[German Funeral Motets]
A set of German mourning motets was composed by Brentner for one of the religious brotherhood (most probably the Confraternity of Death) of St Nicholas Church at the Lesser Town of Prague. The compositions are written for four voices, one always holding the solo role (vox praecinens), accompanied by two violins and basso continuo. In this respect, there are similarities with some of the antiphons composed by Brentner for the novena to St Teresa of Ávila in 1718, see Brk Coll 7.
Three motets (Brk 85, Brk 86, Brk 89) have survived in autograph manuscripts and, as indicated by the numerals (X, XII and XVI) on their title pages, at least sixteen were composed originally. Performance dates written on the back of the cover (days and months only) enable us to date the composition back to 1717 or 1723, since the regular worship of the confraternity always took place on Monday. Perhaps also Brk 87, known from the period transcript only, was part of the set. However, it is not entirely clear whether the whole set was composed by Brentner, since one similar motet by (“Ihr armen Seelen”, in the edition “Prager deutsche Meister der 1. Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts” wrongly ascribed to Brentner) has survived within the same music collection.
Composition: 1717 or 1723
Trolda, Emilián: 'Prager Kirchenmusik im Zeitalter des Barock'. Hundert Türme. Ein Buch vom alten Prag , Die Bücherstube: Prag 1929, pp. 63–80, here pp. 76–77 .
Buchner, Alexander: Hudební sbírka Emiliána Troldy (Sborník Národního musea v Praze. Sv. 8. Ř. A, Historie, č. 1), Národní muzeum: Praha 1954.
Poštolka, Milan: 'Brentner, Johann Joseph Ignaz '. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians , Macmillan: London 1980, pp. 260–261.
Václav Kapsa: 'Die Musik in der St. Nikolauskirche auf der Prager Kleinseite in der ersten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts'. Musicologica Brunensia, 1/49, 2014, pp. 189–209. Digital copy
Kapsa, Václav: 'The Novena to Saint Teresa of Jesus and the Work of Prague Composers around 1720'. Hudební věda, 3/57, 2020, pp. 254–290. Czech version
Last changed: 2021-01-07
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