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With the ghostly shapes of dead heroes
Moon, you fill
The growing silence of the forest,
With the gentle embraces
And with ghosts of famous ages
All around the crumbling rocks;
The moon shines with such blue light
Upon the city,
Where a decaying generation
Lives,cold and evil—
A dark future prepared
For the pale grandchild.
You shadows swallowed by the moon
Sighing upward in the empty goblet
Of the mountain lake.
~ Georg Trakl
The Silence of Georg Trakl
The poems of Georg Trakl have a magnificent silence in them. It is very rare that he himself
talks—for the most part he allows the images to speak for him. Most of the images, anyway, are images of
In a good poem made by Trakl images follow one another in a way that is somehow stately.
The images have a mysterious connection with each other. The rhythm is slow and heavy, like the mood of
someone in a dream. Wings of dragonflies, toads, the gravestones of cemeteries, leaves, and war helmets
give off strange colors, brilliant and sombre colors—they live in too deep a joy to be gay. At the same time
they live surrounded by a darkness without roads. Everywhere there is the suggestion of this dark silence:
The yellow flowers
Bend without words
over the blue pond
The silence is the silence of things that could speak, but choose not to. The German language has a
word for deliberately keeping silence, which English does not have. Trakl uses this word “schweigen” often.
When he says “the flowers/Bend without words over the blue pond”, we realise that the flowers have a
voice, and that Trakl hears it. They keep their silence in the poems. Since he doesn’t put false speeches into
the mouths of plants, nature has more and more confidence in him. As his poems grow, more and more
creatures live in his poems—first it was only wild ducks and rats, but then oak trees, deer, decaying wall-
paper, ponds, herds of sheep, trumpets, and finally steel helmets, armies, wounded men, battlefield nurses,
and the blood that had run from the wounds that day.
Yet a red cloud , in which a furious god,
The spilled blood itself, has its home, silently
Gathers,a moonlike coolness in the willow bottoms
Before he died, he even allowed his own approaching death to appear in the poems, as in the late
Please read on about this unknown…
The Austrian composer, organist, and teacher Paul Hofhaimer (1459-1537) was a great master of German song composition and one of the few Germanic organists widely known throughout Europe.
The father, brothers, son, and nephews of Paul Hofhaimer were all organists in Salzburg and Innsbruck. He received instruction from his father and from Jacob von Graz. Hofhaimer’s first important position, that of chamber organist to Archduke Sigismund of Tirol at Innsbruck, was in 1480. He received an appointment for life, and in 1489, upon receipt of an offer from the Hungarian court, he was promoted to the position of director of the court chapel at Innsbruck. During the 1480s he met the composers Heinrich Isaac and Arnolt Schlick and fashioned a reputation as a teacher.
In 1490 the emperor Maximilian I took over the musical establishment. Apparently well satisfied with Hofhaimer’s services, he ennobled the composer in 1515. During this period Hofhaimer apparently spent some time at other locations. He may have been at the court of the elector Frederick the Wise at Torgau with Isaac and Schlick.
Hofhaimer probably wrote most of his best songs between 1490 and 1510. The German song of this period was generally based on a familiar melody, such as a folk song or court song, which was kept largely unchanged in the tenor. The other parts wove contrapuntally around it. Unlike the songs written in the dominating Franco-Flemish style of the period, the German songs were in closed sections (often in the Bar form—AAB) rather than in continuous polyphony. With Hofhaimer’s generation, progress was made toward equality of parts and strong interpart relation through the use of imitation. There is some melodic preeminence of the soprano part.
At Maximilian’s death in 1519 Hofhaimer accepted the post of organist at the Cathedral of Salzburg and held it until at least 1524. He remained a resident of the city until his death. He became interested in the quantitative setting of Latin verse and began setting the Odes of Horace in this manner. After his death Ludwig Senfl completed these settings and published them as Harmoniae poeticae (1539). Only these pieces enjoyed any popularity after Hofhaimer’s death.
Although Hofhaimer enjoyed a considerable reputation as an organist and teacher of organists, little of his organ music has survived. This may be due in part to a tradition of improvisation of organ music. Although his pupils have not been definitely identified, his doctrines were apparently widespread among German organ composers of the early 16th century, and elements of the style may have reached Italy. In music of this generation, ornamentation idiomatic to the instrument was applied to the melody, but not so copiously as to obscure the basically sound proportions of the piece. This restraint, which probably characterized Hofhaimer’s music, generally disappeared later in the century under a welter of ornamentation.
♦ Little is known of his early years and musical education: he may have studied with the priest/musician Erasmus Lapicida, but sixteenth century Swiss scholar Joachim Vadian made the claim Hofhaimer was largely self-taught, while scholar-poet Konrad Celtis asserted he learned his keyboard skills at the Court of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick.
