The St Florian Boys' Choir can look back on almost one thousand years of history as it was founded in 1071 when the Augustinian Canons took over the Abbey in Upper Austria, 10 miles south-east of Linz, and established a school. Its full title is the Augustinerchorherrenstift St. Florian. The best known of its choir boys is the composer Anton Bruckner (1824-96) who entered the choir aged 12 and was connected with the Abbey until 1855 as pupil, choir boy, violinist, organist, composer and teacher, subsequently returning there to work during holidays and on retreat, staying in a room (the Brucknerzimmer) always kept ready for him.
Today the approximately 30 boys are admitted to the choir between ages 8 & 10 and usually stay until 14. They board at the Abbey, a magnificent baroque palace, and attend local state-run schools. At the Abbey facilities include a computer room, football field, swimming-pool and gymnasium. The boys wear a sailor-style uniform of dark blue and white, emblazoned with the choir's red & white badge, as shown in the adjacent photo.
Although the choir primarily exists to sing at the Abbey services, it also participates in opera & concert performances at Linz, Salzburg, Vienna & elsewhere & tours abroad. The Artistic Director since 1983 has been Professor Franz Farnberger, formerly a conductor for 7 years with the Vienna Boys' Choir.
Alois Mühlbacher St. Florianer Sängerknaben The Oratorium 'Germanicum de Passione', composed in 1731, is the only oratorio in the German language by the Viennese court composer Johann Joseph Fux. The work was long considered lost; aside from a handwritten textbook in Kremsmünster Abbey, no other sources appeared to have been preserved. In 2004, a score from Ottobeuren Abbey incorrectly attributed to Antonio Caldara could be identified as identical to the Fux oratorio believed to have been lost; this work has now been recorded for the first time by Gunar Letzbor, his Ensemble Ars Antiqua Austria and soloists of the St. Florian Boys' Choir.
The ancient myth of Andromeda and Perseus is interpreted by the librettist Heinrich Rademin as an allegory of the Passion of Christ: the daughter (Andromeda) must make atonement for the guilt of her mother (Cassiopeia); she is ultimately freed by Perseus and taken as his wife. In the Christian interpretation, this signifies the forgiveness of original sin through the death of Jesus Christ and his marriage with the human soul, to which the final chorus refers in all clarity. Fux’s oratorio, which can probably be regarded as one of the master's final compositions, is truly state of the art. This elaborate work offers convincing proof, once again, that its creator was probably one of the best contrapuntists of his time.
Alois Mühlbacher (Perseus), Simon Boden (Andromeda), Jakob Kritzinger (Cassiopeia), Matthias Helm (Furor) & Markus Miesenberger. St. Florian Boys' Choir & Ars Antiqua, Gunar Letzbor
St. Florianer Sängerknaben Mehr als vierzig Jahre lang war Franz Joseph Aumann als Regens chori im Chorherrenstift St. Florian bei Linz. Hochgeschätzt von den Zeitgenossen und sogar noch von Anton Bruckner, der mehrere seiner Werke bearbeitete, fiel er offenbar erst im 20. Jahrhundert dem unverdienten Vergessen anheim. Gunar Letzbor hat mit den hier aufgenommen geistlichen Werken Aumanns wertvolle musikalische Schätze aus Österreich der Vergessenheit entrissen.
ARS ANTIQUA AUSTRIA
ENSEMBLE FOR NEW BAROQUE MUSIC
St.Florianer Sängerknaben, Franz Farnberger
Gunar Letzbor, Direction
St. Florianer Sängerknaben A very nice selection of religious and secular music from different periods (the majority for the Christmas season). A third of the tracks feature well performed treble solo parts.
St. Florianer Sängerknaben This 58-min. CD was recorded at St Florian in Apl. 1997 with boy soloists, the Abbey's own orchestra & the famous Bruckner organ. The intonation is not perfect, but this is an interesting collection of Bruckner pieces, some composed at St Florian, recorded with his own choir in a setting he knew and loved.
St. Florianer SängerknabenPhilipp FragnerClemens HeinrichChristoph Prendl
Mitwirkende: St. Florianer Sängerknaben,
Vienna Voice Artists
Solisten / Soloists: Clemens Heinrich (Sopran); Philipp Fragner (Sopran); Markus Ulrich (Mezzosopran); Hannes Edermayer (Mezzosopran, Alt); Christoph Prendl (Alt); Roland Miniberger (Alt); Andreas Bukal (Alt); Thomas Paul (Tenor); Erasmus Baumgartner (Bariton); Klemens Geyrhofer (Bass);
Männerquartett / Men quartet:
Thomas Paul (1. Tenor), Michael Moucka (2. Tenor),
Erasmus Baumgartner (1. Bass), Markus Schulz (2. Bass)
Leitung / Director: Franz Farnberger
Klavier / Piano: Franz Farnberger
Brucknerorgel / Organ: Augustinus Franz Kropfreiter
St. Florianer Sängerknaben The book draws a picture of the choir in present and in history.
Apart from a vast of information about the choir this book also includes many photos from the past until the time of its publication.