The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #161887 Message #3852426
Posted By: keberoxu
25-Apr-17 - 05:48 PM
Thread Name: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
Subject: Chorley's Music and Manners (Tait's Edinburgh)
Since the lyrics on this thread come from part-songs, for men's choruses in Germany,
a contemporary report on this musical trend might be of interest.
This report was excerpted and printed in Tait's Edinburgh Magazine for 1841 (can be found at books dot google dot com).
These part-songs are too little known in England, as one of the most national and not least engaging features in modern German music....It is forty years since [the composers] Zelter and his friend Flemming founded at Berlin a congregation of staid elderly men, who met once a month to sit down to a good supper, and to diversify the pleasures of the table with by singing four-part songs, principally composed by themselves. Their number was forty; and far the larger part of it composed of amateurs or men in office. It was an original statute that no-one was eligible as a member who was not a composer, a poet, or a singer....Goethe used to give his songs to be composed by Zelter; and many of them were sung at the Berlin "Lieder-Tafel" before they were printed or known elsewhere.
....[A] younger generation of musicians founded a young "Lieder-Tafel" society, on the same principle, and for the same number of members. Friedrich Förster wrote some very pretty song [lyrics] for it. Hoffmann, the novel writer and Kapellmeister, made it one scene of his strange and extravagant existence; and left behind him there an immortal comic song -- "Türkische Musik," the words by Friedrich Förster. In general, a gayer and more spirited tone pervaded this younger society than belonged to their classical seniors. It was the practice of both bodies to invite guests on holiday occasions; and by the younger part-singers, ladies were admitted twice a year. Nothing could be sprightlier or pleasanter -- a little extra noise allowed for -- than these latter meetings.
Honour, then, to the part-songs of Germany, and better acquaintance with them! is not the worst toast one could propose at a[n] [English] glee club.