In German speaking countries Haydn’s oratorios, and particularly
, have played an important role in the repertoire of choral societies and music festivals since the 1810s. However, in France, and also in Paris — “the capital of the 19th century” —, Haydn’s oratorios were performed only on rare occasions, and then they were given mostly in parts. The reasons for these circumstances can be seen in the institutional and esthetical context of the Parisian concert life. With respect to professional concert societies, like the
Société des Concerts du Conservatoire
, rigid obstacles were on the one hand the enormous financial risk of a complete oratorio performance. On the other hand the established type of concert programmes with its varied mixture of vocal and instrumental pieces functioned as a barrier. Most important was a lack of mixed amateur choral societies, which developed in Paris quite late, primary in the 1840s, and then only little by little. Since oratorio performances lasted to be mostly a private affaire in the first half of the 19th century, it is not surprising, that Haydn’s oratorios were studied in aristocratic salons of Princesse de Belgiojoso and Baron Delmar with the intention of both education and entertainment.
The recognition of topoi, i.e. traditional formulae, is an important means of musical analysis. To illustrate this, the paper discusses the types of the battaglia and the pastoral in Bach’s Cantata Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ, and briefly enumerates different types of allusions to jazz in 20th-century compositions by Stravinsky, Milhaud, Blacher, Tippet, and Zimmermann. Then it raises the possibility of an analysis of topoi in Bartók’s music in four main categories. It considers Bartók’s musical quotations from Bach to Shostakovich; the chorale as special topos appearing in Mikrokosmos, in the Concerto for Orchestra, in the Adagio religioso of the Third Piano Concerto; the topos-like employment of the tritone; and finally the idea of a Bartókian Arcadia in the Finale of Music for Strings, and the integration of bird song in the Adagio religioso.
premiered on October 22, 1882 under his direction. The soloists were Fanny Kováts (soprano), Irene Schlemmer-Ambros (alto), Anton Steger (tenor) and Anton Strehlen (bass), the choral movement was sung by the Liedertafel (Pozsonyi dalárda) and the choral
The music of Veljo Tormis (b. 1930) became well-established in Estonia during the 1960s yet remained little known in the West until the fall of Communism. By incorporating traditional Estonian folk song, regilaul, into his works, Tormis’s name became closely associated for Estonians with upholding a sense of national identity against the Soviet regime. It is his vast output of some 500 choral songs for which he is most immediately recognised; indeed, once regilaul had come to dominate the ‘Tormis style’, he dedicated himself almost exclusively to choral composition. This paper examines regilaul, its impact on Tormis during his formative years, and its integration into his mature compositional style, leading him to claim that he had ‘found his voice’ as a composer.
A fragment of a book-roll from Oxyrhynchus, dated by its handwriting to the second/third century AD, is here briefly presented as a case-study in the reading and restoration of previously unknown Greek texts. It is argued that the fragment is part of a choral lyric from an Athenian Old Comedy, perhaps the
of Cratinus, and that it may mention Pericles at a time not long before his death in 429 BC.
Ferenc Zsasskovszky (1819–1887) wurde in Zsasskó, Nordungarn (heute Žaškov, Slowakei) als Kantorensohn geboren. Er studierte von 1841 bis 1843 an der Prager Orgelschule bei Karl Franz Pitsch, der ihn in die Kunst der Bach’schen Improvisation einführte. 1846 wurde er Regens Chori am Dom zu Eger, wo er Kirchenmusikwerke von Joseph und Michael Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Hummel, Cherubini etc. aufführte. Neben seiner Tätigkeit als Kantor organisierte Zsasskovszky auch weltliche Konzerte. Während dieser Zeit zählte Eger zu den bedeutendsten Musikzentren Ungarns. Zsasskovszky war auch als Pädagoge tätig, er unterrichtete Musik und leitete die Schulchöre der Lehrerbildungsanstalt, des Gymnasiums sowie der Volksschule. Zsasskovszky gab seiner Arbeit mit modernen Handbüchern eine theoretische Grundlage, die er gemeinsam mit seinem Bruder, Endre Zsasskovszky (1824–1882), verfasste. Ihr bedeutendstes Werk ist das Katholische Kirchengesangbuch (
Katholikus Egyházi Énektár
, 1855), welches den ungarischen Kirchengesang entscheidend beeinflusst hat und bis in die 1960er Jahren im regulären Gottesdienst verwendet wurde. Die Brüder Zsasskovszky verfassten Gesangbücher für alle Unterrichtsstufen und Choral-Sammlungen für alle gängigen Chorbesetzungen, die im ganzen Land verbreitet wurden und zu einem allgemeinen Aufschwung des Chorgesangs beitrugen.
