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Cat. No. CHAN 10386 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10386 - Richter: Sinfonias and Sinfonies
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Available From: 01 March 2007
Franz Xaver Richter was the earliest of the composer-performers who made up what came to be known as the ‘Mannheim school’, but he stood apart from the others and enjoyed a reputation outside the Mannheim court. As a composer Richter was most prominent at Mannheim as a symphonist, very much demonstrated in this release, including three premiere recordings.

The Mannheim school was particularly well known for its control of dynamics and for executing the special effects written by the resident composers. However, Richter did not use the Mannheim dynamics as prolifically as others, instead he was strongly influenced by the new pre-Classical stylistic developments, and he adapted the Mannheim symphonic style with his own differentiated dynamics and instrumentation. His works from this period nevertheless include such conservative traits as fugal techniques, Baroque sequences and the frequent use of minor tonality. Alongside his more conservative Viennese features he combined progressive Neapolitan elements which create inspiring and tuneful symphonies which are a delight.

This programme provides an impressive example of his compositional spectrum. Included in the programme are premiere recordings of Symphony in D major, No.53, which has the feel of a concerto movement; Symphony in D minor, No.56, an earlier work with a feature of unison writing for the strings and chromatic inflexions; and Symphony in G minor, No.29 which demonstrates the influence of Fux and the grinding discord – worthy of Richter’s younger contemporary, the great composer of symphonies, Joseph Haydn.

This beautiful music from this Mannheim composer is sure to become a classic amongst the Contemporaries of Mozart series.

Review of previous releases:
Matthias Bamert directs shapely and balanced performances which possess an appealing palette of colours, a sense of rhetorical clarity and plenty of spontaneous charm.


Those attracted to 18th-century byways should find plenty to intrigue them, above all in No. 29 and the F minor, No. 43, whose first movement even hints at the mature Haydn and Mozart in its informal, sometimes witty use of counterpoint… no complaints about either the recording or the performances, which have all the LMP’s trademark polish and rhythmic life, but never seek to smooth the music’s sometimes awkward contours.

This program of Franz Xaver Richter (1709-89) is another in Matthias Bamert’s series of Mozart Contemporaries. These little-known late-18th Century musicians deserve more recognition. The London Mozart Players are a crack ensemble who readily follow Bamert’s outstanding leadership. The Chandos sound is among the best, and the notes are superb. Three of these five works are premiere recordings, which makes this all the more attractive.
American Record Guide

Bamert and the London Mozart players shape these symphonies with flexible refinement, underlining in turn Richter’s festive brashness, turbulent drama and sophisticated melancholy.

Bamert and his players address this repertoire with enthusiasm.
BBC Music Magazine


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