The Mystery of the Missing Equali

ttf_kbiggs
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The Mystery of the Missing Equali

Post by ttf_kbiggs » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:49 pm

Don’t know why I didn’t remember this earlier, but I remember an article from several years ago in the Historic Brass Society Journal specifically about Beethoven’s pieces. I’ll have to see whether I can find it on their website or in my library...
ttf_MrPillow
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The Mystery of the Missing Equali

Post by ttf_MrPillow » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:09 pm

ttf_kbiggs
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The Mystery of the Missing Equali

Post by ttf_kbiggs » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:16 pm

Quote from: MrPillow on Nov 12, 2017, 02:09PMUnfortunately the link is dead - http://www.historicbrass.org/Portals/0/ ... Weiner.pdf

Yes, I just realized that.

For those who want to ask for a copy via interlibrary loan, here’s the citation:
Weiner, Howard. Beethoven’s Equali (WoO 30): A New Perspective. Historic Brass Society Journal, vol. 14 (2002): 215-277.

It’s quite extensive.

On equali in general:

“Additional information about the function of equali is provided by Franz Xaver Glöggl: In his Kirchenmusk-Ordnung (‘Church Music Regluations’) from 1828, he wrote in the chapter ‘About Funerals’ (Von den Leichenbegängnissen):

    ‘In the first class [of funerals], the arrival of the clergy is announced by a short funeral piece (equale) with trombones or other wind instruments as a sign of the sacred funeral act for those present. After its completion, the funeral procession starts to move. This is again announced by the wind funeral music, with which the vocal ensemble, sing a three- or four-part Miserere, alternates during the procession up to the entrance of the church or burial ground, where before the consecration of the Verse: Requiem aeternam is to be sung. After the consecration and the general prayer, a funeral motet is to be sung.’

“[T]he term ‘equale’ as a designation for short, chordal, three- to four-part trombone pieces seems to have originated from Franz Xaver Glöggl, and found usage only in his immediate environment.”

Glöggl’s environment was Linz, Austria.

Weiner goes on to note discrepancies in various accounts of Beethoven’s funeral. But there’s a lot more to the article: facsimiles of the original MS, facsimiles of original printings, etc. Quite a read.
ttf_robcat2075
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The Mystery of the Missing Equali

Post by ttf_robcat2075 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:42 pm

from the wikipedia article on Glöggl
QuoteWhen Beethoven visited Linz in the autumn of 1812, he visited and became friends with Glöggl. Beethoven asked if he could hear an equale, the characteristic funeral trombone music genre of Linz, and Glöggl arranged a performance at his house. Glöggl asked him for a six-part equale, to include the unusual soprano and quart trombones that he owned. Beethoven wrote for him the Drei Equale für vier posaunen (WoO 30), which are for alto, tenor and bass trombones and do not call for the soprano or quart instruments.

Glöggl's collection of musical instruments and manuscripts was acquired in 1824 by the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna, and formed the basis of what may be the oldest surviving institutional musical instrument collection, the Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente, which since 1938 has been held in trust by the Viennese Kunsthistorisches Museum...
ttf_robcat2075
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The Mystery of the Missing Equali

Post by ttf_robcat2075 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:55 pm

Here are the San Francisco Symphony program notes that the article derives the Glöggl story from




Quote ...Many years later, F.X. Glöggl’s son, Franz, set down his reminiscence of that time:

QuoteBeethoven was on intimate terms of friendship with my father, capellmeister of the cathedral of Linz, and when he was there in 1812, he was at our house every day and several times took meals with us. My father asked him for an Aequale for six trombones as in his collection of old instruments he had a soprano and a quart trombone, whereas only alto, tenor and bass trombones were commonly used. Beethoven wanted to hear an Aequale such as was played at funerals in Linz, and one afternoon when Beethoven was expected to dine with us, my father appointed three trombone players and had them play an Aequale as desired, after which Beethoven sat down and composed one for six trombones, which my father had his trombonists play.
Franz Glöggl’s memory must have been close but not spot-on, as Beethoven’s Equali employ four trombones rather than six, in the disposition of two alto trombones, tenor trombone, and bass trombone—not using either the soprano or quart trombones in his father’s collection (the quart being pitched a fourth below the standard tenor trombone). The circumstances were further described by Glöggl’s pupil and Beethoven’s friend Tobias Haslinger, who stated that “Mr. Glöggl [asked Beethoven] to compose for him so-called Equale for four trombones for All-Souls’ Day (November 2nd), which he would then have his musicians play, as was usual, on this feast—Beethoven declared himself willing; he actually wrote three movements for this purpose, which are indeed short, but which, through the excellence of their design, attest to the master’s hand.”

