Leopold Ferdinand Schwerdt's Symphony in E Flat Major
AbstractLeopold Ferdinand Schwerdt's Symphony in E flat major seems to attract our attention for a variety of reasons. First, it invokes interest as a document of the Slovene musical history of the early 19th century, i.e. a document of the time which produced few major works in the instrumental music of Slovenia, but also the time when, in the field of reproduction, Slovenia – through its Philharmonic Society – was keeping pace with Europe's musical trends in an accordant succession of styles. This kind of historicist approach to the origin of Schwerdt's Symphony, which is intended to give the Symphony its legitimate position in Schwerdt' life and work, his time and place, is further complemented by the more analytical approach which is also more attractive in terms of research, and perhaps also more of a theoretical nature. In fact, the latter approach is that which may hope to turn a mere regional master into a figure of adequate musicological interest, or, rather, that which demands a musicologically relevant handling in order to assign the musical piece to its appropriate position, above all in the light of the re-examination of the relation between the (Vienna) "classical period" and "classicism", between the exceptional and the average, the individual and the general. This, in turn, seems to give new meaning fulness to the "lighthouse" recording of (musical) history. In fact, it seems to have been proved time and again that artistic climaxes are "nothing but" some kind of amplitudinous flashes of thought, admirable stylistic "outsiders" by-passed by the main and at once "real" current of musical performance.
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Copyright (c) 1988 Andrej Rijavec
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