rss_2.0Musicology Today FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Musicology Today Today 's Coverław Mirski - Polish Music Director of the Silent Film Era<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Bronisław Mirski (b. 1887 as Moszkowicz in Żyrardów near Warsaw, Poland – d. 1927 in El Paso, Texas) belongs to the substantial group of Polish émigré artists of Jewish origin. A violinist and conductor educated in Europe, he permanently settled in the United States at the end of 1914 under the name of Nek Mirskey and soon began working as a music director in movie theatres. He was in charge of the musical settings for elaborate artistic programmes composed of silent films as well as music and stage attractions. His first widely acclaimed shows were presented at the Metropolitan Theatre of Harry M. Crandall's chain in Washington, D.C. Based primarily on the American press of 1921–23, this article discusses Mirski's work methods and his involvement in improving the quality of live musical accompaniment for silent films. The work that he continued till the end of his life places him among the foremost musicians of the silent film era.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2020-12-31T00:00:00.000+00:00More on the Music of Giuseppe Torti (before 1752–after 1780)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Very little is known about Giuseppe Torti's life. Associated with Milan, he was active in 1752–1780. He made several long journeys, including to the Lithuanian court of H. F. Radziwiłł. I have recently discovered three new works by this composer, which means that his known and surviving output now consists of 12 compositions: 9 instrumental pieces, cantatas, and an aria, to which one should add one opera libretto and information about two operas. In Poland, Torti composed at least two (now lost) operas, staged at H. F. Radziwiłł's court theatre. His earlier works, such as <italic>Concerto in G Major</italic> (GroF826), <italic>Trio in G Major</italic> dedicated to Charles Davers, and the aria <italic>Attenda il core dal caro bene</italic> may also have belonged to the ducal court's repertoire. The cantata <italic>Armata sum in campo</italic> was most likely composed in Lithuania.</p> <p>A notable aspect of Torti's preserved output are the numerous arrangements of his works, which suggests that his music was constantly in circulation, adapted and rewritten for the needs of a given place, in accordance with the audience's tastes. This indirectly confirms that his oeuvre earned the audience's acclaim. The geographic distribution of his compositions in European music centres is impressive indeed, from Edinburgh to Slutsk and from Stockholm to Palermo. This wide distribution testifies to Torti's love of travelling, but also to the popularity of his music.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2020-12-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Paul Hindemith's Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber for Orchestra: A Historical and Analytical Perspective<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>A now standard component of orchestral and wind band repertoire, <italic>Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber</italic> was originally intended to be ballet music. This study examines the history and background surrounding Paul Hindemith's orchestral piece and demonstrates how Hindemith crafted each movement based off Weber's original piano duets and incidental orchestral music. The study was undertaken as limited information exists about the piece in its entirety, and much of what has been written primarily concerns itself with grammatical and contextual aspects of Hindemith's title. Existing analyses either only focus on a singular movement, or are limited; presumably, due to a prevailing notion that Hindemith simply orchestrated the piano pieces. Potentially exacerbating the issue may be the fact that it was not known for nearly twenty years after <italic>Symphonic Metamorphosis</italic> was premiered which Weber duets Hindemith reworked. This analysis, coupled with the background information provided, shows that Hindemith's settings transcend mere orchestrations and, in some cases, exhibit qualities of original composition. The analysis thoroughly delineates Weber's <italic>Turandot</italic> overture and three piano duets, part by part and hand by hand, to show exactly where and how Hindemith altered the original writings. The differences in overall form, measure numbers, tempi, meter, and harmony are listed. In addition, it is revealed which thematic additions, alterations, and omissions Hindemith includes.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2020-12-31T00:00:00.000+00:00How to Impress the Public: Farinelli's Venetian Debut in 1728–1729<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Farinelli came to Venice only when his career was already well advanced. In 1728/29 he performed there in two operas, <italic>Catone in Utica</italic> by Leonardo Leo and <italic>Semiramide riconosciuta</italic> by Nicola Porpora. These operas needed to become a financial success because of the high remuneration the star singer earned. The composition and adaptation of the operas to the stage uncover the strategies by the impresarios of the Teatro San Giovanni Grisostomo, the Grimani brothers, and by Farinelli himself to secure income and renown. <italic>Catone in Utica</italic> underwent a highly unusual procedure at its very premiere because the opera was “impasticciata”, i.e. merged with pre-existing or newly-composed music by other composers. The substitutions reveal Farinelli's aim to stun the audience in his very first aria on stage. His brother's (Riccardo Broschi's) “Mi lusinga il cor d’affetto” Farinelli had sang earlier in 1728 presents his entire vocal profile in a single aria. In subsequent arias, Farinelli adds some features not present in this aria or concretizes several aspects of it. In the second opera, Porpora's <italic>Semiramide riconosciuta</italic>, Farinelli concentrates on another feature of his vocal style: small, fast, quasi-improvisational motives. Although they are also found in operas by other composers and were also sung by other singers, <italic>Semiramide riconosciuta</italic> is a special case because of their high frequency in Farinelli's role. All in all, the two operas of his first appearance in Venice seem to follow the intention to present his entire vocal spectrum to the audience.