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Frantisek Xaver Brixi

Category: Musician

Learn more about Frantisek Xaver Brixi

Frantisek Xaver Brixi (1732 – 1771) was a Czech classical composer of the 18th century. His first name is sometimes given by reference works in its Germanic form, Franz.

Biography

Brixi was born in Prague, the son of composer Simon Brixi. He received his musical education at the Piarist Gymnasium in Kosmonosy. His teachers included Vaclav Kalous, a significant composer himself.

In 1749 Brixi left Kosmonosy and returned to Prague, where he worked as an organist at several churches. In 1759 he was appointed Kapellmeister of St Vitus Cathedral, thus attaining, at age 27, the highest musical position in the city; this office he held till his early death. He wrote some 290 church works (of the most varied type), cantatas and oratorios, chamber compositions, and orchestral compositions. He was a prolific composer of music for the liturgy, and wrote more than 100 masses, vespers and motets, among others. He also composed secular music such as oratorios and incidental music, concertos and symphonies. His organ concertos, which have been recorded several times each, are his best-known pieces today.

Style

Brixi was an important composer at the junction between Baroque and the Classical period. Brixi’s style is distinguished from that of his contemporaries by its fresh melodic writing, vivacious rhythm and lively bass lines, and from that of his predecessors by its simple yet effective instrumentation. During his lifetime his music was widely disseminated in Bohemia and Moravia.

Selected compositions

Missa integra in d minor

Missa aulica, missa brevis in C

Opus patheticum de septem doloribus Beatae Mariae Virginis

Organ Concerto in D major

Organ Concerto in F major

Judas Iscariothes – Oratorium pro die sacro Parasceves

Missa solemnis in D major – mass for solo, choir, orchestra and organ

Litanie de seto Benedieto

Confiteor tibi Domine

Sinfonia in D

Bitevni sinfonie

Fuga in A minor

Pastoral in C major

Preludium In C major

Regina coeli