Magyar Zene Music Quarterly

 

 

 

 

Magyar Zene

Hungarian Language Music Quarterly

 

Vol. 49 , No. 4 - November 2011

 

 

Contents

 

Articles

 

LÁSZLÓ DOBSZAY  
Áttekintés a mai gregorián- kutatás alapkérdéseiről 377
A Survey of Basic Questions in Chant Research Today (Abstract) 387
ZOLTÁN FARKAS  
A toposztól a stílusig: a 18. századi kismesterek zenéjének elemzése – tanulságokkal,
1. rész
396
From Topos to Style: Analysing the Music of the 18th Century Kleinmeister.
Questions and Conclusions, Part 1 (Abstract)
406
DAMIEN COLAS  
Francia- e az Ory grófja? 407
Questioning the „Frenchness” of Rossini’s Le comte Ory (Abstract) 428
SIEGHART DÖHRING  
A kozmopolita esztétika és a nemzeti elkötelezettség között
Giacomo Meyerbeer és porosz operája: Ein Feldlager in Schlesien
429
Between a Cosmopolitan Aesthetic and Commitment to the Nation
Giacomo Meyerbeer and His Prussian Opera: Ein Feldlager in Schlesien (Abstract)
438
SUSAN M. FILLER  
A jiddis opera mint zsidó nemzeti színház 439
Yiddish Opera as Jewish National Theatre (Abstract) 447
BALÁZS MIKUSI  
Minerva párisi nőkalapja és az imperátor fekete frakkja
August Adelburg és a kozmopolita nemzeti opera
448
Minerva’s Parisian Lady’s Hat and the Emperor’s Black Tailcoat
August Adelburg’s Cosmopolitan National Opera (Abstract)
466
RICHARD TARUSKIN  
A tömeg, a csőcselék és a nemzet a Borisz Godunovban
Mit gondolt Muszorgszkij, és számít- e az?
467
Crowd, Mob, and Nation in Boris Godunov
What Did Musorgsky Think and Does It Matter? (Abstract)
486

Work in Progress

 

ANNA SCHOLZ  
Artikuláció J. S. Bach hat csellószvitjében
A források és a kritikai kiadások problematikája, 2. rész
487
Articulation in Bach’s Six Suites for Solo Cello
Problems of the Sources and the Critical Editions, Part 2 (Abstract)
503

Review

 

MELINDA BERLÁSZ  
Monográfia az ugrós táncok dallamairól
Paksa Katalin: Az ugrós táncok zenéje. Népzenetörténeti áttekintés
504
[Katalin Paksa: The music of jumping folk dances.  A historical overview]  
   
   

The whole issue (pdf)

 

 



 

ABSTRACTS

 

 

LÁSZLÓ DOBSZAY

A Survey of Basic Questions in Chant Research Today

 

This study, which is the written version of a lecture given at Oxford University in All Souls College, is a summing up of the present- day problems surrounding plainchant research, and the questions which arise from earlier results together with newer questions which complement them. The first group of questions deals with problems surrounding the origins of plainchant, namely what can be known concerning liturgical singing in the centuries before the appearance of musical notation, what assistance may be proffered by the non- musical relics of earlier centuries, and what was the role of oral tradition in preserving the melodies. A summary of the various theories allows us to suppose that a more or less fixed repertoire existed before the introduction of musical notation, but as to how and by what means this could become so widespread geographically needs more research (not just musical research). The second group of questions discusses the nature of plainchant and the problems of defining it. How far can the repertoire published in the 20th century be considered to be the same as the items preserved in the manuscripts of earlier centuries, or as the chants which disappeared before the period of notation, i. e. in sum: is plainchant a repertoire or a style? In the second period of the history of plainchant (c. 800–1100) the study highlights the importance of the institutions that maintained the practice of liturgical music, the problems to do with notation, as well as the continuing importance of musical memory, together with the opportunities this offers for musical variation. The third historical period (11th century) brought with it a growth and enrichment of the classical plainchant repertoire through the the introduction of staff notation. The difficulties surrounding research of this period (unlike those of the previous periods) are caused by the need to place in a historical context the huge number of surviving musical documents (where they stem from and the strengths of tradition in local institutions). The most important task confronting modern research is the cataloguing of the complete repertoire of chant (from all sources) and its comparative study, so that the melodies can be studied from the aspect of their total variations and stylistic divergences. Only in this way can the characteristic features of different styles and periods be uncovered. Even so, the new paths of reserach and its results cannot answer the question of how it was was possible for such a perfect and unique style to come into existence.

