Publication details

Secular dramatic music of Johann Heinrich Schmelzer – contribution to history of festive serenatas in the 17th century



Year of publication 2014
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Schmelzer's secular dramatic music, also known as festive serenatas, constitutes a marginal part of the composer’s work, in comparison to his instrumental compositions. This fact, together with shorter extent of serenatas and its specific compositional and formal simplicity, probably caused insufficient reflection in musicological literature. All Schmelzer's serenatas represent one act vocal-instrumental works with its main reason – to pay tribute to the honored person and present congratulation. Interestingly, in some librettos for the serenatas for Leopold I, we can find commentaries to the actual political situations, likewise in the dramatic music of Antonio Draghi or the prologues of Lully's operas. One of the aims of the lecture was to familiarize listeners with present state of research in this area, which can be covered only by selected works of Jiri Sehnal and Herbert Seifert. Attention will be paid to preserved performing materials, as manuscript scores or parts and printed librettos, and to formal aspect of the serenatas, their contents and the selection of the libretto language, distinguishing Schmelzer's works composed for the emperor from the serenatas for Maria Antonia. In connection with the archduchess performing as the main singer in the serenata Hercules und Onfale, will be also mentioned the problematic of the child opera on the Habsburg imperial court in the second half of the 17th century.
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