Musicologica Olomucensia 1 (1993)
Miroslav K. Černý
THE PROBLEM OF POLYPHONY IN THE CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY
The Author deals with a very discussed but till now unclear problem. He rejects not only the theory of H. Sanden, but also a concept of development of music “from monophony to polyphony” asserting that both practices developed as parallel trends from a spontaneous chaotic heterophony (Variantenheterophonie by Marius Schneider). But in Greek and Roman Antiquity there no traces of vocal Heterophony or Polyphony were till now found. Notwithstanding the ancient instruments by their construction not only admit, but demand some sorts of using chords or heterophony. The lyres of all kinds played by plektron “over all strings” – this technique is witnessed by many pictorial and also literal sources (f. i. Athenaeus, Deipnosouhistae IV. 139 d) – having more than six strings produced chords of two or more tones sounding in fourth, fifth or octaves, because the left hand of the players had only five fingers to damp the not demanded strings. But those were only isolated chords supporting the most important and invariable (hestotes) tones of the melody and not a consisting polyphony. In the other way the auloi produced two-part texture being double-pipes (double-reeds) blown always together and operated by both hands. The recent analyses by Heinz Becker and Christian Ahrens are cited, from which results that most dominating art of aulos-playing was the “continuous play” with “enclosed reed” (air held in the mouth). This technique produced little fast repeated or free combined (player-) figures, which formed at least with a slower sung melody a free heterophony. An example of such heterophony as the first and till now only document could be seen in one of the newly found inscriptions with musical notation found during the excavations in the agora of Limani Pasa in Laureotike (north Greece) and published 1989 (Musikforschung No 4) by Prof. D. Themelis (Thessaloniki). The marmor-plate-fragment bearing the extant part of the inscription in its right lower corner could be supposedly a part of a greater inscription-tablet originally probably on the wall of the stoa near which it was found. It consist of four lines: two of them with seven signs of the vocal notation each and two both with two symbols interpreted by D. Themelis as a combination (ligature) of three signs, two instrumental and one vocal in the middle, under two first signs of the “vocal melody”. Themelis supposes, that these groups had to be repeated also under following tones of the “vocal melody”. It could be interpreted in this way because of used vocal signs and it could be supposed, that in the continuation downwards followed the verbal text similarly as in the inscription of the Asklepios-hymnus in the rests of temple at Epidaurus also recently found. For some problematic places occurring Themelis´ interpretation and transcription (hypolydian and dorian with metabole to lydian in 2. line – different signs are interpreted with the same note and other homotona wrongly supposed) a newly interpretation is tried (2nd possibly hyppophrygian and hyperistian in diatonon genos) with following transcription.
THE HUMANITY AND THE SPIRIT OF CAPITALISM. THE DRAMATURGY OF A FLORENTINE TRAGEDY BY ALEXANDER ZEMLINSKY
The paper deals with problems of dramaturgy of the fifth opera by Alexander Zemlinsky (1871–1942). The work was composed 1914–15 in Prague where Zemlinsky lived 1911–27. For his libretto Zemlinsky chose the play A Florentine Tragedy by Oscar Wilde. The non-classical dramaturgy of the Wilde´s drama appears to be a convenient opportunity basis for a rather traditional operatic dramaturgy based on the drama of affections. This aesthetical position was shared by Wagner as well by Zemlinsky and other early 20th century composers.
THE CZECH MANIFESTO OF NEO-CLASSICISM. MARGINALIA ON THE ESSAY OF IŠA KREJŠÍ “ON THE CONCEPTION OF MODERNITY IN TODAY´S MUSIC”
The essay of Iša Krejčí (1904–1968) “On the Conception of Modernity in Today´s Music” was for just reasons deemed the Czech manifesto of neo-classicism. In this essay, Iša Krejčí seems to voice the theses of petist and constructivist manifestos. The father of his ideas about solving the crisis of post-romantic music is, above all, Bohuslav Martinů. We cannot find Krejčí´s manifesto a juvenile messanistic gesture. First, it is the self-reflection of a 23-year-old composer, who senses instinctively, that he belongs to bearers of the specific Czech musical mentality, a mentality which originates in the tradition of Czech schoolmasters´ music and in what Krejčí calls “the Prague Mozartness”. Krejčí considers how to connect such a gift with both the vital feeling of his anti-romantic generation and with, as he stresses in this article, the need of the era.
PAVEL BOŘKOVEC´S PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN
Pavel Bořkovic (1894–1972) was for four decades one of the most prominent representatives of Czech music. He belonged to the vanguard of neoclassicism orientation between the First and Second world war. Since the thirties Bořkovec is characterized by an individual solution of the form, the constant feature of which is a fundamental coherence of all composition components, which in the course of the evolutional development again an unexpected emotional impact and gradually deeper and deeper lyrical expression. The ballet Krysař [The Pied Piper of Hamelin] (1939) belongs among Bořkovec´s main works. Namely here Bořkovec had found his unique language drawing from a special linear and chord character, motorics and an outstanding sense of sound sensuality. All these components are always a part of a consistent form built on the principle of the block polyphony and instrumentation. The old Saxon legend initiated a number of different performances in Czech lands. Bořkovec working on the theme had concentrated on the problem of the freedom of a human deed contrasted with the bonds of human existence. The premiere of the ballet was in the National Theatre on 8. 12. 1942. Further productions were in Prague (1949, 1952), Olomouc (1950), Plzeň (1955) and Ostrava (1966). Television had made its own recording (1959) of the ballet but it is so longer available.