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2020-12-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Italian 17- and 18-Century Dramatic Works with Music, Written for the Clothing and Profession Ceremonies, with Special Reference to Compositions Based on the Book of Judith<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Late 16<sup>th</sup>- and early 17<sup>th</sup>-century Italian theatrical works (with or without music) based on the <italic>Book of Judith</italic> are perceived as associated with women, who acted as their performers (in female monasteries), dedicatees, or patrons. This paper considers the reasons for the loosening of such ties in the Baroque genres of dialogue and oratorio, which evolved in the circles of religious and lay congregations, in which women were either marginalised or altogether excluded. The link between women and the oratorio genre was thus maintained only in the case of the so-called palace oratorios. Oratorios did not gain a solid footing in the music life of female religious orders, either. Their presence mainly made itself felt in the space suspended between the monastic and secular worlds, namely, in the context of the ceremonies of clothing and profession, which were celebrated with performances of cantatas, dialogues, or oratorios. A survey of such repertoire from the 17<sup>th</sup> and 18<sup>th</sup> centuries has revealed an astonishing wealth of subjects and approaches: allegorical works, saints’ lives, Old Testament stories praising parents who offered their children up to God, happy weddings, or the deeds of extraordinary women. The <italic>Book of Judith</italic> occupies an important place among the latter subjects, which emphasised the <italic>fides</italic> and <italic>fortitudo</italic> of those entering monastic life. Existing works (such as Metastasio's <italic>Betulia</italic>) were also sometimes used. Some texts were written specially for such occasions, and they demonstrate individual qualities. Metastasio's solemn and exalted model was followed even in such small-scale pieces as the Florentine <italic>componimento sacro Giuditta</italic> of 1750. The <italic>rappresentazione La Giuditte</italic> (1621) depicts the strength of faith not only of Judith herself, but also (contrary to the Biblical account) – of the Bethulian society as an allegory of Bologna and its inhabitants. Comic elements were smuggled into the Paduan oratorio <italic>Giuditta</italic> (1735). To sum up, dramatic works with music based on the <italic>Book of Judith</italic>, written for the ceremonies of women entering the monastery, which have hitherto remained marginal to academic research, represent a promising field for further studies.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2020-12-31T00:00:00.000+00:00In the Shadow of the Lost Crown. ‘Oppressed Innocence’ in the Operas Dedicated to Maria Clementina Sobieska in Rome (1720–1730)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>As a result of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, James II Stuart lost the throne of England, Scotland, and Ireland. He spent the last years of his life in France, in residence offered to his family and court by Louis XIV. Following his death in 1701, the title and claim to the throne of the three kingdoms was inherited by his son James III Stuart, who in 1719 married Maria Clementina Sobieska (1702–1735). James and his wife extended their patronage over one of Rome's major opera houses, the Teatro d’Alibert, at which 16 operas were dedicated to that couple in 1720–1730. Of those 8 that honoured Maria Clementina, 4 (half of them) deal with the topic of ‘oppressed innocence’, previously passed over by scholars studying the couple's patronage. These are: <italic>Eumene</italic>, (lib. A. Zeno, mus. N. Porpora, 1721), <italic>Adelaide</italic>, (lib. A. Salvi, mus. N. Porpora, 1723), <italic>Siroe</italic>, <italic>re di Persia</italic>, (lib. Metastasio, mus. N. Porpora, 1727), and <italic>Artaserse</italic>, (lib. Metastasio, mus. L. Vinci, 1730). This paper analyses the said operatic theme and attempts to explain why it is the dominant subject in operas dedicated to Sobieska. It also studies the political and propagandist potential which that theme could have for the Stuart cause.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2020-12-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Music-Making Women-Aristocrats<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The present article reflects on the shortage of studies concerning music-composing women in the 18<sup>th</sup>-century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and focuses on one unique figure among those female musicians – Maria Antonia Walpurgis, an aristocrat of Polish descent, who demonstrated versatile talents. Thoroughly educated in her childhood, she was a poet, composer, singer, and director of her own stage works. This paper discusses the aristocratic artist’s most important experiences and achievements in the field of music, as well as analysing her earliest surviving work, the cycle of <italic>6 Arias for Soprano, Strings and Basso Continuo</italic> (1747), which Walpurgis may well have performed herself. The arias have been preserved in a manuscript kept at the Sächsische Landesbibliothek in Dresden, shelf mark Mus.3119-F-11. My analysis assesses their style and aesthetic.