There’s Nothing Wrong with Entertainment!


Texture. © Charles Thibo

Almost three years have passed since I introduced the Baroque composer Franz Xaver Richter to the readers of the blog and I am awfully sorry for not having followed up on the man and his delightful music. As I wrote in a post on Richter’s Seven Quartets (op. 5), his most remarkable contributions to music  are his works for chamber music and his liturgical compositions. However, in the early phase of his career, he composed no less than 70 symphonic works, and today’s post will be about his Sinfonia in B-flat Major (VB 59), recorded by Capricornus Consort Basel.

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Inventing the String Quartet in the 18th Century

Richter's string quartets are lovely entertaining pieces. © Charles Thibo
Richter’s string quartets are lovely entertaining pieces. © Charles Thibo

Elegance – that’s the first word coming to my mind when I listen to Franz Xaver Richter’s Seven Quartets, op. 5. Lightness is another immediate association with this music. It’s entertaining in the best way, not too intellectual, but not trivial either. And the quartets have a few surprises, like the Spanish flavor of the second movement of Quartet No. 5 in G major, where Richter uses castanets. Intrigued? Try the recording of the Casal Quartett.  It will be well-spent money. The Swiss ensemble used period instruments for the recording and was nominated for the Grammy Awards last year…

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