Franz Xaver Brixi

Biography

Born: January 2, 1732; Prague, Czech Republic   Died: October 14, 1771; Prague, Czech Republic  
As a virtuoso organist and one of the best-known and most prolific composers in Prague in the eighteenth century, the success of Franz Brixi even eclipsed that of his famous father, Simon (1699-1735). Like so many of Prague's successful composers, Franz Brixi learned his trade in Bohemia's provincial towns and churches. He was born in Prague in 1732 just a few years before his father's untimely death. Despite this, Franz left Prague to receive Read more his early education. In 1744 he started his musical education at the Gymnasium run by the Piarists at Kosmonosy under the instruction of the hugely influential Czech composer and teacher Vaclav Kalous (1715-1786). After completing his studies in 1749 Brixi returned to Prague, where he quickly became one of the city's most famous organists and composers. He rose quickly through Prague's competitive ranks of organists: first at the church of St. Havel, then St. Nicholas, and then St. Mary na louzi. In 1757 he was chosen to compose the musica navalis for the annual festival of St. John's where music was performed on the river Vltava from barges; the first contributions to this festival had been composed by his father. Franz retained the honor of composing the musica navalis almost every year until his death. On New's Years Day 1759 he was appointed to the highest musical position in the Czech lands as kapellmeister of the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague's magnificent castle. During this time he was also the choirmaster at St. George's attached to the Benedictine monastery in the castle district. Brixi eventually succumbed to tuberculosis and died in the hospital of the Brothers of Charity at the age of 39.

Despite his seemingly short life, Brixi was one of Prague's most prolific composers of the period and contributed to almost every popular genre of the time. As an organist, it is unsurprising that it is his set of six organ concertos that have remained among his most durable instrumental compositions. Like much of his output, his style is an attractive combination of Czech folk styles and the latest Italian models emanating from Vienna. Several of his Mass settings have remained staples of the Czech cathedral repertoire. His tremendous output of sacred music, especially some of his oratorios and motets, is still awaiting further exploration. Read less
Browse 1-7 of 7 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Organ Concertos - Brixi, Handel, Haydn, Soler, Vivaldi
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94099 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Franz Xaver Brixi,  George Frideric Handel,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Antonio Soler  ... 
    Performer:  Christian Schmitt,  Charlotte Balzereit,  Anton Holzapfel,  Susanne Scholz  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicol Matt,  Federico Guglielmo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  European Chamber Soloists,  Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra,  Dolce Risonanza  ... 
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  • 2.
    Baroque Bohemia & Beyond Vol 2 - Vanhal, Dusek, Brixi, Vranicky
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1002 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frantisek Xaver Dusek,  Johann Baptist Vanhal,  Antonin Vranicky,  Franz Xaver Brixi
    Performer:  Vojtech Spurny
    Conductor:  Vojtech Spurny
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 3.
    Baroque Bohemia & Beyond Vol 3 - Linek, Kozeluh, Brixi, Reicha
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1003 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Reicha,  Franz Xaver Brixi,  Leopold Anton Kozeluch,  Georg Ignaz Linek
    Conductor:  Vojtech Spurny
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 4.
    Erfurt Europa Vol 2 / Wieland Meinhold
    Label: Motette   Catalog: 13291 Release Date: 09/05/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Stanley,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johann Gottfried Walther,  Johann Christian Kittel  ... 
    Performer:  Wieland Meinhold
    On sale! $22.98
    CD: $18.99
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  • 5.
    Brixi: Judas Iscariothes / Krcek, Musica Bohemica, Et Al
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 3866 Release Date: 02/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Xaver Brixi
    Conductor:  Jaroslav Krcek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Bohemica,  Prague Chamber Chorus
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    CD: $11.99
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  • 6.
    Czech Organ Music - Cernohorsky, Brixi, Et Al / Vaclav Uhlir
    Label: Amabile   Catalog: 10 Release Date: 07/26/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leos Janácek,  Petr Eben,  Bohuslav Martinu,  Jan Krtitel Kuchar  ... 
    Performer:  Václav Uhlír
    On sale! $23.98
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  • 7.
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 3741 Release Date: 09/30/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Xaver Brixi
    Performer:  Vera Hermanova
    Conductor:  Robert Hugo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Regia Musicalis
    CD: $17.99
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