...

Sounds like it was dashed off in a few minutes.
ttf_Le.Tromboniste
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The Mystery of the Missing Equali

Post by ttf_Le.Tromboniste » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:55 am

Quote from: robcat2075 on Nov 12, 2017, 08:55PMHere are the San Francisco Symphony program notes that the article derives the Glöggl story from



Franz Glöggl’s memory must have been close but not spot-on, as Beethoven’s Equali employ four trombones rather than six, in the disposition of two alto trombones, tenor trombone, and bass trombone—not using either the soprano or quart trombones in his father’s collection (the quart being pitched a fourth below the standard tenor trombone). The circumstances were further described by Glöggl’s pupil and Beethoven’s friend Tobias Haslinger, who stated that “Mr. Glöggl [asked Beethoven] to compose for him so-called Equale for four trombones for All-Souls’ Day (November 2nd), which he would then have his musicians play, as was usual, on this feast—Beethoven declared himself willing; he actually wrote three movements for this purpose, which are indeed short, but which, through the excellence of their design, attest to the master’s hand.”

...


Sounds like it was dashed off in a few minutes.

And sounds, as was pointed out, that this was a tradition specifically in Linz and the surroundings, all the more reasons not to draw big direct links with the the widespread practice of writing certain pieces or certain parts of pieces in equal voices.
ttf_kbiggs
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The Mystery of the Missing Equali

Post by ttf_kbiggs » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:15 am

Quote from: Le.Tromboniste on Nov 13, 2017, 12:55AMAnd sounds, as was pointed out, that this was a tradition specifically in Linz and the surroundings, all the more reasons not to draw big direct links with the the widespread practice of writing certain pieces or certain parts of pieces in equal voices.

Yes, according to Howard Weiner’s article.

Weiner also discusses Franz Xaver Glöggl’s account, comparing it to Franz Glöggl’s (F. X. Glöggl’s son) account, and the account of Tobias Hanslinger. All three agree in general terms but there are discrepancies amongst the three accounts. Again, a large article.
ttf_robcat2075
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The Mystery of the Missing Equali

Post by ttf_robcat2075 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:18 am

I wonder if Glöggl's collection of manuscripts in that Vienna Museum has any equali, perhaps the example that was played for Beethoven.
ttf_robcat2075
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The Mystery of the Missing Equali

Post by ttf_robcat2075 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:47 am

Quote from: kbiggs on Nov 12, 2017, 08:16PM
“[T]he term ‘equale’ as a designation for short, chordal, three- to four-part trombone pieces seems to have originated from Franz Xaver Glöggl, and found usage only in his immediate environment.”

Glöggl’s environment was Linz, Austria.


And indeed Linz was also Bruckner's and Lambel's environment. It's likely that Beethoven's Equale remained in the repertoire of the Linz trombone choir and likely then that Bruckner and Lambel heard them and were aware of them.


But, at least in Linz, before Beethoven came to dinner, they were playing something that came to be called "equali" .  Those are the missing equali.
ttf_Le.Tromboniste
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The Mystery of the Missing Equali

Post by ttf_Le.Tromboniste » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:26 am

Quote from: robcat2075 on Nov 13, 2017, 09:47AMAnd indeed Linz was also Bruckner's and Lambel's environment. It's likely that Beethoven's Equale remained in the repertoire of the Linz trombone choir and likely then that Bruckner and Lambel heard them and were aware of them.


But, at least in Linz, before Beethoven came to dinner, they were playing something that came to be called "equali" .  Those are the missing equali.

Yes and then the interesting question of course is when did that start.

I suspect all the relevant archives that haven't been destroyed in the war have already been combed through - it is probably not likely that a significant number of "equali" for trombones or other winds will suddenly appear. However, an interesting lead would be to go through these archives again while looking for equal voice vocal, specifically funeral music. It is entirely possible that the music used for those circumstances was, if only at first, existing 3, 4, 5, or 6 part vocal music that they had at their disposal.
ttf_robcat2075
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The Mystery of the Missing Equali

Post by ttf_robcat2075 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:49 pm

One inconsistency I observe is that Gloggl wrote that book that says Equale are expected at high class funerals.

Going to the expense of publishing a book suggests there is an audience for it way beyond the funeral directors of Linz.
ttf_robcat2075
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The Mystery of the Missing Equali

Post by ttf_robcat2075 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:49 pm

One inconsistency I observe is that Gloggl wrote that book that says Equale are expected at high class funerals.

Going to the expense of publishing a book suggests there is an audience for it way beyond the funeral directors of Linz.
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