Magazine article Gramophone

Fux: 'Ave Regina'

Magazine article Gramophone

Fux: 'Ave Regina'

Article excerpt


'Ave regina'

Alma redemptoris mater--K185; K187. Ave regina caelorum--K205; K206; K207; K208. Pia mater fons amoris, K176. Sonatas--K346; K367; K369; K377; K379; K397 Hana Blazikova sop

Accentus Austria / Thomas Wimmer violone Deutsche Harmonia Mundi (F) 88985 41189-2 (57' * DDD * T/t)

The reputation of Johann Joseph Fux suffers from the fact that he was the author of one of the most influential counterpoint treatises in music history, Gradus ad Parnassum. I imagine few today have read it (though Haydn found it useful, and he was no slouch in a fugue), yet Fux remains tainted by the 'theorist' stain, which seems a little unfair; what music of his I have heard suggests that there is a goodly amount of personality lurking in there.

Of that music there are over 600 works, yet many remain unrecorded, and it is good to see this release showcasing some of the material he provided for the Imperial Court Chapel in Vienna (where he was Kapellmeister from 1715 until his death in 1741). The ones here reflect the Habsburgs' Marian obsession in six antiphons--four settings of Ave regina caelorum and two of Alma redemptoris mater--plus the motet Pia mater fons amoris, all for soprano and small ensemble. …

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