Complete Recording of the Concentus musico-instrumentalis
Today we can count ourselves lucky to have firsthand knowledge of Johann Joseph Fux's great first work, the Concentus musico-instrumentalis in septem partittas, ut vulgo dicimus, divisus. The fact is that it has survived in a single printed exemplar of the original edition from 1701 in nine partbooks. Since some pages from the viola partbook are missing, the corresponding voice for new editions and recordings supplied by Michael Hell, who along with Lucia Froihofer leads the Neue Hofkapelle Graz, had to be reconstructed for the present recording. When Fux's Concentus was printed, he was the court composer under Emperor Leopold I, the work's dedicatee. The Concentus musico-instrumentalis collection consists of a grandly dimensioned Serenade in three parts, a Sinfonia à 6, four Overtures, and a Sinfonia in three voices. The constant alternation between the Italian and French styles or their juxtaposition and sometimes their combination runs like a red thread through the entire Concentus. Surely Fux was not interested in engaging in assiduous, one-sided imitation of Lully's style but in following an independent path. Here he is in the excellent company of Georg Muffat, who was trained in Italy and France and had a solid command of both styles. It should also be mentioned that the Concentus represents what is quite probably the very first printed music with oboes and bassoon(s) fOrchestra Sinfonica di Romauthern German-speaking Europe.