The Hofkirche is now the Catholic Cathedral in Dresden. It was built as the Court Catholic Church after the conversion of the Wettin Family rulers. Frederic Augustus II (Augustus the Strong) converted in 1697 and the first court church was in a former opera house. It was not until 1738 that his son demanded a new Court Church with the foundation stone laid in 1739. the architect was the Italian Gaetano Chiaveri (1689-1770). He fell out with the authorities and several Germans adapted and completed the building, with consecvration in 1751. The large Ascension painting over the high altar by Anton Raphael Mengs (1728-1779) is memorable. Severe damage occurred in the appalling bombing on 13 Febrary 1945.The restoration has been superb.
My own memories of this beautiful building go back to my first visit when I camped soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall in More of this when I write about the Frauenkirche. Suffice it to say that I went to Sunday Mass (prayting for reconciliation) and when I reached my nearby car someone had scratched a small swastika with 13 2 45. Dresden has always been near to my heart particularly since that day. As for the building : it is obviously Baroque - very different from its more famous Protestant neighbour the Frauenkirche, but its white decor, great acoustics, and elegance make a great impression. The Silbermann organ (pipes survived 1945) is majestic. Wonderful for JS Bach. The most popular musical figure during Frederic Augustus III's regn was Johann Adolph Hasse (1699-1783) and we can suggest that his Requiem in C for his employer's funeral, a Mass in d or the deeply felt Miserere below are the perfect accompaniment to the building. Hasse was a very prolific composer, especially of opera and for many years has had a bad press. This is changing and he is worth exploring.
|Interior : this dazzling shot gives the atmosphere (David Lagourie Gosling : flickr)|
|Exterior : such elegance ! (NH53 ; flickr)|
Johann Adolf Hasse 1699-1783 Miserere per Soli, Coro e Orchester in D minor: 1. Miserere 0:10 2. Tibi soli peccavi 4:22 3. Ecce enim 7:01 4. Quoniam si voluisses 13:26 5. Benigne fac, Domine 16:11 6. Tunc acceptabis 19:09 Simona Houda-Šaturová [soprano] Pritta Schwarz [alto] Eric Stokloßa [tenore] Gotthold Schwarz [basso] Dresdner Kammerchor Dresdner Barockorchester Hans-Christoph Rademann [conductor]