Pastorella in G
This is one of the oldest known instrumental pastorellas from the Czech Lands. The composition was intended as instrumental church music, as indicated by the figured bass line for the organ, yet Brentner commonly does not use figured bass in his secular instrumental compositions and mostly assigns the bass line explicitly to the cello.
The work has been preserved in a period score together with another similar pastorella by the kapellmeister of the cathedral, Thomas Anton Albertini (c. 1660–1735), a composer more than a generation older than Brentner. An unknown copyist wrote out both scores in December 1730, perhaps for study purposes or as repertoire for the forthcoming Christmas holidays, but today we know neither the provenience of the copies nor the place for which they were intended. The severe damage of the copies caused by ink erosion might serve as a clue of sorts in the further search for their origin; in some countries, more aggressive varieties of ink were produced and used, as is well known, for example, from examining the Leipzig sources for Johann Sebastian Bach’s works, most of which are marked by the same problem. Both scores were acquired at an unknown time by Simon Molitor (1766–1848), a musician, composer, and civil servant in Vienna. He had parts of Albertini’s pastorella copied out (the parts have survived together with both scores), and on 6 January 1838 he had it performed as part of his home concerts. He is also likely to have dealt with Brentner’s pastorella, as is indicated by markings in the score, but there is no evidence of the composition having been performed.
Composition: Not after 1730
Buchner, Alexander: Hudební sbírka Emiliána Troldy (Sborník Národního musea v Praze. Sv. 8. Ř. A, Historie, č. 1), Národní muzeum: Praha 1954.
Berkovec, Jiří: České pastorely , Supraphon: Praha 1987.
Trojan, Jan: 'Realistické prvky v českých pastorelách'. Hudební věda, 1/28, 1991, pp. 57–76.
Trojan, Jan: 'Die tschechische Instrumentalpastorelle (Zur Weihnachtsmusik des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts in Böhmen und Mähren)'. Die Instrumentalmusik (Struktur – Funktion – Ästhetik): Colloquium Brno 1991; Ethnonationale Wechselbeziehungen in der mitteleuropäischen Musik mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Situation in den böhmischen Ländern: Colloquium Brno 1992, Brno 1994, pp. 101–106.
Biba, Otto: 'Zu Kirchenmusikern und zur Kirchenmusik-Geschichte in Mähren'. Musicologica Olomucensia, 2/14, 2011, pp. 31–38. Digital copy
Last changed: 2020-12-05
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