A privileged position in discourse on 19th-century opera is occupied by narration concerning the emancipation of national styles. In order to work out a fresh approach in scientific study of this subject, it seems crucial that we should abandon the ethnocentric perspective. This was one of the main postulates of Jean-Marie Pradier’s utopian project of ethnoscenology. Importantly, Pradier also stressed the physical aspect of all stage practice. In the times of Rossini, Verdi, Gounod and Moniuszko, the physicality of the spectacle was associated not only with singing, but also with choreography. The links between 19th-century opera and its broadly conceived dance component are the subject of a highly inspiring essay by Maribeth Clark, whose arguments, theses and conclusions we also present here in detail.
Stanisław Moniuszko’s operatic style is commonly associated with Polish dance rhythms. Still, salon dance should also be considered, apart from national dances, as one of the keys to the composer’s entire oeuvre. In a study of his stage works from both the Vilnius and the Warsaw periods, the dance idiom will not be limited to the presence of dance rhythms in the protagonists’ arias or to the ballet sections. Dance qualities can be discerned in Moniuszko’s music on a much deeper, fundamental level of the construction of operatic narration. Dance is frequently a hidden mechanism that serves as an axis of development for the presented events or as an element that organises the dramaturgy of entire scenes and instrumental passages.
This paper is an attempt to take a fresh look at the role of the dance idiom in Moniuszko’s operatic narrations, an initial reconnaissance, in which I point to the sources of the composer’s inspirations and illustrate my theses with specific examples.
The anonymous motet a cappella Exsultate gaudete laeti omnes preserved in manuscript, catalogue no. Kk I 1, in the Archives of the Krakow Cathedral Chapter, recorded by the provost of the Rorantists’ Capella, Józef Tadeusz Benedykt Pȩkalski in the mid18th century, is an extremely intriguing composition as far as the question of its author is concerned. This work exhibits many ties and even overt similarities with the style of an eminent representative of the Polish Baroque, Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki (1665/67-1734). The analysis presented in this article reveals the features that clearly link the anonymous motet with the musical language of this composer (evident inter alia in the melodic pattern, texture, and harmonics) without omitting other elements at the same time, those that would not support Gorczycki’s authorship. Thus, although in light of the whole of the observed phenomena Gorczycki’s authorship appears probable, there is no conclusive argument to attribute it to him. Despite the absence of a final conclusion that would clearly settle the matter, the author of the study decided to publish the motet together with its analysis, hoping that another scholar might find some overlooked detail, or encounter helpful concordance, etc, which will allow us to definitively confirm, or, on the contrary, to rule out Gorczycki’s authorship.
Byzantine music is the chanted prayer of the Orthodox Church left to us as a spiritual legacy by the holy masters of hymnography and hymnology ever since the early centuries. This music serves a precise purpose, i.e. to enhance the mood of prayer and to lift man closer to God. The Holy Liturgy, the mystical centre and the reference point of a man’s entire existence, represents man’s private meeting and communion with Christ, and the moment of this meeting is steeped in an atmosphere of meditation and inwardness created by a series of ample, slow, and vocalization-rich chants, called koinonika. It is a moment of ultimate inner appeasement and preparation. Early composers managed to capture this meditation effect in their koinonika, both through their compositional techniques and, especially, through an inner state of grace. However, in the 19th century, two phenomena became apparent: on the one hand, some of the new composers no longer succeeded in attaining the same ethos as the old masters, and, on the other hand (particularly from Ioan Popescu-Pasărea on), the music tastes of the time caused these ample chants to be replaced with simpler melodies, which, often, were even harmonized. This study has a threefold aim: first, it reasserts the fundamental role played by the koinonikon in the Holy Liturgy, by arguments that underline the ancientness of this practice as well as its survival in other Orthodox areas (such as Mount Athos and Greece). Second, the paper signals the publication, next year, of the first Romanian collection of koinonika signed by Byzantine and post-Byzantine composers (13th-19th centuries). Third, our study aims to show that these ancient chants have a special ethos, representing melodic as well as aesthetic archetypes and, par excellence, the true Classicism of Byzantine melos.
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In the music higher education, the appearance of a concept of incompatibility between the performance practice and the studentsʼ theoretical and analytical training is a phenomenon with multiple consequences on their training, on the way of organizing a curriculum and a hierarchical deformed attitude on the different subjects in the curriculum.This study summarizes some of the arguments that emphasize the role played by the study of the Music Analysis in developing the musicianʼs ability to understand music from the perspective of the compositional conception, to discover its importance as a stage in the formation of an original performance concept while highlighting the advantages of a collaborative approach between the two areas of training of the musician.
Over a century and a half after the establishment of the first state educational institution dedicated to music in Iaşi – the School of Music and Declamation (1860) – the distinctive features of music education and the social and cultural phenomena involved can be perceived and analyzed. This study provides arguments to support the following features: 1. the openness to assimilate a variety of pedagogic and cultural influences, both from Europe and from Romania; 2. the role played by leading personalities, musicians – professors, in rising performance levels and in perpetuating the project; 3. valorizing Romanian music traditions - liturgical songs of Byzantine origin and regional folklore - through education (specializations, courses, creative activities and music performance); 4. the constant involvement of music education in concerts and musical performances in Iaşi.