Chamber music works by Amanda Maier in the context of European Romanticism

Ya.O. Serdiuk
2020 Problems of Interaction Between Arts, Pedagogy and the Theory and Practice of Education  
Background. The name of Amanda Maier (married – Röntgen-Maier), the Swedish violinist, composer, pianist, organist, representative of the Leipzig school of composition, contemporary and good friend of С. Schumann, J. Brahms, E. Grieg, is virtually unknown in the post-Soviet space and little mentioned in the works of musicologists from other countries. The composer's creativity has long been almost completely forgotten, possibly due to both her untimely death (at the age of 41) and thanks
more » ... of 41) and thanks to lack of the research interest in the work of women composers over the past century. The latter, at least in domestic musicology, has significantly intensified in recent decades, which is due in part to the advancement in the second half of the XX and early XXI centuries of a constellation of the talanted women-composers in Ukraine – L. Dychko, H. Havrylets, A. Zagaikevych, I. Aleksiichuk, formerly – G. Ustvolska, S. Gubaydulina in Russia, etc. Today, it is obvious that the development of the world art is associated not only with the activities of male artists, but also with the creative achievements of women: writers, artists, musicians. During her life, A. Maier was the well-known artist in Europe and in the world and the same participant in the musical-historical process as more famous today the musicians of the Romantic era. Objectives and methodology. The proposed study should complement the idea of the work of women-composers of the 19th century and fill in one of the gap on the music map of Europe at that time. The purpose of this article is to characterize the genre-stylistic and compositional-dramaturgical features of selected chamber music works by A. Röntgen-Maier. In this research are used historical-stylistic, structural and functional, analytical, comparative, genre methods. Research results. Carolina Amanda Erika Maier-Röntgen was born in Landskrona, Sweden, where she received her first music lessons from her father. Then she studied at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, where she mastered playing on the several instruments at once – violin, cello, piano, organ, as well as studied the music theory. She became the first woman received the title of "Musik Direktor" after successfully graduating from college. She continued her studies at the Leipzig Conservatory – in the composition under Carl Reineke and Ernst Friedrich Richter direction, in the violin – with Engelbert Röntgen (concertmaster of the Gewandhaus Orchestra, the father of her future husband J. Röntgen). She toured Europe a lot, firstly as a violinist, performing her own works and her husband's works, alongside with world classics. After the birth of her two sons, she withdrew from active concert activities due to the deterioration of her health, but often participated in music salons, which she and her husband organized at home, and whose guests were J. Brahms, C. Schumann, E. Grieg with his wife, and A. Rubinstein. It is known that Amanda Maier performed violin sonatas by J. Brahms together with Clara Schumann. The main part of the composer's creative work consists of chamber and instrumental works. She wrote the Sonata in B minor (1878); Six Pieces for violin and piano (1879); "Dialogues" – 10 small pieces for piano, some of which were created by Julius Röntgen (1883); Swedish songs and dances for violin and piano; Quartet for piano, violin, viola and cello E minor (1891), Romance for violin and piano; Trio for violin, cello and piano (1874); Concert for violin and orchestra (1875); Quartet for piano, violin, viola and clarinet E minor; "Nordiska Tonbilder" for violin and piano (1876); Intermezzo for piano; Two string quartets; March for piano, violin, viola and cello; Romances on the texts of David Wiersen; Trio for piano and two violins; 25 Preludes for piano. Sizable part of the works from this list is still unpublished. Some manuscripts are stored in the archives of the Stockholm State Library, scanned copies of some manuscripts and printed publications are freely available on the Petrucci music library website, but the location of the other musical scores by A. Maier is currently unknown to the author of this material; this is the question that requires a separate study. Due to the limited volume of the article, we will focus in detail on two opuses, which were published during the life of the composer, and which today have gained some popularity among performers around the world. These are the Sonata in B minor for Violin and Piano and the Six Pieces for Violin and Piano. Sonata in B minor is a classical three-part cycle. The first movement – lyricaldramatic sonata allegro (B minor), the second – Andantino – Allegretto, un poco vivace – Tempo I (G major) – combines lyrical and playful semantic functions, the third – Allegro molto vivace (B minor) is an active finale with a classical rondosonata structure. The Six Pieces for Violin and Piano rightly cannot be called the cycle, in the Schumann sense of this word, because there is no common literary program for all plays, intonation-thematic connections between this musical numbers, end-to-end thematic development that would permeate the entire opus. But this opus has the certain signs of cyclization and the common features to all plays, contributing to its unification: tonal plan, construction of the whole on the principle of contrast, genre, song and dance intonation, the leading role of the violin in the presentation of thematic material. Conclusions and research perspectives. Amanda Maier's chamber work freely synthesizes the classical (Beethoven) and the romantic (Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann) traditions, which the composer, undoubtedly, learned through the Leipzig school. From there come the classical harmony, the orderliness of her thinking, clarity, conciseness, harmony of form, skill in ensemble writing, polyphonic ingenuity. There are also parallels with the music of J. Brahms. With the latter, A. Maier's creativity correlates trough the ability to embody freely and effortlessly the subtle lyrical psychological content, being within the traditional forms, to feel natural within the tradition, without denying it and without trying to break it. The melodic outlines and rhythmic structures of some themes and certain techniques of textured presentation in the piano part also refer us to the works of the German composer. However, this is hardly a conscious reliance on the achievements of J. Brahms, because the creative process of the two musicians took place in parallel, and A. Maier's Violin Sonata appeared even a little earlier than similar works by J. Brahms in this genre. Prospects for further research in this direction relate to the search for new information about A. Maier's life and creativity and the detailed examination of her other works.
doi:10.34064/khnum1-56.08 fatcat:sy7lapob4rabfa2rgbzmcemowu