History of Music in Documents:
Ch. Burney. An Account of Musical Performances in Westminster Abbey, and the Pantheon, May 26th, 27th, 29th, and June 3rd and 5th, 1784 in Commemoration of Handel
Russian translation and comments by Anna Loseva
This paper continues the publication of the first Russian translation of An Account of Musical Performances in Westminster Abbey, and the Pantheon, May 26th, 27th, 29th, and June 3rd and 5th, 1784, in Commemoration of Handel, written by famous English music historian Charles Burney (1726–1814), who attended that memorable festival. The performances were held under the patronage of King George III and received great public attention. That’s why the Account… is such a valuable document, which gives a vivid idea of the importance of music in the British social life of that epoch and the esteem for Handel’s name all over the country. Being a truly erudite person, being aware of all important musical events, Burney in his youth was also lucky to be personally acquainted with Handel. So it is undoubtedly interesting to read his discourse on Handel’s works selected for the festival and his judgment of the musicians’ skill, which he compares to that of the first performers. In this issue of the journal, we are publishing the fragment of the Account describing the first three days of the festival.
Keywords: Handel, Burney, Handel Commemoration, Westminster Abbey,
Two Views on Baby Christ: The Story of the Nativity Told
by H. Schütz and J. S. Bach.
Essay II. “Wie soll ich dich empfangen?”
This paper is the last of two essays on the interpretation of the Gospel Nativity story by great German baroque composers. J. S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio is presented as the composer’s integral declaration on Christ and Christian faith. The unity of the cycle is determined not only by the continuity of the biblical narration (and musical connections between separate parts of the oratorio) but also by the specific approach to its interpretation: the text and music of the pieces that sound as answers to the Evangelist’s recitative often refer to “parallel passages” of the Holy Scripture, i.e. to the broad biblical context. The relationship between Christmas Oratorio and the images and messages of two great Bach’s Passions is emphasized, particularly concerning the first part of the oratorio, in which the spiritual topics of Advent are reflected upon. To be continued and completed in the next issue.
Keywords: J. S. Bach, “Christmas Oratorio”, oratorio, cantata, “St. John Passion”, “St. Matthew Passion”, libretto, musical semantics, Baroque music
“Intermedij da Principi”:
The Seven Prescriptions of Giovanbattista Strozzi the Younger
This paper is an attempt to analyze the manuscript now known as “The Prescriptions for Intermedi” by Giovanbattista Strozzi the Younger (1551–1634), which is of great importance for studying the history of Florentine intermedi. We consider the document in the contexts of the theatrical practice of those times, general requirements to any intermedi, and the literary poetics that was then viewed as universally applicable. We come to the conclusion that “The Prescriptions” provide a full-fledged (albeit concise) theory, which is adequate for all renowned intermedi of the Medici Theater from the last third of the 16th century to the beginning of the 17th century. Finally we criticize the currently accepted dating of the manuscript and propose a new one.
The appendices to the paper contain our translations of the following documents into Russian: “Prescriptions for Intermedi” by G. B. Strozzi the Younger; G. B. Guarini’s conception (invenzione) of intermedi for his own pastoral Il pastor fido (1591); excerpts from B. de’ Rossi’s descriptions of the intermedi by G. de’ Bardi for the comedies L’amico fido (1586) and La pellegrina (1589).
Keywords: intermedi, Giovanbattista Strozzi the Younger, theory,
comedy, Bardi, Medici, theater
Dance in the Italian Theater of Late Renaissance
and Fabrizio Caroso’s Treatise “Nobilità di dame”
Dance in the musical theater of late Renaissance is described. The features of the dance culture are considered through the perspective of the book Nobilità di Dame (1600) by outstanding Italian dancing master Fabritio Caroso. An excerpt from the Russian translation of the treatise is published for the first time.
Keywords: Caroso, Negri, Nobilità di dame, choreography, dance music, Italian Renaissance
Notes on Drama Concept in Monteverdi’s Orfeo
Monteverdi’s masterpiece is considered mostly from the aspect of word-music relations, both in context of aesthetics and from the standpoint of composition and dramaturgy. Movement toward increasingly detailed understanding of these relations, in which word and music switch their roles, is important for more precise characterization of the genre and for the choice of terms that would adequately describe its features. The subtler our perception of the reflection of words in music, the greater our delight in this composition.