 

László Dobszay (1935- 2011), doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (2003), receiver of the Széchenyi Prize, President of the Széchenyi Academy of the Arts (2007). Head of the Franz Liszt University of Music – Hungarian Academy of Sciences research team for church music, Professor Emeritus at the Franz Liszt University of Music.

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ZOLTÁN FARKAS

From Topos to Style: Analysing the Music of the 18th Century Kleinmeister.
Questions and Conclusions, Part 1

 

The study discusses the methodological problem of researching composers active in Hungary in the 18th and early 19th centuries, such as G.J. Werner, B. Istvánffy, A. Zimmermann, V. Deppisch, J. Bengraf, G. Druschetzky, J.E. Fuss, J.G. Lickl and others. It does not address the question whether historical correctness excludes the possibility of using the term Kleinmeister in musicology at all, and does not attempt to give a definition of a composer’s greatness. Instead, it reflects on the practical difficulties of Kleinmeister research and analysis, namely:
(1) Blank spots in the biographies: missing documentation makes it impossible to provide precise and detailed biographies. (2) Contemporary and modern encyclopedias are regularly unreliable as they are prone to repeat the mistakes of a single common source. (3) There is a general lack of reliable lists of works, although the RISM database offers great help in compiling them. (4) The number of false attributions is exceedingly high, especially in church music which was disseminated in manuscript copies. (5) The chronology of compositions by a Kleinmeister compositions cannot be established. Dating through style criticism rarely brings reliable results. (6) Most of the surviving oeuvres are highly fragmentary (the sources of theatre music suffered an especially cruel fate). (7) The borders of periods in the history of music in Hungary do not coincide with those valid in the centres of European music. (8) The dominant genres at the centre and at the periphery also diverge. (9) Analytical methods created for the works of the great masters of music history are not necessarily applicable in researching the music of a Kleinmeister. It is helpful to make a difference between those composers who actively participated in the creation of a new musical language („pioneers”, the protagonists of transition) and those of their contemporaries who simply applied the results of an already well- established style and impoverished it to bathos. (10) It is misleading to ask the question what Kleinmeister could learn from his „great” colleagues, as in many cases the learning process took place the other way round. Modern literature on the Kleinmeister often identifies the traditional elements and topoi of composing in the individual oeuvres, but leaves unanswered the question
of how an individual style was formed from these inherited topoi. The second part of the study attempts to illustrate this process.

 

Zoltán Farkas (b. 1964) studied musicology at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest and graduated in 1987. Between 1987 and 2006 he worked at the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Between 2006 and 2011 he was director of Radio Bartók, the classical music channel of Hungarian Radio. Since 2011 he has been the intendant of the same institution. His scholarly interests are focused on 18th century church music and Hungarian contemporary music.

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DAMIEN COLAS

Questioning the „Frenchness” of Rossini’s Le comte Ory

 

To talk about the Frenchness of Le comte Ory might sound like provocation. Being basically a rifacimento of Rossini’s Viaggio, Rossini’s penultimate stage work belongs to the corpus of Italo- French operas. Yet there are three reasons for looking at Le comte Ory as an authentic French opera. Firstly, in the newly composed parts of the work, Rossini avoided the traditional features of the closed numbers typical of the Italian tradition by inserting recitatives inside the numbers and by merging closed numbers and subsequent recitatives, especially at the end of Act 2. Secondly, the French lines written by Scribe to fit the already composed music follow poetic patterns from the Middle Ages, of which the prosodic features were closer to Italian than Classical French. Last, the very choice of the legend of Ory is typical of the troubadour style that had been fashionable in Paris since the last decades of the 18th century, and it turns out that this particular legend was extremely popular back then, as witnessed by the variety of local variants that were published in the 19th century.

