUB) in Dresden. In addition to letters, the "Gloria!" autograph is also kept here. There is also a printed score edition by Breitkopf und Härtel from 1905, but the orchestral parts necessary for a performance do not exist.

The production of the orchestral material

The Förderverein has already had the orchestral parts of the two corner movements typeset in 2017 and 2020 and performed with its Förderverein orchestra at the Kulturpalast. The orchestral parts of the middle movements are now also to be completed in order to conclude the project. The production will be done by hand, since the parts have to be set from the autograph. Upon completion of the project, the Dresden Philharmonic will be in possession of the world's only performance material. The project is scheduled to end on the 170th birthday of Jean Louis Nicodé in August 2023.

Call for donations

Our goal is the complete production of the orchestral material of Jean Louis Nicodé's monumental "Gloria!" Symphony by 2023. Nicodé was one of the founding fathers of the Dresden Philharmonic. We would therefore like to make this historical document accessible and audible again. Our project thus brings to light a unique work of music history with local ties. Help us!

You can support this project by

1. becoming a member of the Förderverein Dresdner Philharmonie e.V.

We will gladly send you information. You will receive exclusive insight behind the scenes of the Dresden Philharmonic.

2. donating by bank transfer to one of the accounts of the Förderverein Dresdner Philharmonie e.V. (keyword "Nicodé").

Volksbank Dresden-Bautzen eG (IBAN: DE16850900002641431004; BIC: GENODEF1DRS)
Ostsächische Sparkasse Dresden (IBAN:  DE26850503003120000174; BIC:  OSDDDE81XXX)

Donations are tax deductible. Up to € 300, it is sufficient to submit the bank statement of the transfer. Feel free to contact us if you need a donation receipt.

3. contributions to our crowdfunding project.

4. participation in events organized by us.