Keywords: Monteverdi, opera, Baroque, word, drama concept, form
Between Eternal Values and Personal Foibles:
Khovanshchina in Diaghilev’s Version
The aim of the paper is to reconstruct the history of the production of Khovanshchina in Diaghilev’s version, which was implemented in Paris in 1913. That grandiose project united the efforts of four geniuses: Stravinsky, Ravel, Chaliapin and Diaghilev himself. It aroused active discussion in the press and raised a very important problem of copyright. But, in the heat of the argument, many facts were distorted. Memoirs and manuscripts discovered during the last decades make it possible to learn the truth. This paper takes all known sources into account, and, in conclusion, tries to answer the key question of the debate: was Diaghilev right?
Keywords: Khovanshchina, Mussorgsky, Diaghilev, Stravinsky, Ravel,
Rimsky-Korsakov, Russian Seasons.
Bernd Alois Zimmermann on the Future of Ballet:
An Attempt at Reform
This is the first publication of Zimmermann’s essay “The Future of Ballet” in Russian (translated by N. Dontseva). The essay is preceded by an opening chapter, which includes comments to Zimmermann’s theory of “total ballet” and a summary of the composer’s ballet oeuvre. Periodization of Zimmermann’s ballets is proposed, and his cooperation with choreographer J. Cranko is described. Some ballets are analyzed according to Zimmermann’s innovative interpretation of the synthesis of arts in ballet theater.
Keywords: B. A. Zimmerman, ballet, dance, music, time, theater,
opera, genre, structure, Cranko, Petipa.
From Romantic Music Drama
toward Avant-Garde “Total Musical Theater”.
Wagner — Stockhausen
This paper raises theoretical questions on the nature of the music drama in the 19th and 20th centuries. They concern synthesis of arts and mechanisms of interaction between music, words, theatrical performance etc. The paper is centered about historically “extreme” phenomena of music drama: Wagner’s operas and avant-garde mystery plays (Stockhausen). The theoretical and creative parts of the composers’ heritage are analyzed in their interrelationship, which enables us to revise some accepted concepts.
One of the main tasks of this study was to characterize the role of music in those forms of arts synthesis. Its role has been steadily increasing from the symphonized music drama of Wagner and his successors to various forms of the present-day “total music theater.” One of the driving forces of this process is movement from theatrical art as such to mystery plays.
Keywords: Wagner, Verdi, Stockhausen, “Licht”, music drama, “total musical theater”,
avant-garde music, mystery play
Malipiero and Dallapiccola:
On the History of New Music in the 20th Century Italy
Two outstanding composers played a great role in the formation of new music in Italy: Gian Francesco Malipiero (1882–1973) and Luigi Dallapiccola (1904–1975). It is notable that their innovative work was marked by profound interest in the historical past. Unlike most of his Italian contemporaries and predecessors, Dallapiccola treated chamber vocal lyrical pieces as a genre no less important than the opera, which had never been done in Italian music before.
Keywords: Malipiero, Dallapiccola’s chamber vocal music, Webern, Monteverdi, Gesualdo,
Italian madrigal, lauda of the 13th century, Jacopone da Todi
Nono’s Serial Thinking Pattern:
Analysis of the First and Second Parts
of Il Canto Sospeso Cantata
This paper considers the serial method of composition implemented by Luigi Nono, one of the postwar music leaders, who was a representative of the Darmstadt School together with K. Stockhausen and P. Boulez. The typical features of the method that was used in a number of Nono’s musical pieces in the 1950s are exemplified through the analysis of the first two parts of his cantata Il Canto Sospeso. One of the most fundamental characteristics is organization of rhythm, which plays the crucial role in the formation of musical syntactic structures.
Keywords: serialism, serial composition, serial technique, serial method,
all-interval series, Nono, Il Canto Sospeso, the Darmstadt School
Siegfried Palm: Famous Cellist on New Music
This paper includes two parts: the first one presents a short biography of famous German cellist Siegfried Palm (1927–2005), who specialized in promoting and interpreting avant-garde music; the second part is a translated fragment from the book Capriccio per Siegfried Palm by M. Schmidt, with our commentaries. This text explicates Palm’s aesthetic opinions and his view of contemporary music. The book is written in the form of a dialog where Palm tells about his acquaintances, relationships and collaboration with post-avantgarde composers. He speaks about the joy of creation on stage and makes valuable suggestions concerning the performance of contemporary music.
Keywords: Palm, avant-garde music, cello techniques, Xenakis, Ligeti