 

Damien Colas, musicologist, is a Directeur de recherche at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique. In 1998 he joined the Institut de recherche sur le patrimoine musical en France (Paris), where he works on nineteenth- century opera. His research fields are Italian opera in France, vocal and orchestral performance traditions and musical philology. In 2007, he organized with Alessandro Di Profio an international conference about the relations between French and Italian opera, of which the proceedings were published by Mardaga in 2009, entitled D’une scène à l’autre. Forthcoming is his critical edition of Le comte Ory by Rossini, to be published by Bärenreiter.

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SIEGHART DÖHRING

Between a Cosmopolitan Aesthetic and Commitment to the Nation
Giacomo Meyerbeer and His Prussian Opera: Ein Feldlager in Schlesien

 

The chief representative of cosmopolitan grand opéra as the composer of an opera for Prussia – this uncomfortable phenomenon owes its origin to an unusual historical situation. Giacomo Meyerbeer was invited to succeed Gaspare Spontini as the chief director of music in Berlin, the city of his birth, and he could not evade the honour of being commissioned to compose a festive opera for the re- opening of the Berlin Opera after its destruction in a fire, even though he considered Paris, now as before, to be his artistic home and the future headquarters of his work as a composer for the theatre. Together with his friend Alexander von Humboldt, who had very close ties to the Prussian royal house, in particular to the young King Friedrich Wilhelm IV, Meyerbeer sought and found a diplomatic solution which made it possible for him to fulfil his commission without too great an artistic compromise. He asked the skilled Parisian librettist Eugène Scribe to write a prose text in French, but to remain anonymous while the official librettist was advertized as Ludwig Rellstab, who translated the French into German, and put the words of the sung items into verse. Since Scribe here also worked strictly to the dramaturgical prescriptions of the composer, the resulting „Lebensbilder aus der Zeit Friedrichs des Großen” („Pictures from the time of Frederick the Great”, the subtitle of the work) pays homage to the king of Prussia as the patron of peace and the arts. Given this interpretation, which was inspired by contemporary literary and pictorial portraits of Friedrich II (by Franz Kugler and Adolph von Menzel), the confrontation with authority found in Meyerbeer’s grand historical operas was here given new life in an unusual context, one which made the concept of the nation relative to a generalized ideal of humanity.

 

Sieghart Döhring studied Theology, Philosophy and Musicology at the University of Hamburg and at the Philipps- University of Marburg/Lahn. There he gained his doctorate in 1969 and became an assistent, a lecturer, and a professor at the Musikwissenschaftlichen Institut. From 1983 to 2006 he was head of the Forschungsinstituts für Musiktheater of the University of Bayreuth in Thurnau, and after his habilitation at the Technichal University of Berlin he has been since 1987 also a head of department at the Lehrstuhls für Theaterwissenschaft at the University of Bayreuth, with special emphasis on musical theatre. From 1996 to 2000 he was president of the Gesellschaft für Theaterwissenschaft, and since 1996 president of the Europäischen Musiktheater-Akademie (EMA) and head of the Meyerbeer-Institut. The central area of his teaching and research is the history of European musical theatre.

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SUSAN M. FILLER

Yiddish Opera as Jewish National Theatre

 

In the last decades of the nineteenth century, staged productions of opera in Yiddish became popular in the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe. The composers of these works were influenced by music in non- Jewish venues expressing the rise of political nationalism prior to the First World War. However, the works of Abraham Goldfaden (the „father of Yiddish theater”) were not the first Jewish- oriented stage spectacles; assimilated Jewish composers, including Serov, Halévy, Meyerbeer, Goldmark, Rubinstein and Offenbach, had contributed operas based on Jewish subject matter and exploring Jewish musical style as it was defined during that period. Goldfaden and other composers brought their stage works to North America in the wake of Jewish immigration by the turn of the twentieth century. After Goldfaden’s death in 1908, composers of the next generation including Joseph Rumshinsky, Abraham Ellstein, Alexander Olshanetsky and Sholom Secunda contributed works of their own, often co- existing with Jewish composers of English productions including Sigmund Romberg, Jerome Kern and George Gershwin. The influence of these works (whether in Yiddish or English) is traceable to this day in the operatic and Broadway works of Shulamit Ran, Leonard Bernstein and Osvaldo Golijov, among others.

