Fux: Requiem

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LABELS: Arte Nova
WORKS: Requiem
PERFORMER: Clemencic Consort/René Clemencic
CATALOGUE NO: 74321 27777 2 Reissue (1995)
Austrian composer Fux worked at the Habsburg court in Vienna during the first 40 years of the 18th century. He wrote a famous instruction book called Gradus ad Parnassum but as a composer he still remains comparatively obscure. With some 70 Masses, 15 oratorios and ten requiems to his name it is perhaps surprising that this Requiem is one of barely a handful of his sacred vocal works on disc. It dates from 1720 when it was sung at the funeral of the widow of the musical Emperor Leopold I. The music is solemn, often contrapuntal and severe, though not without occasional splashes of colour. The piece is well worth acquaintanceship, though neither playing nor singing here do it justice. Nicholas Anderson