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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » R » Richter, Franz Xaver



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Franz Xaver Richter (1709 - 1789)

The origins of Franz Xaver Richter are uncertain beyond the fact that he is known to have been of Moravian-Bohemian descent and may have been born in Holleschau although there is no record of his birth there in the church archives. Richter was a professional singer and received a very thorough musical education possibly under Fux’s personal supervision in Vienna. In April 1740 he was appointed vice-Kapellmeister to the Prince-Abbot Anselm von Reichlin-Meldegg in Kempten, Allgau where he probably worked for the next five or six years. By 1747, however, his name appears among the court musicians of the Elector Palatine Carl Theodor in Mannheim; he is also named in published opera libretti and occasionally styled virtuoso di camera. Although Marpurg (1756) included him as a second violinist in the court orchestra there are no other contemporary references to Richter as an instrumentalist. Six of Richter’s symphonies had been published in Paris by 1744—that is before his appointment to the Electoral court—but he also obtained recognition in Mannheim as a composer of sacred music. In 1748 he was invited by the Elector to compose an oratorio for Good Friday, La deposizione dalla croce. Richter was also active as a teacher and between 1761 and 1767 wrote a composition method, based on Fux’s Gradus ad Parnassum, which he dedicated to Carl Theodor.

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