The Music Chapel of the Ljubljana Cathedral from 1800 to 1810
AbstractThe article deals with the Ljubljana cathedral music chapel during the 1800-1810 years. During that time the "Musikkapelle" was of the following composition: four violinists, two oboists, two hornists, four singers (a soprano, an alto, a tenor, a bass), organist, and double-bass player. Throughout this period the post of the organist was held by the composer Anton Höller, of Neunkirchen, Lower Austria (in the music chapel from 1800 until his death in 1826), who had in 1802, assumed the leading of the chorus. Among foreign members of the chapel were, for a certain period, also the violinist Moris Spring, from Regensburg, and the bass Joseph Went, from Vienna, Following years of attempts made by the cathedral and the Philharmonic Society in Ljubljana there was in 1806 founded – at the Cathedral – a public musical school (the first of its kind in Slovenia), which had a teacher for figural and choral singing, piano, organ, strings and other instruments, who was at the same time the bass in the cathedral chapel. The school started with its work in the middle of 1807 and continued until the end of 1809, when it was for financial restrictive reasons closed down. Its teacher was the bass and the composer Leopold Ferdinand Schwerdt, from Weinzdorf in Lower Austria. Among other of the chapel worthy of mention was, since 1806, the young oboist and singer Matej Babnik (Babnigg), the author of a violin sonata that has been preserved. Because of reductions in available financial means during the time of the French occupation of the land, the complete orchestra was in the beginning of 1810 dismissed from service. The music chapel consisted now simply of organist and four singers. Also when the land had passed into the Austrian Empire (1814), the music chapel – because of the demands made by clergy – remained in this small cast. The cathedral orchestra was never set up again.
Copyright (c) 1981 Janez Höfler
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