Both Franz Liszt and Augusta Holmès wrote symphonic-choral works inspired by Dante; they composed them, however, in different periods. In this study we wish to associate the two composers not only for their respect and friendship that lasted several years, but because they have both offered an interpretation of Dante’s work, the Divina Commedia, that proved to be a significant source of inspiration for nineteenth-century musicians. What we find particularly important is not so much the substantial difference in their choice and interpretation of the text — that one could say was inspired by the spiritual component in the case of Liszt and by a patriotic political intent in the case of Holmès — but their common relationship with the municipality of Florence, in primis with Count Angelo de Gubernatis, organizer of a women’s exhibition in Florence in 1890. He first had relations with Liszt a few years before, later with Augusta Holmès. It was De Gubernatis who asked Holmès to compose the work Inno alla Pace in order to try to reconcile France and Italy. For this reason in Holmès’ work Beatrice became a symbol of peace among the people.
This paper deals with an Abgar image in the Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum (Budapest), which was used as a devotional image by the composer. First the relationship of this representation to its prototype, the cult image of S. Silvestro in Capite in Rome is examined. Second we discuss information about the panel's first possessor, an abbess of the Poor Clares in Pozsony (today's Bratislava), whose name is known from the inscription of the verso. Not only do we attempt a more precise dating based on this information, but also endeavour to place the picture in its original context. The use of images among the nuns of the order of St. Clare, and the question on what occasion the abbess may have received this panel are also considered. The third part addresses the issue of Liszt's relations with Rome, in particular the role his cordial relationship with Pope Pius IX may have played from his painting's point of view. As music and visual arts were considered closely related in Liszt's eyes, in the last part of the paper an analogy is drawn between the composer's Abgar image and his sacred choral works in terms of their archaicism.
The first print of Joseph Haydn’s
was the Schwickert piano-reduction from 1781. It includes only the German text by Johann Adam Hiller. Two years earlier Hiller brought his German version to its first performance at the university-church in Leipzig. He wanted to make this work known in Protestant churches of Germany, where Latin was “not appropriate”. The German text minimizes the reference to Mary and accentuates the Protestant-typical Christo-centrism. 1803 Breitkopf sets in the first print of the score both the Latin and the German text. Some different versions (for instance by Findeisen and Christmann) were also successful efforts adapting the work into the Protestant liturgy, like J. S. Bach did with Pergolesi’s
. Indeed, some sources include choral settings between the original numbers, resembling the form of a typical Protestant church-cantata. Translations and adaptations were prerequisites of wide reception in Protestant parts of Middle and Northern Germany, where the requirement of sophisticated passion-music in form of cantatas was considerably, also after 1800.
Bartók’s two- and three-part choruses for children’s and female voices are his best-known choral works worldwide. Nevertheless, the cycle as a whole does not enjoy a wide popularity outside of Hungary. The reason for this lies in the fact that, being a textually inspired composition written in an inaccessible language, it is internationally rarely performed due to difficulties of pronunciation and accentuation — not to mention the difficulties of translation. Text has a very special role in Bartók’s vocal works, where words do not act only through their meaning, nor do they function merely as a supplementary element of music, but are both an essential shaping force in the field of rhythm and a fundamental factor of timbre. The subject of this paper is a survey of some difficulties in performing the Twenty-Seven Choruses with particular emphasis on the role of the text in the pieces’ rhythmic style. The relation between words and timbre and, in connection with that, the orchestral version of seven choruses are also examined.