You decide, we display!
Which "Special Exhibit" do you like to see at the State Hall? Vote now! In this round three extraordinary objects from the DepartmentofMusic of the Austrian National Library are available. You can vote until September 26. The winning object will probably be displayed from 20 Macrh, 2022 at the State Hall.
Light-footed into the New Year
Dances for piano
It is a fine Austrian tradition to dance into the New Year. The Austrian National Library’s Music Collection also includes plenty of dance music, and its fine selection demonstrates the breadth of the spectrum of this genre. It includes piano suites rooted in a courtly dance culture as well as lively light music or a melancholy waltz.
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Object 1: Johann Jacob Froberger: Libro Quarto
Original manuscript, 1656
The visually splendid elaboration of Johann Jacob Froberger's collections of piano works reflects the special relationship between a musician and his sovereign. Emperor Ferdinand III had an attitude music that was shaped by personal interest and not merely by considerations of prestige. He gave substantial support to Froberger, not least by enabling him to spend several years studying with the leading composer for keyboard instruments of the time, Girolamo Frescobaldi, thus laying the foundation for his musical development. It was to Ferdinand III that Froberger dedicated this collection of piano works, which include suites, i.e. sequences of dance movements. The manuscript is written in Froberger's hand, while the illustrations were contributed by his friend Johann Friedrich Sautter.
Object 2: Franz Schubert: Diabelli Variation
Original manuscript, May 1821
To promote his newly founded publishing house, Antonio Diabelli invited composers in the Crown Lands to contribute to an anthology by submitting a variation on a theme he had invented. In keeping with the spirit of the times, he marketed the works, which were received only very gradually, as the project of a Fatherland Artists' Association – suggesting a closer relationship between the invited musicians than actually existed. Today, the submissions from the 50 composers who kept to the rules are overshadowed by Beethoven's 33 variations. Among them is Franz Schubert's C minor Variation, which particularly stands out thanks to its independent and contemplative appropriation of Diabelli's waltz.
Object 3: Anton Bruckner: Lancier-Quadrille
Original manuscript, ca. 1850
Bruckner's Lancier Quadrille breaks with what we expect of his works today. It does not reflect the well-familiar symphonist and church musician, but rather a young composer, perhaps in love for the first time, dedicating a somewhat ribald ballroom dance to the daughter of his schoolmaster, Aloisia Bogner, whom he adored. It is just as likely that the quadrille was written for piano lessons as that it was intended to be used for dancing in the home. In keeping with the genre, Bruckner also makes reference to other composers in the case of the Quadrille, namely by quoting from the operas of Lortzing and Donizetti. For the ball season that will soon be upon us, it certainly provides a most fitting accompaniment.