 

Susan M. Filler completed her doctoral dissertation at Northwestern University. She has contributed articles and reviews to such periodicals as Journal of Musicological Research, Pendragon Review, Journal of the Central Conservatory of Music [Beijing], News About Mahler Research [Vienna], College Music Symposium, Music and Letters, Music Library Association Notes,Transversal [Graz], and Shofar. She is the author of two editions of Gustav and Alma Mahler: A Research and Information Guide (Garland Publishing, 1989; Routledge, 2008), and co- edited Essays in Honor of John F. Ohl: A Compendium of American Musicology (Northwestern University Press, 2001). She has published essays in books from Salem Press, Northwestern University Press, Peter Lang, Indiana University Press, Ashgate Publishing and Creighton University Press. While continuing her long involvement with the lives and work of Gustav and Alma Mahler, she has branched out into the history of Jewish music. She has just begun compiling a critical catalogue of the works of Sholom Secunda.

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BALÁZS MIKUSI

Minerva’s Parisian Lady’s Hat and the Emperor’s Black Tailcoat
August Adelburg’s Cosmopolitan National Opera

 

Born to a Croatian father in Constantinople and educated in Vienna, August Adelburg (1830–1873) was a true cosmopolitan. His explicitly „national opera” about Miklós Zrínyi (c1508–1566), a Hungarian national hero of Croatian origins, was premiered in Hungarian translation on 23 June 1868 in the National Theater in Pest. The libretto (originally in German and adapted by the composer from Theodor Körner’s drama) includes a preface that adumbrates a wholesale theory of cosmopolitanized national opera, as it were. Elaborating his views as expressed in his 1859 essay against Liszt’s On the Gypsies and their music in Hungary, Adelburg insists that the hegemony of the three traditional musical styles – German, French and Italian – has become obsolete, since „the tones have a single expressive language, which is divided into as many dialects as there are musical nations in the world.” At the same time, he also considers the overly use of less „wornout” national styles misguided, since letting each character sing in the same manner is like „putting a Parisian lady’s hat, instead of an antique helmet, on Minerva’s head, and dressing the Roman emperors in black tailcoat, rather than sagum.” Therefore, a truly up- to- date national opera must in fact be „cosmopolitan” (Adelburg himself uses the term) in its sensitive portrayal of each individual character. Following a brief analysis of some of the most prominent „national” numbers of the work, I conclude by suggesting that Adelburg’s ideas about „cosmopolitanizing the national” render his Zrínyi a kind of mediator between two outstanding Hungarian operas of the period: Mihály Mosonyi’s „all- Hungarian” Szép Ilon (1861) and Ferenc Erkel’s „cosmopolitan” György Brankovics (1874).

 

Balázs Mikusi holds a PhD from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), and has been Head of Music at the National Széchényi Library, Budapest, since January 2009. Previously he studied musicology at the Liszt Academy of Music, and held Fulbright and DAAD fellowships, among others. His scholarly interests are wide- ranging, but vocal music from the 18th and 19th centuries plays a special role – he has published several articles about the music of Joseph Haydn (Eighteenth Century Music, Journal of Musicological Research, Ad Parnassum, Studia Musicologica) and Mozart (The Musical Times, Mozart- Jahrbuch), a study of Mendelssohn’s „Scottish” tonality (Nineteenth Century Music), as well as an essay on Schumann’s „exotic” works (The Musical Times). He is also author of a larger study on Bartók’s Scarlatti reception (Studia Musicologica).

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RICHARD TARUSKIN

Crowd, Mob, and Nation in Boris Godunov
What Did Musorgsky Think and Does It Matter?

