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Franz Xaver Richter (1709-89)

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Richter, F X: La Deposizione dalla Croce di Gesu Cristo

Richter, F X: La Deposizione dalla Croce di Gesu Cristo

Recorded in the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, Vranov, May 17-­‐20, 2016


Katerina Knezikova, Jaroslav Brezina, Philippe Mathmann, Piotr Olech & Lenka Cafourkova Duricova

Czech Ensemble Baroque Orchestra & Choir, Roman Valek

When Franz Xaver Richter became a member of the famous Mannheim orchestra in 1746, he found himself in the very centre of the progressive European music scene where a new era was being born in a proverbial melting pot of various influences. However, Richter never gave up his traditional baroque "craftsmanship" and after making himself acquainted with the most successful oratorio libretto by G.C. Pasquini, he set it to music entirely within the boundaries of his characteristic style, combining baroque composition principles (Fux-like counterpoint choruses) with the achievements of the nascent classicist style. For this he used the new 1744 version of the libretto intended for J.A. Hasse. La Deposizione, Richter's only Italian oratorio, is a Good Friday pondering of Jesus's disciples over God's unconditional love and Christ's suffering on the cross. For the first time (and probably also the last) it was performed on the Good Friday of 1748 in the Mannheim court church of the Visitation of Our Lady. After the Strassbourg Requiem (Supraphon SU41772), this premiere recording is another gemstone that the Czech Ensemble Baroque have added to the mosaic of Richter's remarkable, still little-researched oeuvre.

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Supraphon - SU42042

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Franz Xaver Richter: Requiem

Franz Xaver Richter: Requiem


Richter, F X:

Sinfonia con fuga in G minor (Boer 29)

De profundis

Requiem


Czech Ensemble Baroque, Roman Válek

“… 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 the last moments of W. A. Mozart), yet when looking at the clean copy of the autograph score we cannot 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 the time when the pre-Classicist gallant style was taking hold. How striking a similarity with the “Dresden” Zelenka! Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Richter’s music, his grand vocal works in particular, is still awaiting discovery. The two mourning pieces were written in Strasbourg, where Richter lived from 1769, the sacred Sinfonia con fuga came to light in Mannheim. The distinguished Czech Ensemble Baroque are among those who are today undertaking to mediate Richter’s remarkable oeuvre.

“The performances by all-Czech period forces are competent, well-shaped and stylish. If you are interested in the music, you'll be content with them. The church acoustic takes away much chance of making the music bite but helps create an imposing, dignified yet unclogged sound.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2015

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Supraphon - SU41772

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Jean-Pierre Rampal in Prague – The Complete Supraphon Recordings

Jean-Pierre Rampal in Prague – The Complete Supraphon Recordings


Benda, Franz:

Sonata for Flute and Harpsichord in F major

Viktorie Švihlíková (harpsichord)

Flute Concerto in E minor

Prague Chamber Orchestra, Milan Munclinger

Feld:

Flute Concerto

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Václav Jiráček

Prokofiev:

Flute Sonata in D major, Op. 94

Alfréd Holeček (piano)

Richter, F X:

Sonate da camera No. 3 in A major

Viktorie Švihlíková (harpsichord)

Flute Concerto in D major

Prague Chamber Orchestra, Milan Munclinger

Rosetti:

Flute Concerto in D major

Prague Chamber Orchestra, Václav Neumann

Stamitz, C:

Flute Concerto in G major, Op. 29

Prague Chamber Orchestra, Martin Turnovský


Jean Pierre Rampal (flute)

Golden memories of Jean-Pierre Rampal’s time in Prague – legendary recordings, newly digitally remastered.

During his very first trip across the Iron Curtain, the French flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal (1922–2000), made friends with Milan Munclinger, an outstanding Czech musician, with whom he shared a passion for Baroque music. Owing to Munclinger’s initiative, on 31 May 1955 Rampal performed alongside the pianist Alfred Holecek before the packed auditorium within the Prague Spring festival. The very next day, Rampal made the first in his series of recordings for Supraphon, which featured Prokofiev’s Sonata. Until 1956, he made premiere recordings of sonatas by František Benda and F. X. Richter, concertos by Carl Stamitz and F. A. Rosetti, as well as, and most significantly – with the Prague Chamber Orchestra conducted by Munclinger – concertos by Richter and Benda. The latter two were extraordinary indeed, as evidenced by the international critical acclaim: the album went on to receive the prestigious Grand Prix du Disque de l’Académie Charles Cros.

Rampal’s final Supraphon album, made with the Czech Philharmonic in April 1958, contains the flute concerto by the then 33-year-old Jindrich Feld, who primarily gained global recognition thanks to Rampal. The phenomenal French flautist would continue to come to Prague in the following years to give concerts and to meet his close friends among Czech musicians.

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Supraphon - SU42172

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