FILMMUSIK VON VÁCLAV TROJAN
Der tschechische Komponist Václac Trojan (1907–1983) wurde als Musikautor zu mehreren abendfüllenden Pupentrickfilmen Jiří Trnkas (Špalíček, Des Kaisers Nachtigall, Prinz Bajaja, Alte böhmische Sagen, Die Abenteuer des braven Soldaten Schwejk, Sommernachtstraum, Die Hand u. a.) international berühmt, in denen es ihm gelang, mittels der Stil und Genrecharakteristik die gewählten Themen eindrucksvoll zum Ausdruck zu bringen. Ausserdem komponierte er die Kinderoper Das Karussell, das Ballet Sommernachtstraum, sowie mehrere Bühnen-, Orchester- und Kammerstücke. Stilmässig meldet sich Trojans Musik programmatisch zum europäischen Neoklassizismus und Neofolklorismus und bereichert ihn um Elemente der tschechischen Musikfolklore. Als andere typische Gestaltungsmittel Trojans Musik sollen vor allem die die 5., 1., 2. und 3. Tonstufe der Dur-Tonleiter verwendende Melodik (6., 8., 9. und 10. Ton der aliquoten Tonreihe), Polyphonie, „Ravelsche“ Instrumentation sowie auf Variationen gestützte Formensätze genannt werden.
JIŘÍ STIVÍN UND DIE ENTWICKLUNG DES TSCHECHISCHEN JAZZ
Der Autor ist bei der Bearbeitung des Aufsatzes aus seinem Buch über Jiří Stivín ausgegangen (Mně všechno dvakrát aneb o Jiřím Stivínovi, Praha 1989, Panton, 240 S.). Stivín (geb. 1942) ist ein hervorragender tschechischer Jazzmusiker (hauptsächlich Flötist und Saxofonist) und zugleich Interpret der Flötenliteratur aus dem Bereiche des Barocks, der Klassik und der zeitgenössischen Musik. In dem ersten Teil des Textes hat sich der Verfasser bemüht, Stivín in den Entwicklungskontext des tschechischen Jazz einzureihen und in diesem Zusammenhang befasst er sich mit der Charakteristik und Periodisierung des gegebenen Musikbereiches. Der einstige Periodisationsversuch (im Buch Československý jazz – Minulost a přítomnost von Lubomír Dorůžka und Ivan Poledňák, Praha 1967, Supraphon), der vier Perioden unterscheidet, wird nun vom Verfasser auf sechs Perioden erweitert; Stivín wäre dabei mit den drei letzteren zu verknüpfen. Stivín´s Bedeutung sieht der Autor hauptsächlich darin, dass dieser Musiker der erste unter den tschechischen Jazzmen ist, der mindestens an die europäische Spitze vorgedrungen ist und so den tschechischen Jazz von dem Minderwertigkeitskomplex befreite, welcher durch ehemalige Absention von wirklich schöpferischen, originalen Persönlichkeiten verursacht war. Stivín wird von dem Verfasser als charismatische Persönlichkeit charakterisiert, eine Persönlichkeit, welche fähig ist, Jazzfans aber auch weitere Kreise von Musikliebhabern anzusprechen, eine Persönlichkeit, welche dem modernen Jazz das Publikum zurückerwerben mithilft.
ROBERT SMETANA´S METHODOLOGICAL STIMULATION OF MUSICAL HISTORIOGRAPHIC RESEARCH OF THE REGION
One of the research tasks of the renewed department of musicology will be continuing the research of musical culture in Olomouc as the musical centre of Central and North Moravia. The aim of this research will be the description of processes that prove the formation, mixing and interchanging of the historical models of musical culture and their influence on the Olomouc region. In the realization of such a project, we cannot omit the valuable methodological stimulations of the department´s founder Prof. Robert Smetana (1904–1988). He emphasized the research of extra-musical conditions, the connection between music and its audience, and means of overcoming the limits and Olomouc´s musical culture. Smetana´s desire to reconstruct the picture of Olomouc as a specific centre of musical events requires, among others, to pay attention to musical activities of the German part of the Olomouc population (two-thirds of Olomouc´s population was German until 1918). Therefore we appreciate the possibility of research cooperation with Sudetendeutsches Musikinstitut in Regensburg. This research will focus on themes that have been omitted until recently because the music historiographists in Olomouc concentrated their attention above all on the development of Czech musical culture.