♦ was easily among the finest organists of his day, some of his contemporaries claiming he had no keyboard rivals.
♦ In 1969, in commemoration of the 450th anniversary of the death of Emperor Maximilian, the city of Innsbruck established the “Paul Hofhaimer Prize” for the interpretation of classic organ masterpieces. An international invitation for entry is hereby announced for the sixteenth competition which will take place from the 30th of August – 5th of September 2013. More below….
♦ There is a future Hofhaimer Festival!! …
May 25-29, 2016
The Paul Hofhaimer days in Radstadt, for years a tip for music lovers, offers 2016 an outstanding program. Old friends and exciting new discoveries bring life to the “Old City in the mountains.”
The festival 2015 is entitled “unheard” – some musical highlights:
- Paulus Oratorio for choir, soli und orchestra
from F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
- Leonhard Roczek artist in residenz
- The Minetti Quartett
- Trio Lepschi
- Philharmony Salzburg directed by Elisabeth Fuchs
The “Paul Hofhaimer Prize” will be awarded as the “Paul
Hofhaimer Plaque” of the city of
Innsbruck together with a certificate and the sum of € 5000,-.
Two further prizes of € 3500,- and € 2000,- each with a certificate will also be awarded.
The competition for the “Paul Hofhaimer Prize” is a contest of interpretation. To determine
the winners, two eliminative or qualifying rounds and a final are required.
For the first qualifying round each participant is obligated to play the following mandatory pieces on the Pirchner Organ in the St’George’s Chapel of the State Parliament.
|Franz Xaver Murschhauser||Toccata undecimi Toni pro Pedali|
|aus: Prototypon Longo-Breve Organicum|
|Musikverlag Coppenrath (S. 63 ff)|
|Alessandro Poglietti||Ricercar secundi toni|
|Die Orgel, Reihe II, Heft Nr. 5|
|Verlag Kistner und Siegel|
|Johann Sebastian Bach||Allein Gott in der Höh’ sei Ehr BWV 675|
|Fughetta super: In dich hab’ ich gehoffet, Herr BWV 712|
|Peter Planyavsky||Partita sopra Cantio Oenipontana|
|aus: Nuovi Fiori Musicali|
The jury selects the participants who will then advance to the second stage of the elimination-competition, which will be played on the Renaissance organ in the Silver Chapel in the Imperial Church. The following mandatory pieces are prescribed:
|Girolamo Frescobaldi||Capriccio XII sopra l’aria di Ruggiero|
|Girolamo Frescobaldi Opere Complete IV|
|Edizioni Suvini Zerboni, Seite 78 ff.|
|(Beim Wettbewerbsspiel muss diese Ausgabe verwendet und aus der Partitur mit 4 Systemen gespielt werden.)|
|Girolamo Frescobaldi||Toccata Quarta Per l’organo da sonarsi alla levatione|
|aus: Il secondo libro di Toccate…|
|Claudio Merulo||Toccata terza Duodecimo detto VI°. Tuono|
|aus: Toccate d’Intavolatura … il secondo libro|
|Edition S.P.E.S. Studio Per Edizioni Scelte|
|(Beim Wettbewerbsspiel muss aus dieser Faksimileausgabe gespielt werden.)|
|Giovanni Paolo Cima||La Scabrosa, canzon 15|
|La Novella, canzon 16 (di Andrea Cima)|
The jury then determines the competitors who have qualified for the final competition, which will be played on the Ebert-Organ of the Innsbruck Court Church. The following obligatory pieces are to be played:
|Paul Hofhaimer||Salve Regina|
|Edition: Denkmäler der Musik in Salzburg 15/II|
|Edition Strube München|
|Hans Leo Hassler||Canzon (in F)|
|Edition: Hans Leo Hassler. Sämtliche Werke XIII. Orgelwerke I, Teil I, Seite 136 ff.|
|Breitkopf & Härtel|
|John Bull||In Nomine (in a)|
|Musica Britannica XIV 28 Seite 86ff.|
|Anfertigung einer Intavolierung||eines Tenorliedes im Stil der Schüler Paul Hofhaimers.|
|(Das Lied wird den Finalisten unmittelbar nach der Auslosung für die Finalrunde gegeben)|
Nota bene: The critical analysis of the source material of the respective musical texts will be considered in the assessment of the candidates.
Each competitor is free to choose the sequence in which he will play the prescribed pieces.
The jury will select the prize winners from among the finalists. To conclude the competition, the winners will present a festive concert during which the presentation ceremony will take place.