 

When Musorgsky revised his opera Boris Godunov in 1871- 72 as a condition for its eventual performance in 1874, he made many changes that went far beyond what the Imperial Theaters demanded of him. Among these changes was the composition of a crowd scene outside Moscow, in which the rebellious populace hails the Pretender, to replace a crowd scene at Red Square in which a submissive, hungry crowd beg Boris for bread. The original scene came, like the rest of the libretto, directly from Pushkin’s eponymous play. The new scene reflected a new view of the historical events, and Musorgsky wrote his own text for it. The two scenes are ideologically at odds, particularly as regards their view of the Russian nation in relation to the Russian people. Moreover, the two scenes share the episode of the Holy Fool and the thieving boys, which Musorgsky transferred from the one score to the other. Obviously, Musorgsky regarded them as incompatible within a single production and thought he had made conflating them impossible. And yet, at the Bolshoy Theater in 1939, the two scenes were indeed played that way, inconsistencies and redundancies be damned. The Bolshoy production (which became widely known through recordings and film) might be written off, the way we tend to write off the art of the Stalinist era, as a politically motivated anomaly. But other productions, including one in San Francisco in 1992, and one that was mounted in 2010 at the Teatro Regio in Torino, have included both scenes without any such evident motivation, possibly because the Bolshoy production is now regarded by some as canonical. Is the historiographical contradiction involving our theme of Opera and Nation to be regarded as a blemish? If not, what considerations can be seen to outweigh it? Can Musorgsky’s political ideas be deduced from the work in which we assume they are embodied? And if they can be, should they be regarded as an aspect of the work that performers need respect?

 

Richard Taruskin is Class of 1955 Professor of Music at the University of California at Berkeley, and the author of the Oxford History of Western Music. His publications on Russian music include monographs on Musorgsky and Stravinsky, and two collections of essays, Defining Russia Musically (1997) and On Russian Music (2009).

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ANNA SCHOLZ

Articulation in Bach’s Six Suites for Solo Cello
Problems of the Sources and the Critical Editions, Part 2

 

In 2000 four critical, urtext editions of the Bach Cello Suites were published: Egon Voss/Henle, Kirsten Beisswenger/Breitkopf, Ulrich Leisinger/Wiener Urtext, and Bettina Schwemer- Douglas Woodfull- Harris/Bärenreiter. Comparing them to each other and to the volumes of the Neue Bach Ausgabe (Hans Eppstein, 1988/91) it is very easy to discover the numerous and significant differences in the articulation marks. What causes the differences? And how is it possible to make a well- informed decision between the editions? No autograph manuscript of the compositions survives, and the editors differ in their judgement of the importance of the four extant copies (by Anna Magdalena Bach, Johann Peter Kellner and by two anonymous copyists from the second half of the 18th century). This results in differing editorial principles: Voss and Beisswenger base their edition on AMB’s copy, Leisinger on the two later manuscripts, while Eppstein prepares two texts: one based on the two earlier, the other on the later copies. But even the editions prepared based on mainly similar principles are not nearly identical: this is explained by the often very ambiguous articulation marks of the sources. The editors for Bärenreiter give a radically different answer to the questions raised by the extant sources of the pieces: they decided to omit articulation marks entirely from their edition; users and performers are thus called upon to create their own version by studying the attached facsimiles. By examining a number of examples from the editions and the sources in detail, the article shows several types of problems encountered in the manuscripts and evaluates the answers given by the editors. The article is a summary of Anna Scholz’s DLA dissertation (Budapest, 2008).

 

Anna Scholz studied cello at the Oberlin Conservatory (USA), and in the class of Tamás Koó at the Franz Liszt Academy (Budapest). In the latter institution, she studied musicology as well, and received a DLA degree in cello in 2008. Since 2003 she has been a member of the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra. She pursues a strong interest in historical performance: she started playing baroque cello with Catharina Meints at the Oberlin Conservatory and in 2006 she continued these studies with Herwig Tachezi in Vienna. Since 2003 she has been an active member of the Orfeo Orchestra, an ensemble that plays period instruments. She is the author of numerous CD- booklets for Hungaroton Label’s „First Recording” series.

 

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