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Fux, Johann Joseph
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Fux, Johann Joseph

(Born; Hirtenfeld, 1660; Died; Vienna, 13 Feb 1741). Austrian composer and theorist. He settled in Vienna in the 1690s and worked as organist at the Schottenkirche until 1702. Gaining favour at the imperial court, he became court composer (1698), vice-Kapellmeister (1713) and principal Kapellmeister (1715). He was also vice-Kapellmeister at St Stephen's Cathedral, 1705-12, and Kapellmeister, 1712-15. Among his occasional works was the coronation opera Costanza e Fortezza (1723, lavishly produced in Prague). He continued composing into old age, and was also a famous teacher.Foremost in Fux's output are over 400 church works, including Circa;80 masses. He is most noted for his unaccompanied polyphony, modelled on Palestrina's and found in such works as the Messa di San Carlo (1718). Counterpoint is also a feature of his accompanied church music and other works, among them 20 operas, 13 oratorios and over 100 instrumental works (mostly church sonatas, partitas and overtures). His operas and oratorios are both monumental and expressive, and include ornamentation and dance-like melodies. His Gradus ad Parnassum (1725), the most important modern textbook on counterpoint, influenced many later composers. Fux's works form the culmination of Baroque music in Austria.(c)Groves Dictionaries, MacMillan Publishers Limited, UK

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