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Anton Reicha

Anton Reicha

(1770 - 1836)

Anton Reicha (Antonín Rejcha; February 26, 1770 - May 28, 1836) was a Bohemian composer, born in Prague. An associate of Bernard and Andreas Romberg and Franz Joseph Haydn as well as an exact contemporary and friend of Ludwig van Beethoven, Reicha's reputation lies primarily with his 25 wind quintets and his theoretical writings on music. His copious chamber music includes an octet for strings and winds, ten string quintets, thirty-seven string quartets, five quintets for wind and strings, several piano trios and violin sonatas, and a large body of solo piano music. There are also eight symphonies, three large-scale choral works, and eight operas.

It has been said that Reicha is to the wind quintet what Haydn is to the string quartet – he almost single-handedly established the combination of flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon as an important form. Reicha's contributions to other forms are only now being seriously investigated. The string quartets and quintets, in particular, deserve to be better known, as do his novel and inventive symphonic works. In later life, as professor of counterpoint and fugue at the Paris Conservatoire, Reicha taught Hector Berlioz, Franz Liszt, Charles Gounod, and César Franck, among many others.

Recommended Recordings

Wind Quintets

3 Wind Quintets #7 Op. 91 #1, #18 Op. 99 #6 and #23 Op. 100 #5/CPO 999027-2
Albert Schweitzer Quintet
2 Wind Quintets #5 Op. 88 #5 and #11 Op. 91 #5/Hyperion CDA66379
Academia Wind Quintet, Prague