Germany Music Part 6

Germany Music Part 6

From 1607 onwards we witness the penetration in Germany of the new Italian constipation, from the low numbered (1607) to the use of a counterpoint with a few voices, which the Viadana practiced in his ecclesiastical concerts (known in Germany since 1612, the year in which they were published in Frankfurt), and finally to the monody affirmed in the New Music by Germany Caccini; all the Italian forms from the solo Cantata, to the Oratorio, from the Opera to the solo Sonata, to the Concerto grosso etc. invade the Nordic countries.

The German seventeenth century was productive, above all in the field of religious singing and organ elaboration of the choir. In this field, the collections of sacred poems of the pastor J. Rist of Hamburg, whose poems were many times placed in choir music, and those of the lyric noble P. Gerhard, to whom excellent composers such as J. Crüger and JG Ebeling. Thus also Catholic singing had good collectors and scholars, such as DG Corner abbot in Göttweih, F. von Spee in Cologne, J. Kuen in Munich.

Among the master organists, S. Scheidt of Halle should be mentioned first of all, who worked especially on the elaboration of the evangelical choir; and precisely in his Tabulatura nova (1624) the choral is treated as a still song through all the voices, while in his Görlitzer Tabulaturbuch (1650) it is harmonized for the first time for the purpose of execution by the faithful in church. The style of composition for keyboard instruments is now beginning to differentiate, even in Germany, according to the particular instrument (organ or harpsichord) to which it is directed. This happens clearly with Frescobaldi’s pupil JJ Froberger (died in 1667) who assigns touches and fantasies full of vehemence and technical audacity to the organ, anticipating the organ writing of JS Bach, while he dedicates the Suite to the harpsichord.which immediately becomes a genre very rich in resources for the virtuous. The southern German and Austrian school represented by JK Kerll, Germany Muffat, J. Pachelbel is also important in both fields, that is both in the organ and in the harpsichord. Thus Pachelbel like Germany Böhm of Lüneburg lead us to Bach’s art, the first in his fughette for organ which treat the evangelical choral as a verse of still singing; the second in its choral versions in which the fundamental melody passes through an ornamentation of elegant blooms. But even more important is the development of the seventeenth-century organ schools in the North, especially those of Hamburg and Lübeck represented by A. Strungk, author (as well as plays) of valuable Capricci that came to be studied by Handel; by J. Reinken, who develops the choral with breadth, from V. Lübeck baroque artist to the point of recalling the audacity of the Greek. A daring virtuosity emerges from the compositions of the Hamburger H. Scheidemann; finally, in Lübeck, Franz Tunder (Frescobaldi’s pupil) is succeeded by his son-in-law D. Buxtehude, whose superb and imaginative compositions (preludes and fugues) will no longer be surpassed by Bach.

The general character of all these pre-Bachian organists appears to be typical of a tenacious, rough and solitary race of gigantic strength; and JS Bach himself often gives the impression, in comparison with their simple and powerful inspirations, almost of a graceful Rococo.

In the meantime, between the two generations of organists, the Praetorius-Scheidt group and the Buxtehude group (and later Bach), an important change had occurred in the need for sound: the organ of the first group (the best manufacturer was Esajas Compenius) had to obtain clarity and evidence of the lines. The one of the second group (whose main builder was Gottfried Silbermann) was supposed to produce waves of silvery sonority. (The modern movement in German organ-making has led to a revival of these old types, with their long-dissuaded registers, to fight against the too cumbersome type of the gigantic 1910 organ.)

In vocal religious music the seventeenth century, under the direct influence of the great Italian schools (especially Venetian), determined a movement in a certain sense connected to the new dramatic forms then appeared: so that from the motet, for the intermediate form of the so-called Spiritual Concerts (Geistliche Konzerte), we come to the solo cantata.

According to, the transition is represented by the greatest German master of the time, H. Schütz (died 1672). This pupil of Giovanni Gabrieli composes Italian madrigals in the style of Monteverdi and Gesualdo da Venosa, Davidic psalms with multiple choirs, in a grandiose style animated by a sovereign force, crossed by wholly Baroque impetus, and then Cantiones sacrae, motets, in the which style seems almost to return to the ancient a cappella models, Lutheran psalms for church use (almost in contrast to the psalms of the Reformed churches) and finally – after the second visit to Venice (1628) – concertante music, for voices and instruments, on subjects religious, which he entitled Sacred Symphonies like the analogous compositions by Giovanni Gabrieli, small spiritual concerts expressing with intensity the sadness of the German people in those years of misery, and then again oratories and Passions. Other masters also inspired by the then dominant Italian influence contributed to the movement initiated in Germany by Schütz: JH Schein with the low numbered Villanelle, with the German madrigals and with the impressive spiritual concerts.

Germany Music 06

Comments are closed.