The Baroque Requiem Mass at the imperial Habsburg Court in Vienna: musical and historical context, rhetoric, and signification
Westerhaus, Timothy Paul
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This study of the Baroque Requiem Mass at the imperial Habsburg Court in Vienna explores the historical and musical context of six settings composed from 1621 to 1720. The Austrian Habsburg Emperors Ferdinand II, Ferdinand III, Leopold I, Joseph I, and Charles VI supported the imperial musical establishment, the Hofkapelle, due to a nearly consistent zeal for music and religion. The Hofkapelle expanded in size and incorporated an increasing variety of singers and instrumentalists throughout this period. This institution was musically influential throughout the Holy Roman Empire and magnified the prestige of each emperor through its prominent role at public performances. Hofkapelle liturgies incorporated unique practices, and they commemorated the deaths of emperors and other important members of the Habsburg family with concerted settings of the Requiem Mass. Composers of these Requiem Masses reflect the German and Italian constituency and musical style espoused by the Hofkapelle. Musical analyses identify common and unique characteristics among six compositions: Christoph Straus's Missa Pro defunctis, Giovanni Felice Sances's Missa Defunctorum à 12 and Requiem Ferdinand III à 20, Johann Heinrich Schmeltzer's Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, Johann Kaspar Kerll's Missa Pro defunctis, and Johann Joseph Fux's Requiem à 5. The analyses address compositional context, performing forces, structure, motivic characteristics, text illustration, counterpoint, and text setting. The analyses also establish the influences of rhetoric and oratory upon these compositions. The study distinguishes between techniques of musical rhetoric, such as large-scale structures and Figurenlehre, and musical oratory, including elements of speech-like delivery. Correlations between compositional theory and the Hofkapelle repertoire are explored through primary sources of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. These correlations focus on elements of musical rhetoric and oratory with treatises by Johannes Nucius, Athanasius Kircher, Christoph Bernhard, Tomàš Baltazar Janovka, Mauritius Johann Vogt, and Johann Mattheson. These primary sources lead to inquiries regarding the signification of Hofkapelle Requiem Masses. This investigation explores possible meaning conveyed at specific commemorations, beliefs regarding death and the Habsburgs, and perceptions about the relationship between the living and the deceased.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--Boston University