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The Musical Culture of Silesia before 1742

New Contexts – New Perspectives


Edited By Pawel Gancarczyk and Lenka Hlávková-Mrácková

The volume includes detailed studies concerning various aspects of the musical culture of Silesia from the fifteenth to mid-eighteenth centuries. The authors, who represent academic centres in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Holland, France and Great Britain, present new sources, as well as reinterpreting previously known facts and phenomena. What makes the approach here so original is that it takes into account the wider context of musical culture in Silesia, not limited to examining it exclusively in relation to the Polish, Czech or German cultures. Here we can see Silesia as one of the regions of Central Europe, and not merely as a western province of Poland, northern province of the Czech Kingdom, or eastern province of Prussia.


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Václav Kapsa: On the Way from Prague to Wrocław: Sacred Music by Early 18th-Century Prague Composers in Silesia


On the Way from Prague to Wrocław: Sacred Music by Early 18th-Century Prague Composers in Silesia∗ Václav Kapsa Etnologický ústav Akademie vd R, Praha Musical connections between Bohemia and Silesia were rich and varied during the high Baroque period. They have not yet been fully researched, but are evident in numerous reports or documents. This abundance of relationships was to a great extent caused by the fact that Silesia was, as one of the lands of the Czech crown, part of the Habsburg monarchy until 1742. However, musical exchanges did not end even after wars resulting in the division of Silesia and the loss of its greater part to Prussia. This development is in fact quite positive for today’s music historians, for it enabled a number of Silesian monasteries and other church institutions to escape the reforms of Joseph II, which often had a rather destructive effect as far as music collections (and other things) are concerned. The Prussian part of Silesia went through the secularisation process as well, but in spite of this an unusual amount of Catholic sacred music from Bohemia has survived in collections there. These valuable sources, coming mainly from the end of the 17th and the whole of the 18th centuries, prove the potentiality and vitality of the work of Bohemian composers as well as a rich circulation of sacred music all over Central Europe, especially later in the eighteenth century. In specific cases these sources give evidence of known or presumed personal...

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