Frans Joseph Krafft
Aliases: Krafft, Frans Josef; Krafft, François-Joseph
Born: 17 February 1729 (Brussels)
Died: 13 January 1795 (Ghent)
Frans Krafft was a Belgian organist, conductor and composer. He is the son of Jan Laurens Krafft (fr. Jean-Laurent Krafft), poet, writer, engraver, music publisher and composer, and of Marie Jeanne Aubersin. He is believed to have been a chorister in St Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, and to have studied composition in Italy (perhaps under Durante), where it is claimed that he won a prize for the motet In convertendo. He is sometimes erroneously named Frans-Joseph, but that is actually his elder brother, born in 1721. He should also be distinguished from his cousin Frans Krafft, born in Brussels in 1733 and also a composer, who emigrated to Germany.
Little is known of his career. He is mentioned in the Brussels Almanach nouveau - ou Le guide fidèle as a composer, organist and harpsichord teacher from 1761 to 1768. On 9 January 1768 Krafft married Jeanne Catherine Willems in the church of St Nicolas, Brussels; on 7 April 1769 he was appointed music director of St Bavo Cathedral in Ghent, a position he held until his resignation on 23 August 1794.
In Ghent Krafft composed his Requiem for the large vocal ensembles of the cathedral there. It was used for the funeral services of the sisters of the Great Beguine Convent in Louvain. The very sober themes, showing resignation and acceptance of death, are somewhat reminscent of those of Mozart's Requiem (the latter was born in 1756, thirty-five years after Krafft). Though different, the two works share the same style.
Many off Krafft's works were edited, revised or reconstructed and published by the 20th-century Flemish composer Herman Roelstraete.
View the Wikipedia article on Frans Joseph Krafft.
List of choral works
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