Frühneuzeit-Info 2016 | Themenschwerpunkt Fest – Theater – Musik | Vorschau 2/4

Fest – Theater – Musik
Frühneuzeit-Info 27 (2016)

Erscheinungsdatum: Oktober 2016
Bestellungen werden gerne entgegengenommen: Bestellschein

Teil 2 der Vorschau präsentiert die Aufsätze von Andrea Zedler, Stefan Seitschek und Irena Veselá, die mit zwei Beiträgen vertreten ist.

Andrea Zedler
Pietro Torris Serenata La Baviera für ein Fest am Münchner Hof
(in German language)

The present study focuses on a feast at the Munich court held for the return of the Electoral Prince Karl Albrecht (1697–1745) from his grand tour (1715/16). Before his homecoming to Munich on August 29, 1716 he had travelled nine months through Italy, visiting especially Venice, Rome, Florence and Naples. He had fostered political relations, had enjoyed Italian art and above all Italian music. The four travel diaries, written during the journey, are full of references to music performances. One of them contains an entry which mentions the performance of a “serenade” on the occasion of the Prince’s return, yet without any information about the composer’s name or the title of the composition. Only a more extensive analysis of diplomatic correspondence has brought to light, that chapel master Pietro Torri wrote the “serenade”. The purpose of this paper is two-fold: firstly, it assigns one of Torri’s compositions, the serenata La Baviera – which until now was dated in the year 1726 –, to this extraordinary court feast with the help of a textual analysis. Secondly, it explains why that composition was an ideal conclusion for the grand tour of Karl Albrecht.

Stefan Seitschek
Der Hof tanzt! Musik, Tanz und Fest am Kaiserhof Karls VI. in den Jahren 1720–1725
(in German language)

Irena Veselá
Costanza e Fortezza A.D. 2015 — „Republican Coronation Opera“.
Study on modern opera performance
(in German language)

The festive opera Costanza e Fortezza (Stability and Strength) written by Pietro Pariati and set to music by Johann Joseph Fux was first performed on 28th August 1723 in Prague on the occasion of 32nd birthday of Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, the Emperor Charles VI’s wife, and was rerun on 2nd September of the same year. In 2015 it was staged as a modern performance. Musica Florea, a Czech ensemble, performed it at the “9 Weeks of Baroque” Festival in Světce near Tachov and then in Prague. The opera mirrors the heroic Roman fight for the free Roman Republic against the militant Etruscan king Porsenna and his protégé Titus Tarquinius, the Roman Crown Prince, between 510 and 508 B.C. However, Pariati’s libretto also introduces symbolism of the current dynastic-political situation when Charles VI tried to keep the Czech lands in the Habsburg Monarchy. In the contemporary opera performance this symbolism is completely suppressed and the new adaptation prioritizes two dramatic love stories. Now there is only a single choir and the number of actors was also lowered. As recitatives were reduced, the reflexive part was omitted as well. The modern final licenza employs not only a choir celebrating the Empress and the capital Prague but also allegorical dancers honouring the Czechoslovak Republic proclaimed in 1918 after the Danubian Monarchy fell apart. It was the Monarchy which Charles VI craved to keep integrated in 1723. Due to this crucial change the contemporary performance no longer carries the original message and tends to be a little challenging.

Irena Veselá
Serenata La concordia de’ pianeti for the Empress Elisabeth Christine and its performance in Znojmo in 1723
(in German language)

Apart from the festive opera Costanza e Fortezza, the serenata La concordiade’ pianeti, whose libretto was written by Pietro Pariati and which was set to music by Antonio Caldara, also belongs to courtly music and dramatic pieces performed during the Emperor Charles VI’s stay in the Czech lands in 1723. The Imperial Court members witnessed the serenata on their way back from Prague to Vienna on 19th November 1723 in the evening at the Upper Square in Moravian Znojmo, in front of the salt office (Hof-Salzkammeramt), where the Imperial Couple spent the night. The serenata was scened on two large triumphal carriages with 144 musicians and singers, both the Court Band members and local musicians. It was composed on the occasion of the name day of Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Charles VI’s wife. It consists of a two-movement introductory sinfonia (Introduzzione), choral prologue, two series of solo da capo arias (each with seven arias) and final encomiastic part (licenza). It features seven planets, i.e. the Olympian Gods (Venus, Diana, Jupiter, Apollo, Mars, Mercury and Saturn) who cannot agree whether an unknown beautiful and virtuous mortal female should be honored as a goddess. Only after finding out that it is the Empress Elisabeth, do they concur and together with a group of demigods celebrate her and the child she was expecting, who might be the longed-for Crown Prince. Venus alone hesitates to celebrate her mortal competitress and changes her mind only in the final licenza. The author thus assumes that the librettist Pariati might have found inspiration in a mythological story of the Princess Psyche, which had been set to music and performed at the Imperial Court some time before. Musicwise, the serenata shows the Empress‘ beauty and virtues and features highly embellished melodic lines.


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