Author Topic: Franz Xaver Richter (1709-1789)  (Read 1806 times)

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Franz Xaver Richter (1709-1789)
« on: July 20, 2009, 06:02:03 PM »
I think this has got to be one of the last of the "unearthed." ;)

I just got the Alpha label SQs by Rincontro. Richter is revealed as a mature composer writing what appears to be highly modern SQs right before Haydn's Op.9. He only produced one volume of SQs, published in 1768, but rumoured to be at least partially written in 1757,... and you know what that means!!! ;D ::) :o 8) $:) 0:)(how many smileys will it take to get me out of this one ??????).

Anyhow, these SQs (3 out of 6 of the Op.5) are decidedly substantial... and sublime (I know, I'm repeating myself). The liner notes tell me that Richter was quite the front runner, skillfully contrasting "the contrapuntal tradition with compositional processes borrowed from the world of opera." Well, they do sound more like Mozart than Haydn.

btw- the packaging of this cd is very beautiful. Talk about "snob appeal!"


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Re: Franz Xaver Richter (1709-1789)
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2009, 11:05:53 PM »
You should just make an all consuming Snyprrr's SQ thread, it would be awesome! :)

Since we're already discussing Richter and the origins of the string quartet on another thread I won't repost here, but point towards that discussion--,13075.msg335065.html#msg335065


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Re: Franz Xaver Richter (1709-1789)
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2009, 12:34:00 AM »
I know the Oboe concerto- good baroque-classical crossover stuff.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Franz Xaver Richter (1709-1789)
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2015, 01:50:35 AM »
There's now a very good recording of the complete op.5, plus another work in g minor apparently included in later editions. The Casalquartett (Swiss, no connection to the Spanish Cuarteto Casals) on old instruments. I have not yet compared this one en detail with the recording of 3 quartets by Rincontro (alpha) or the one quartet already recorded on a "Mannheim school" sampler by Harnoncourt et al. in the 1960s. But at a twofer price (right now only 10 Euros at jpc) I have no problem recommending this complete recording first.

One of the quartet's musicians wrote the booklet text and tries to defend the contested claim that these pieces were composed already in 1757 (and the twofer is basically called "Genesis 1757), thus being the first "mature" string quartets in history, contemporary with Haydn's op.1+2 divertimenti but far more elaborate, serious and contrapuntal than those and preceding Boccherini's op.2 by 4 or 5 years as well.
The problem is that the works were only published in 1768 (and again in 1772) and the main basis for the early date is a story in Dittersdorf's autobiography that he played Richter quartets in that year. A composition shortly before publication would make them contemporary with Haydn's op.9 and thus considerably less astounding although in Richter's works the voices are more equally balanced than the rather violin dominated op.9 but op.9 is in my ears more "modern" and varied in other respects.

But such "priority debates" should not distract from the music. I'd say this is a very worthwhile discovery and far more interesting than "typical" Mannheim school pre-classical fare. Actually, Richter is grouped somewhat uneasily with that group anyway. Both these quartets and his symphonies from the 1740s show him as well versed in polyphonic writing (he might have studied with Fux or at least hails from that school of Austrian church/learned music) and less interested in orchestral effects and other "Mannheim manners". With the strong foundation in counterpoint he seems (in those works) in some respects closer to Friedemann and Emanuel Bach than to Stamitz and others.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)