The Viennese Court Kapellmeister Johann Joseph Fux (1660-1741) is regarded in music history as the forefather of modern counterpoint, and his instructional work "Gradus ad parnassum" continues to influence education in this subject to the present day. But the many compositions Fux wrote for the Viennese court are largely forgotten. If at all, one still knows of sacred compositions in which Fux followed this strict, academic style. On the other hand, the composer was able to free himself from this in his opera and in his "Componimenti sacri", which are operatic oratorios for Holy Week (during which no operas were allowed to be performed).
Gunar Letzbor and his ensemble Ars Antiqua Austria present such a Fux's "Componimento sacro": after 300 years the oratorio Gesù Cristo negato da Pietro was performed for the first time in January 2020, now it is also available on CD. At the centre of the plot is the biblical passion scene about Peter's denial of Christ, which is theologically examined in dramatic disputes between various allegorical figures. Fux translates this drama into his music, showing that he was not just a good counterpoint artist!