At the beginning of the 19th century the palace of the enlightened bishop Vrhovac (1745-1827) was one of the important centres where music was regularly performed. By the 1830s, with the growth of the Croatian National Movement, it was the thin layer of influential citizens that supported the new ideas and housed regular gatherings, not only with political, but with cultural contents in its core. That was the case with salons of the young lawyer and writer Dragutin Rakovac (1813-1854), and even more of Josipa Vancaš (1824-1910), the wife of the town physician Aleksa. Inspiring poems in the national language, rousing songs and even opera arias from the first Croatian national opera Love and Malice by Vatroslav Lisinski (1819-1854) were performed there. However, at the same time, some representatives of the aristocracy – like the Count Janko Drašković and the Countess Sidonija Erdödy – joined and supported the movement, participating in national balls and supporting young artists, while their opponents, the members of the pro-Hungarian party, tried to show higher artistic standards, even by bringing Franz Liszt to perform in Zagreb.
The paper presents the collected (although scarce) source material and places it into the context of the cultural and political life of the capital of the Ban’s Croatia during the first half of the 19th century.
In the mid-19th century Zagreb has definitely established itself as a political, social, economic and cultural centre of Croatian historical lands – Civil (or stricter) Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia with Istria. While in the first half of the 19th century salons and salon-type of music were greatly making part of the newly emerging Croatian national movement, in the second half of the century the situation has changed when the society at large was developing towards mature bourgeois type of civilization. In this, a modern Central-European type of musical culture was established, where the entertainment music started to be separated from the sphere of so-called art or high-brow music.
This research has discovered that in the second half of the 19th century more than twenty aristocratic and bourgeois locations existed in Zagreb where music was privately cherished. There participated several dozens of musicians, among them 23 pianists, 26 violinists, 15 violists, 11 cellists, one flutist and seven unidentified instrumentalists. In Zagreb both outstanding and minor composers often composed music which was more an old-style mixture of intellectual and entertainment elements, and it was only at the turn of the centuries when composers emerged who completely inclined to musical entertainment in their compositional output.
Beginnings of Institutional Musical Life in the 19th-Century Romanian Principalities – Steps Towards a Much-Desired Modernisation
The 19th century was, for the Romanian Principalities of Wallachia and Moldova, the time of important transformations. The temporal arch includes metamorphosis in the political, social-economic and cultural structure of this area in the East of Europe but under the influence of the Orient, which took place concurrently with a sense of waking up to a national consciousness and with factors favouring emancipation. Until around the middle of the century, the old, represented by Oriental tradition, and the new, manifest through the process of ineluctable Europeanisation, coexist. In its turn, musical life changes, be it with regard to recreational activities, education, the private or the public environment. Openness to the West is more and more evident. The advance towards modernity starts from the ambiance of the salons, balls, social and musical evenings at the royal and boyar courts, and arrives at the first music schools and, later, at the Bucharest and Iași Conservatories. A short study of the Bucharest Conservatory mirrors the difficult evolution of the Romanian higher music education, which set out, with elan and idealistic goals, on the long road to becoming truly professional.
Salon Music in the First Decades of the 19th-Century Moldavia. Case Study: Musical MS No. 2663 (dated 1824) from the Romanian Academy Library in Bucharest
Among the remarkable musical sources in the Romanian Academy Library in Bucharest, the Music Cabinet, is the Codex no. 2663. The manuscript is donated by mademoiselle Euphrosina Ghyka to Mrs. Elisabetta Franchini, as a gesture of friendship, on August 1st, 1824, when two ladies were in Odessa, after a significant segment of the Danubian Principalities elite, from Moldavia especially, had emigrated there, following the breakdown of the Filiki Eteria and the Ottoman’s subsequent reaction to the Revolution of 1821. The anthology is ample (152 pages) and contains 177 works, piano transcriptions, and arrangements by Western and local composers, being the earliest most extensive collection of salon piano music from Moldavia discovered to date. This paper investigates the musical and semiographic contents of the anthology in the context of the musical and socio-cultural practices of the elites in the Romanian Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia during the first decades of the 19th century.
The manuscript is a collection of piano pieces on the outer cover of which is written Des chansons Vallaques sur le Piano-Forte (sic). The Author-Musician, whose name is unknown, is probably an independent pianist who provides on demand musical services at distinguished soirées enlivened by dance and music in Central Europe. His notebook consists of two sections. The first is an aide-mémoire of the musician-pianist. It is mostly written in black ink and consists of 72 carefully written piano pieces, of which five Greek pieces, one Albanian, another, very large, Turkish, 48 presumably Romanian popular pieces, and various other salon pieces with East European circulation.
The second part of the manuscript contains musical sketches and is written in ink and in pencil by different people. These are romances with lyrics in French and Romanian alternately; attempts at notation from hearing of some popular pieces probably performed by a popular musician; vocal pieces for two voices in parallel thirds and sixths; a few other musical fragments the pencil-writing of which is partially illegible.
The end of my paper outlines the author’s profile: an independent Viennese musician… It includes observations about the pieces in the manuscript as well as some hypotheses regarding the tendencies that seem to emerge in the salon music of the Wallachian elites in the 1820s.
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