Produced by a team of scholars from the Ústavu hudební vědy at Masarykova univerzita in Brno, Melodiarium hymnologicum Bohemiae is a digital catalogue of monophonic Latin, Czech, and German sacred song found in sources located in the Czech lands or imported into the Czech lands, from the earliest beginnings until the eighteenth century. The database, which is largely bilingual in Czech and English, includes facsimiles and text and melody indexes, along with numerous annotations. While users must establish logins, no fee is required; the resource is supported by the Ministerstva školství, mládeže a tělovýchovy České republiky.
Tag Archives: Composition
Bach’s use of a musical motive based on his name, B–A–C–H, is well known, and several other composers have used it in tributes to the Baroque master. As connoisseurs of French chamber music also know, Ravel made similar use of the technique of deriving musical material from a composer’s name in his Berceuse sur le nom de Gabriel Faure and Menuet sur le nom d’Haydn.
Far less known is the further use of this technique by both Debussy and Ravel in more enigmatically titled pieces. For example, several of their works bearing the words hommage or tombeau include musical material derived from the honoree’s name. Such formerly puzzling titles, which have led the curious on wild-goose chases in their attempts to understand what on earth the music had to do with the named composer, may now be understood as sly references to uses of this technique.
This according to “Widmungsstücke mit Buchstaben-Motto bei Debussy und Ravel” by Paul Mies, an essay included in Festschrift für Erich Schenk (Studien zur Musikwissenschaft: Beihefte der Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich, vol. 25 , pp. 363–368); this journal issue dedicated to the Austrian musicologist Erich Schenk (1902–74) on the occasion of his 60th birthday is covered in our recently published Liber Amicorum: Festschriften for music scholars and nonmusicians, 1840–1966.
Below, Ravel’s Le tombeau de Couperin, one of the works discussed in the article.
Founded in 2007 by a consortium of French and international institutions and ensembles, Musique contemporaine/Contemporary music is a bilingual search engine for contemporary art music resources held at French institutions. Users can listen to excerpts of unpublished sound archives of conferences and concerts and read the program notes for these events. A glossary (in French) defines the main concepts involved in contemporary music, and an interactive structural map provides links to glossary entries, composers’ biographies, work excerpts, and so on. Also included are an interactive tag cloud of the composers who are most referenced, a composers’ timeline, and an interactive map showing the main French contemporary music organizations and providing their addresses. Simple and advanced searching tools are available.
Mozart’s Entführung aus dem Serail was first performed in London at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden on 24 November 1827. Stephanie’s libretto was translated into English and quite freely adapted, and one C. Kramer made numerous and inexplicable changes to the score, editing Mozart’s music, substituting his own numbers for some of the original ones, and adding entirely new numbers. None the wiser, audiences and critics received the mangled work with great enthusiasm.
This according to “The first performance of Mozart’s Entführung in London” by Alfred Einstein (1880–1952) in Essays on music (New York: W.W. Norton, 1956), a collection of his writings issued as a memorial volume; the book is covered in our recently published Liber Amicorum: Festschriften for music scholars and nonmusicians, 1840–1966.
Above, a nineteenth-century engraving depicting a production of the opera in London—perhaps the one that Einstein described. Below, Twyla Tharp and Milos Forman imagine the opera’s premiere in Amadeus.
The library, which is named for the innovative music printer Ottaviano Petrucci (1466–1539), mainly comprises scans of music editions whose copyright has expired; it also welcomes scores by contemporary composers who are willing to license their works without charge.
Franz Niemetschek’s legendary report that La clemenza di Tito was composed in 18 days was not seriously challenged until 1960, when Tomislav Volek published important archival materials relating to the chronology of the opera’s composition. Physical evidence from the autograph manuscript, including the remains of a fly squashed on the paper (probably by the composer in the heat of August), contributes to discrediting the hypothesis that Mozart’s work had begun before he signed his July 1791 contract for the opera.
This according to “The chronology of Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito reconsidered” by Sergio Durante (Music & letters, 80, no. 4 (Nov 1999): 560–594), where the evidence is described thus:
“On folio 114 of the autograph . . . a thick black spot in the shape of a cross is found. . . . On direct and close examination, the centre of the spot proves to host the remains of a fly (a kind of evidence not often found in music sources!). After a long reflection, my best guess is that the fly was smashed under the loose bifolium at the very time of composition, after it had unduly annoyed Mozart at work; he also provided a witty ‘service’ to the insect by marking a cross over it (‘requiescat’!); in any case, such was the force and determination of the action, combined with the gluing action of the ink, that the corpse is still stuck on the page after two hundred years of musicological investigations.” (p. 574)
More articles about Mozart are here.
Thanks to funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Magazine Fund, the SOCAN Foundation Publications Assistance Program, and the Canada Periodical Fund, Musicworks has been issuing articles, reviews, and scores focusing on Canadian music since 1978; since 1983, issues have included sound recordings as well. While Canadian composers and performers are most often featured, the magazine also covers Canadian traditional music in both native and non-native cultures.
Recently Musicworks sent us a full run of their back issues; now we are confident that all of their articles are fully covered by RILM.
The German publisher Allitera Verlag launched the series Beiträge zur Kulturgeschichte der Musik in 2009 with Deutsche Frauen, deutscher Sang: Musik in der deutschen Kulturnation, edited by Rebecca Grotjahn. The collection focuses on European musical topics in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with essays that culturally contextualize the works of major composers along with those of lesser-known figures such as Albert Lortzing and Ingeborg Bronsart von Schellendorf.
In rare cases facsimile editions provide evidence of collaborative processes; an example is the recent edition by Leo S. Olschki Editore of the working copy of the libretto for Puccini’s Tosca, part of which is pictured above.
With notes in the hands of Puccini, the publisher Giulio Ricordi, and the librettists Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa—and the inclusion of pasted-in pages fathfully reproduced as separate, attatched sheets—the edition documents the collaborative process that resulted in one of the landmarks of verismo opera.
Below, Renée Fleming sings Tosca’s signature aria Vissi d’arte.