Radstadt, Austria (Hofhaimer’s Birthplace)
Please Read on about this fascinating organist and consummate man…
The definitive work on Hofhaimer is in German. In English, Hofhaimer’s music and that of his contemporaries are discussed in Gustave Reese, Music in the Renaissance (1954; rev. ed. 1959).
More Of Hofhaimer’s Exquisite Pieces:
William Hope Hodgson was a minor poet by all accounts. During the early 20th century, only two slim volumes of his poetry were published; these were collected, and reprinted, as his third. It took until 2005 for the next, and, though there have been more poems since, there have been no more publications dedicated solely to his poetry.
THE CALLING OF THE SEA
Hark! The voice of the Ocean is calling,
With an insistence
Sad and appalling,
Out from the steepness
Of the great deepness
Lying in fathoms below that cold dress;
Where, in their starkness,
Smothered in darkness,
Like the dead, seeming
Clasped in the strength of the Ocean’s caress.
What are the words said?
Have any caught them?
Are they the whisperings of the long-dead?
List, while the tides stem,
Liquid and sable,
Over the cable,
Sobbing and moaning some solemn decree.
Listen at midnight,
Over the lee-rail,
Under the moonlight,
Unto the sad wail;
Listen – be still!
Chance thus some mariner gather at will
Some tiny gleaning
Of the deep meaning,
In the low voice that calls out on his lee,
In the sad voice that cries out in the wake,
In that wild calling so cold and so dree.
Still, as the years go,
Lonely ships sailing
(Under the lee-strake)
Hear that slow wailing
Rise from below;
Yet none is able,
On the wide Ocean,
O’er the great surface of the deep sea,
Tossed by the motion
Of its wild waters,
Now, or forever, to tell unto me
What it is saying,
Jeering or praying,
Or whispering warnings
Unto its daughters
Of somber dawnings
Pregnant with terrors the dead only see.
Please take a brief moment in time…to find out more of this brilliant writer. His simplicity understates the deep meaning held in every phrase, whispered through his deep fascination of some of the very elements in life that give rise to life in whole.
In lagrime stemprato il cor qui cade
per l’orme impresse
del tuo piè di seguir del ciel le strade.
My heart dissolves in tears, and sinks.
It has chosen here and now
to follow in Thy footsteps
the road to heaven.
Antonio Caldara is chiefly known as a composer of vocal music (operas, cantatas and oratorios), and is especially remembered for his operas, many of which are settings of librettos by Zeno and Metasasio. His stylistic development as a composer, however, has been described as a movement from works that are carefully crafted, with attention given to both musical and dramatic elements (his pre-1716 works) to music that becomes increasingly less detailed and texturally thinner (post-1716), reflecting Caldara’s pressing schedule in Vienna. Today, manuscripts of Caldara’s music are widely dispersed across Europe but his compositions which record so valuable a picture of the late Baroque in Italy and Austria are comparatively unknown to performers and little studied by scholars.
Today Antonio Caldara is not a name many would recognise let alone regard as one of the ‘great’ composers of the Baroque, yet during his own lifetime and long after his death he was held in high esteem by composers and theoreticians alike. Johann Sebastian Bach, for example is known to have made a copy of a Magnificat by Caldara to which he added a two-violin accompaniment to the “Suscepit Israel” section. According to Mattheson, Georg Philipp Telemann in his early years took Caldara as a model for his church and instrumental music. Franz Joseph Haydn, who was taken to Vienna by Georg Reutter, one of Caldara’s pupils, sang many of his sacred works when he was a choirboy at St. Stephens and possessed copies of two of Caldara’s Masses. Wolfgang Mozart made use of some of Caldara’s six hundred canons in KV555, 557 and 562. Ludwig van Beethoven copied several contrapuntal examples by Caldara from a publication by his teacher Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, and Johannes Brahms is known to have possessed a copy of some of Caldara’s canons.
One of the main beliefs and subjects of much discussion during the Baroque period was that the power of music lay in its ability to express the emotional content of text. Johann David Heinichen in the Einleitung of his Thorough Bass treatise as late as 1728 worried that composers were still poorly prepared to compose music of affective emphasis:
“What a bottomless ocean we still have before us merely in the expression of words and the affections. And how delighted is our ear, if we perceive in a well written church composition or other music how a skilled composer has attempted here and there to move the emotions of an audience through his refined and text-related musical expression, and in this way successfully finds the true purpose of music”.
The Venetian Antonio Caldara’s success in his own lifetime stemmed from his undoubted mastery in the creation of vocal music which achieved this aim through subtlety, refinement and polish. Ultimately this led to his appointment…
Please continue to study this intriguing man:
Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo (Oratorio, c. 1700)