Music and its tradition

As early as of the 9th century a first proof of the rich tradition in music is found. Jeremiah's dirges endued with handscripts of "St. Galler Neumen" is Austria's oldest musical handscript.

Centuries by centuries, numerous notices illustrate the producing of music at the Monastery. In the 15th century, the Monastery possessed already two organs, as of the 16th century instrumental music has been cultivated. The Canons Regular as well as employed musicians and the boys choir have accomplished many tasks during the services, at table, on the occasion of visits of high-level guests, and in the course of theatre performances. The most important regens chori of the 18th century was Canon Regular Franz Joseph Aumann (1728   1797) who was outstanding of the Monastery composers during that time. His works, the elegance of which is definitely comparable with those of Michael Haydn and other contemporaries, gained nationwide circulation yet in his lifetime. To Michael Haydn, who paid some visits to St. Florian, there existed a friendly contact.  
From 1770 to 1774, the building of the great organ by the priest and organ-builder Franz Xaver Krismann from Ljubljana/Slovenia took place. Immediately, the monumental organ has belonged to the biggest and most admired ones throughout Europe. Franz Schubert was among the numerous guests. His works were often performed in the bosom of the Monastery since one of his librettists, Johann Mayrhofer, was then member of the community. Franz Xaver Müller (1870   1948), Canon Regular at St. Florian, has belonged to the most important Upper Austrian composers of the late Romanticism. He started his career as organist and regens chori, later on he was appointed music director at the cathedral of Linz. His compositions followed Anton Bruckner who he admired well from the beginning when he was choirboy and to whom he devoted himself throughout his life. Prof. Augustinus Franz Kropfreiter (1936   2003) was member of the convent since 1954. As of 1960 he became Monastery organist and started his teaching activity with the St. Florian Boys Choir. Five years later, the Monastery Provost appointed him regens chori. Three decades of successful concerts in Europe, Japan, and South America followed. To the benefit of his composing activities Prof. Kropfreiter suspended them gradually. He liked to express that the extemporisation on the organ was "the most precious source of life and multiple inspiration for many compositions" for him.

According to Prof. Kropfreiter, his stylistic development was strongly influenced by Hindemith, Martin, and David (around 1960). As of 1968 he left his idols bit by bit and concentrated on dodecaphonic music. Even more he sought maximum possible colour in homophony and polyphony - thus polytonality.
Prof. Kropfreiter's most important works are:

  • Altdorfer Passion (1965)
  • Te Deum (1970)
  • Signum for Organ (1976)
  • Sinfonia Concertante (1979)
  • Severin Oratorium (1980/81)
  • Magnificat (1983)
  • Concert for Organ and Orchestra "Leipziger Konzert" (1984)
  • First Symphony for Big Orchestra (1985)
  • Symphony for Strings (1985)
  • Stabat Mater (1986)
  • Second Symphony for Big Orchestra (1990)
  • Soliloquia (1993)
  • Third Symphony "(M)ein Testament" for Big Orchestra (1994/95)

Furthermore, he composed numerous organ opus, songs and motets as well as pieces of chamber music.
Please check for further information on Prof. Augustinus Franz Kropfreiter:
More information on present music making at the Monastery of St. Florian you will find on: