Johann Joseph Fux - Lux Aeterna: Sacred Works

Monday 1st September 2003
Johann Joseph Fux - Lux Aeterna: Sacred Works
Johann Joseph Fux - Lux Aeterna: Sacred Works

STYLE: Classical
RATING 5 5 5 5 5
LABEL: CPO CPO 999 8502

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

This is a difficult collection to review, as there is little to get to grips with. The musicianship of Armonico Tributo Austria is excellent and credit must go to the director, Lorenz Duftschmid. It is the content that makes this difficult. In a word it is nice which is faint praise indeed. Fux (1660 – 1741) was Kapellmeister to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI. As such he had to produce church music on a very regular basis and also found time to write on music theory in Gradus ad Parnasum, a book that was known to, among others, Bach, Haydn and Mozart. And here is the problem. Competent though he is, Fux cannot stand comparison with the truly great. I enjoyed this CD but I doubt if I will play it often. If I want baroque I will go to Vivaldi, if I want 18th century church music I will listen to Bach. Certainly this disc is a useful comparison for those who doubt the greatness of Bach or Mozart. Play them a few songs from Fux and they will soon hear the difference between mediocrity and majesty.

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