23. Januar 2008

Remembering the Era Karl Richter in Munich: Year 1953 [EN]

In October 1953 Karl Richter was officially appointed as Professor for Church music. One day, so the story goes, Richter said to one of his earlier managers: "We can no longer perform under the name of Heinrich-Schuetz-Circle, it doesn’t sound very convincing. It sounds like a choir ready to deliver good performances, but it makes me think of elderly ladies who leave their hats on during choir practice."

On 8th February 1954 the choir was renamed the Munich Bach Choir and on April 1st sang for the first time under their new name Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion.

Karl Richter on his Cembalo at home (1952)

In October 1954 the Munich Evensong celebrated a small jubilee: Richter and his choir performed for the 25th time, free of charge which always ensured a large audience, the most important “a cappella”- works of choir literature. This cycle was then supplemented with a second ”Bach Cantata”.

Karl Richter in his dust coat

In the meantime a number of regular instrumentalists in Richter’s Chamber orchestra had formed a fixed group that in part was to have a say in the next thirty-year era of Richter’s Munich Bach Orchestra. Richter acquired the best musicians belonging to the Bavarian State Orchestra, the Radio Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic to play in his Ensemble. Walter Theurer, on the flute, Fritz Sonnleitner as concertmaster, Oswald Uhl and Fritz Kiskalt on the Cello and Professor Valentin Haertl on the Viola and Viola d’amore, just to mention a few, were with him from the very beginning.

Walther Teurer (Flute)

Oswald Uhrl (Cello)

Fritz Kiskalt (Cello)

Valentin Haertl (Viola and Viola d’amore)

Otto Buchner and Karl Richter had already met in May 1952 during the recording of Handel’s “Concerti grossi” opus 6, for which Richter had played the cembalo under the direction of Fritz Lehmann.

Otto Buechner (Concertmaster)