VISITS OF MEMBERS OF THE VIENNESE HOFOPER IN OLOMOUC IN 1851 AND 1853
In years 1851 and 1853, important talks took place in Olomouc between the Austrian emperor and the Russian tsar, and there were major military manoeuvres in the environs of Olomouc. The theatre in Olomouc was the scene of social activities accompanying these two events. The theatre was visited for guest performances by members of the Viennese Hofoper, for instance conductor Heinrich Proch, and solists Mathilda Wildauer, Terese Schwarz, Mathilda Marlow, Franz Steger, Josef Staudigl, Josef Erl, Karl Just. In 1851 the Viennese performers gave one opera performance (Don Pasquale by Donizetti) and two musical evenings. There were sung extracts from the operas Barber of Sevilla (Rossini), Fra Diavolo (Auber), The Bohemian Girl (Balfe), Ernani and Macbeth (Verdi). In 1853 four opera performances were prepared: Martha, Alessandro Stradella (Flotow), Linda of Chamounix (Donizetti) and Mozart´s Wedding of Figaro. The latter was not stages in the end. The Hofoper sent reinforcements to Olomouc for the opera choir and orchestra, costumes and sets. Both these cycles were of a high standard and socially prestigious. It was quite a unique event in the history of German opera in Olomouc. Unfortunately, it was never repeated.
JOURNAL BEETHOVEN FROM OLOMOUC
The journal Beethoven undertitled Blatter für Tonkunst und Dichtung was published in 1905. Its editor was Johann Theime and it was printed by an Olomouc publisher Laurenz Kullil. The contributors were in Praha… A consistent approach concentrates on symbolism and decadency in German poetry, interdisciplinary relations, problems of mutuality of different arts, symbolism of fairy tales and folklore. Although the journal was in existence for no more than six months it is a proof of the wide cultural spectrum in Olomouc, in this particular case reacting to the impulses of Vienna Sezession and German literary symbolism emanating form the region of Northern Moravia.
PAVEL ČOTEK, COMPOSER AND TEACHER
Distinguished music composer from the town of Olomouc, Pavel Čotek, born on 12th March 1922, in Fryšava in the Czech-Moravian Highland. He is a graduate of the Prague Conservatory (1941–47), pedagogical branch. He studied composition in private with his uncle O. Šín, and after his death with J. Řídký. He completed his study of composition at the Janáček Academy of Arts and Music (JAMU) in Brno (1961–65), class of C. Kohoutek. First (1948–57), he has devoted himself to the activity of a teacher and a choirmaster in Slaný and Polička, director of musical schools and organizer of musical life in Litomyšl and Choceň. The friendship of this place with the composer Lubor Bárta was of great importance for Pavel Čotek. He moved to Olomouc in 1958. From that time on, he is an untiring educationalist and organizer; he enlarged his activity in creative committees of composers in Ostrava, central bodies of the Union of Czech Composers and Concert Artists and the committee of Czech Musical Foundation in Prague. Since 1960 (with a short intermission under constraint) he has been teaching theory of music at the Department of Musicology at the Palacký University, where he had also habilitated as a senior lecturer. The work of Pavel Čotek is characterized of its chamber character, conciseness of forms, gleaming lyricism, ingenious combination of modern composition techniques and music attractive for listeners. It was awarded in various competitions. From the chamber music creativity let´s mention at least: the melodrama for two voices and chamber ensemble Portrait of a Bird, Wind music for piccolo, trumpet, bass trumpet, bass trombone and piano, Bicinium for two instruments as desired, Allegories for piano. Let us recall also orchestral compositions: Concertino grosso, Symphonic Etudes, Concerto for two players on percussion instruments and orchestra, vocal compositions: Trefoil for choir, Cantata of Merry Tunes, Pastime, Memory, By all Voices, Old Japanese Songs for soprano and piano, cycle of songs for mezzosoprano and piano Home. Pavel Čotek created a specific synthesis of his original orientation to Novák´s and Suk´s works and his knowledge of new trends in music in 1960´s. And this synthesis is characteristic of his creativity up to the present day.
In einem der ältesten Kulturzentren der Tschechoslowakei, in dem heute mehr als hunderttausend Einwohner zählenden Olomouc (Olmütz), findet seit 1972 alljährlich auf der Neige des Sommers ein Festival der Kindergesangchöre mit der Bezeichnung Svátky písní Olomouc, d. h. Liederfesttage Olomouc, statt. In den vergangenen zwanzig Jahren des Bestehens dieses Festivals traten hier viele tschechoslowakische Spitzenchöre auf, wobei Hunderte von Kompositionen für Kinderchöre – häufig als Uraufführungen aufgeführt werden, die dann auch in Druck als Notensammelbände erschienen sind. Es wurden ebenfalls internationale Wettbewerbe „Iuventus Mundi Cantat“ und Fachkonferenzen veranstaltet, und es wurde das Informationszentrum des Kinderchorgesangs gegründet. Unter finanzieller und organisatorischer Unterstützung tschechoslowakischer und örtlicher Institutionen wurde dieses Festival zum Schnittpunkt der Bemühungen um die Kunsterziehung der Kinder zu einer ausgeprägten Aktion, zu der wir auch im internationalen Maßstab kaum eine ähnliche finden würden.