16. Januar 2008

Remembering the Era Karl Richter in Munich: Year 1952 [EN]

The year 1952, in the shortest of time, brought Karl Richter’s breakthrough on the Munich musical scene.

In February for the first time ever in the Markus Kirche, Bach’s High Mass in B-minor resounded and on April 9th followed the Johannes Passion in the Auferstehungskirche (Church of the Resurrection).

At the end of April superintendent Theodor Heckel and Karl Richter established the evensong in the St. Markuskirche. It was always on the last Friday of the month. The great works of Frescobaldi, Buxtehude, from Bach to Max Reger and contemporary masters of the organ could be heard, as well as religious choir music from Schulz, Bach, Brahms and Reger extending right up to the modern Masters. Organ music and motets provided the frame for biblical readings and benedictions.

On the program for the first Chamber music with the Munich Church Orchestra, were the 3rd +4th Brandenburger Concertos, the Violin concert in A-minor, and the B-minor suite.

On 11th May the Munich Bach Society performed an Organ Concert with works from Johann Sebastian Bach in the Markuskirche. An enthusiastic review from Karl Schumann in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung earned Richter, as he once remarked in later years, the full attention of the Munich music scene.

Further organ Concerts followed. In July on the occasion of the Anniversary of Bach’s death and in September, only 3 days later, German Baroque Music resounded in the Baroque Hall in the Bavarian National Museum. A few weeks after that the 2nd +5th Brandenburg Concertos were to be heard, in the Sophienstraße Hall together with the solo Cantata ”Weichet mir betrübte Schatten" (Be gone from me sad shadow)

The Reformation Fest on 31st October gave Karl Richter the opportunity of performing for the first time the Bach cantatas “Gott, der Herr, ist Sonn und Schild”. And „Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott“.

In November, as soloist on the Harpsichord, Karl Richter presented the Munich public Bach’s Goldberg-Variations. Again the resonance and the reviews were exuberant.

The performance of the first three Cantatas from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio on two consecutive days was to become in the following years and decades a fixed event in the musical life of Munich, an event unimaginable to live without. These Cantatas were heard for the very first time in the Markuskirche on 18th +19th December 1952.

St. Markuskirche in Munich

The Christmas Carol Singing with the Heinrich-Schuetz-Circle concluded a first year of intensive output; a year that in the shortest of time had earned Karl Richter the highest acknowledgement as far as Johann Sebastian Bach was concerned. “Exemplary Bach”, a music critic wrote in one of his reviews, “It would be impossible to imagine a more perfect rendering of this phenomenal achievement”.