F.x. Richter: Requiem; Sinfonia Con Fuga
Czech Ensemble Baroque; Valek; Duricova; Cukrova; Champion; Prochazka
Composed by: Richter, Xaver Franz
“…he sat down in an armchair, pored over for the last time the score of the mourning music he himself had composed for his funeral, and – when lightly touched by the angel of death – bowed his head and passed away.” C.F. Schubart’s description of the death in 1789 of the eighty year old F.X. Richter, Kapellmeister of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame in Strasbourg, may be rather romantic (two years later an almost identical story related to Mozart’s last moments), yet when looking at the clean copy of the autograph score it is difficult to resist the idea that the Requiem encapsulates the quintessence of his legacy. A truly extraordinary figure, standing out among the plethora of Czech composers based abroad, Richter’s singular musical phraseology reflects the places where he studied and worked: contrapuntal mastery (a pupil of J. J. Fux in Vienna), elements of Neapolitan opera, the Mannheim school… He had a reputation as a guardian of the traditions of the “genuine church style” at a time when the pre-Classicist galant style was taking hold. How striking a similarity with the “Dresden” Zelenka!