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2019-12-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Justyna Kowalska-Lasoń: A Portrait with a Caravan in the Background<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The paper presents a survey of the dominant aesthetic and technical qualities of Justyna Kowalska-Lasoń’s output of compositions. The composer’s interests focus on Oriental cultures, depicting nature, correspondences of arts, and on reflecting the sacrum in music. I have discussed her selected works (<italic>Sanctus</italic>, <italic>The Modern Man I Sing</italic>; <italic>These Phrases</italic>… <italic>These Songs</italic>... <italic>These Arias</italic>..., <italic>IMAGE 1929</italic>). On the basis of brief analyses of some of Kowalska-Lasoń’s compositions, I have defined her artistic stance and technique and postmodernist, neo-sonoristic sensualism. The distinguishing features of her music are: an open attitude to musical form, to the canon of narrative continuity, to aleatoricism and strict notation, as well as to the degree of correlation between chromatic and diatonic writing. The artist herself considers the epithet ‘nomadic’ as relevant to the character of her works, which are conceived as having a symbolic function.</p><p>My composer portrait has been complemented with a list of Kowalska-Lasoń’s selected works, awards, performances, and her students’ achievements.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2019-12-31T00:00:00.000+00:00“Why Are Our Women-Composers So Little Known?”<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Polish women-composers of the interwar period (1918–1939) have not been the subject of adequate research so far. We only have some contributory publications and general surveys dedicated to their output. This paper presents the initial results of a study that aims at creating a more multi-sided, in-depth picture of women-composers’ work, including their participation in local and international music life as well as their achievements in the field of composition, the styles and genres practised by selected representatives of this milieu. The paper also discusses the reception of these phenomena in the press of the period. My research leads me to the conclusion that, despite functioning in a kind of ‘parallel world’ in relation to the virtually all-male domain of music composition ‘proper’, the Polish women-composers did penetrate into that world, contributing to its dominant trends and tendencies, from Romantic inspirations to musical modernism, as well as popular music. Their contributions need to be taken into account if we wish fully to reconstruct and appreciate the Polish music created in that period.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2019-12-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Between Heart and Mind<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The paper presents in a synthetic way the phenomena characteristic of Marta Ptaszyńska’s music, and the key qualities of her output. I focus on those topics that have not been sufficiently explored in existing studies, and those that call for a polemical discussion. These include the ideas that underlie Ptaszyńska’s music, the inspirations of her creative process, problems of composition technique, sound language, her style and aesthetic, with particular reference to her supposed links to sonorism. Finally I present an attempt to define the place and significance of Marta Ptaszyńska’s oeuvre in 20<sup>th</sup>- and 21<sup>st</sup>-century music.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2019-12-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Grażyna Bacewicz – The Polish Sappho<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The paper is an attempt at a synthetic presentation of the Polish composer Grażyna Bacewicz’s (1909–1969) musical output and artistic career, presented against the background of events in her personal life, and of major events in Polish and European history in the first seven decades of the 20<sup>th</sup> century. Bacewicz was called ‘the Polish Sappho’ already in the years between World Wars I and II, when there were very few women-composers capable of creating works comparable to the most eminent achievements of male composers. Her path to success in composition and as a concert soloist leads from lessons with her father, the Lithuanian Vincas Bacevičius, to studies at the Łódź and Warsaw Conservatories (violin with Józef Jarzębski, composition with Kazimierz Sikorski), and later with Nadia Boulanger at the École Normale de la Musique, as well as violin lessons with André Tourret. Her oeuvre has for many years been linked with neoclassicism, and folkloric inspirations are evident in many of her works. Her crowning achievement in the neoclassical style is the <italic>Concerto for String Orchestra</italic> of 1948, while influences from folklore can distinctly be heard in many concert pieces and small forms. The breakthrough came around 1958, under the influence of avant-garde trends present in West European music, which came to be adapted in Poland thanks to the political transformations and the rejection of socialist realism. In such pieces as <italic>Music for Strings, Trumpets and Percussion</italic> of 1958, Bacewicz transforms her previously fundamental musical components (melody, rhythm, harmony) into a qualitatively new type of sound structures, mainly focused on the coloristic aspects. Grażyna Bacewicz also applied the twelve-note technique, albeit to a limited extent, as in <italic>String Quartet No. 6</italic> (1960). Her last work was the unfinished ballet <italic>Desire</italic> to a libretto by Mieczysław Bibrowski after Pablo Picasso’s play <italic>Le désir attrapé par la queue</italic>.