The present work, which was composed ca 1740, was published in Paris by Duter, Boivin and LeClerc in 1744 as the first of a set of twelve symphonies issued in two groups of six. The hallmarks of Richter’s mature style are already evident in these works; fast movements have a driving intensity and owe much of their power to the frequent employment of contrapuntal devices; slow movements are rich in expressive harmonies and unexpected melodic twists. These works all belong to Richter’s pre-Mannheim period but in many respects are not dissimilar to Johann Stamitz’s early works and doubtless played their part in the evolution of the Mannheim style; Franz Beck’s Op.1 Symphonies, written some fifteen years later, still retain a good many stylistic links with them.
This edition is based on the Duter, Boivin, LeClerc print of 1744 the title page of which reads: “SIX / GRANDES /
SIMPHONIES / Pour les Violons &c. / En quatre Parties
separées / et double Basse / PAR / MR+ RICTHER[sic] / Parte
Prima / Gravées par Melle Vandome / ... A PARIS ... AVEC
PRIVILEGE DU ROY”.
In the absence of the autograph score or a set of authentic
parts this edition presents as faithfully as possible the
intentions of the composer as transmitted in the source.
The elaborate continuo figuring in the basso part - possibly the work of a publisher’s assistant - has been omitted on the grounds that it is rendered largely superfluous by the publication of the work in full-score. The notation of articulation and dynamic markings has been standardised throughout, and, where missing, markings have been reconstructed from parallel passages. These are indicated by the use of dotted slurs or brackets where appropriate. No dynamic markings appear in the parts for the second and third movements. Like most eighteenth-century sources, the LeClerc print is inconsistent at times in its notation of appoggiature; these have also been standardised to minimise confusion. Obvious wrong notes have been silently corrected; otherwise, any editorial emendation with no authority from the source is placed within brackets.