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2019-12-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Women-Composers in Poland and visual arts as a source of inspiration<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>This article is a contribution to scientific research on this aspect of Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar’s musical output which concerns the connections between her music and other arts, primarily literature and the visual arts, as well as inspirations flowing from nature, religion, philosophy, and broadly understood culture. The article applies structuralist methodology. The starting point for the analysis of the phenomena in question is the musical work itself, its title and its structure, and in the case of vocal-instrumental works - the content and message of the literary text and the person of its author. In the part of the article which deals with the biography and artistic personality of Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar, as well as by quoting the composer’s own statements in the text, I draw on the personalistic method, especially highly valued in 20<sup>th</sup>-century philosophy; this method emphasises the role of the human person and personality in analytic work.</p><p>In the musicological literature to date there exists no separate, large-scale study dedicated to the subject of non-musical inspirations in the works of Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar. This topic has been tackled, however, in scientific dissertations dealing with various aspects of the composer’s work. For example, inspirations from the sphere of the sacrum have been indicated by Marek Stefański (2011), whereas Ewa Mizerska-Golonek (1992) writes about inspirations derived from the Biblical text in Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar’s <italic>Song of Songs</italic>, and Hanna Kostrzewska (2012) discusses painting as a source of inspiration in the composer’s oeuvre. The main source of information on this subject, however, are the composer’s own statements: her ‘Autorefleksja kompozytorska’ [‘The Composer’s Self-Commentary’]<fn id="j_muso-2019-0006_fn_001_w2aab3b7c54b1b6b1aab1c14b2b3Aa" symbol="1"><p>K. Moszumańska-Nazar, ‘Autorefleksja kompozytorska’ [‘The Composer’s Self-Commentary’], in K. Kasperek, <italic>Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar. Katalog tematyczny utworów</italic>, Cracow, Academy of Music, 2004, pp. 149–153.</p></fn> and interviews.<fn id="j_muso-2019-0006_fn_002_w2aab3b7c54b1b6b1aab1c14b2b5Aa" symbol="2"><p>M. Woźna-Stankiewicz, <italic>Lwowskie geny osobowości twórczej. Rozmowy z Krystyną Moszumańską-Nazar</italic> [<italic>The Lviv Gene of Artistic Personality: Interviews with Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar</italic>], Cracow, Musica Iagellonica, 2007; M. Janicka-Słysz, ‘Z walcem w tle’ [‘With Waltz in the Background’], interview with Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar, <italic>Ruch Muzyczny</italic>, no. 18, 2004, pp. 8–9.</p></fn></p></abstract>ARTICLE2019-12-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Polish Female Composers in the Nineteenth Century<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The article discusses the activities of selected women-composers who worked in Poland in the 19th century. They have been presented in a broad social-political context. Specific historical conditions have been taken into account, which have contributed to the perception of women’s creativity as a mission. The model of women’s activity discussed in the categories of social and political mission influenced the shape and forms of Polish women’s creativity in the first half of the century. In the second half of the century, women’s access to education increased and finally a milieu of professional women-composers emerged. Among them, we should distinguish the group of women born into musical families, due to the fact that some among them took up the profession of composer.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2019-12-31T00:00:00.000+00:00<Alla Maestà Clementina Regina Della Gran Bretagna>: The Political Significance of Dedications on the Example of Selected Operas Staged in the Teatro d’Alibert in Rome (1720-1730)<abstract/>ARTICLE2013-12-31T00:00:00.000+00:00The Beginnings of Musical Italianità in Gdańsk and Elbląg in the Renaissance Era<abstract/>ARTICLE2013-12-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Some Remarks on the Formation of the Classical Style: Instrumental Music by Amandus Ivanschiz<abstract/>ARTICLE2013-12-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Polyphonic Music in Fragments: A New Perspective for Polish Musicology?<abstract/>ARTICLE2013-12-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Research into the Resources of Polish Courts. Notes on the Musicians of Stanisław Ciołek Poniatowski (1676–1762)<abstract/>ARTICLE2013-12-31T00:00:00.000+00:00The Musical Repertory Between the Confessions. Re-Catholicising Strategies in the Songbook of Johannes Schubart from Neisse (1625)<abstract/>ARTICLE2013-12-31T00:00:00.000+00:00en-us-1