Saint Cecilia (Latin: Sancta Caecilia) is the patroness of musicians and Church music because, as she was dying, she sang to God. It is also written that as the musicians played at her wedding she "sang in her heart to the Lord". St. Cecilia was an only child. Her feast day is celebrated in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches on November 22. She is one of seven women, excluding the Blessed Virgin, commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass. It was long supposed that she was a noble lady of Rome who, with her husband Valerian, his brother Tiburtius, and a Roman soldier Maximus, suffered martyrdom in about 230, under the Emperor Alexander Severus.
Ode for St. Cecilia's Day (HWV 76) is a cantata composed by George Frideric Handel in 1739, his second setting of the poem by the English poet John Dryden. The title of the oratorio refers to Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians. The main theme of the text is the Pythagorean theory of harmonia mundi, that music was a central force in the Earth's creation. The premiere was on 22 November 1739 at the Theatre in Lincoln's Inn Fields, London.
The Trumpet's Loud Clangour
TENOR: The trumpet's loud clangour excites us to arms,
With shrill notes of anger and mortal alarms,
The double-double-double beat,
Of the thund'ring drum,
Cries hark! Hark! Cries hark the foes come!
Charge! Charge! Charge! Charge!
'Tis too late, 'tis too late to retreat!
3. Song For Saint Cecilia's Day by John Dryden （诗作者）
From harmony, from heavenly harmony
This universal frame began.
When Nature underneath a heap
Of jarring atoms lay,
And could not heave her head, 5
The tuneful voice was heard from high:
"Arise, ye more than dead!"
Then cold and hot and moist and dry
In order to their stations leap,
And Music's power obey. 10
From harmony, from heavenly harmony
This universal frame began;
From harmony to harmony
Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
The diapason closing full in Man. 15
What passion cannot Music raise and quell?
When Jubal struck the corded shell,
His list'ning brethren stood around,
And, wond'ring, on their faces fell
To worship that celestial sound, 20
Less than a god they thought there could not dwell
Within the hollow of that shell
That spoke so sweetly and so well.
What passion cannot Music raise and quell?
The trumpet's loud clangor 25
Excites us to arms,
With shrill notes of anger
And mortal alarms.
The double double double beat
Of the thundering drum 30
Cries, "Hark, the foes come!
Charge, charge, 't is too late to retreat!"
The soft complaining flute
In dying notes discovers
The woes of hopeless lovers, 35
Whose dirge is whispered by the warbling lute.
Sharp violins proclaim
Their jealous pangs and desperation,
Fury, frantic indignation,
Depth of pains and height of passion, 40
For the fair disdainful dame.
But oh! what art can teach,
What human voice can reach
The sacred organ's praise?
Notes inspiring holy love, 45
Notes that wing their heavenly ways
To mend the choirs above.
Orpheus could lead the savage race,
And trees unrooted left their place,
Sequacious of the lyre; 50
But bright Cecilia raised the wonder higher:
When to her organ vocal breath was given,
An angel heard, and straight appeared--
Mistaking earth for heaven.
As from the power of sacred lays 55
The spheres began to move,
And sung the great Creator's praise
To all the blest above:
So, when the last and dreadful hour
This crumbling pageant shall devour, 60
The trumpet shall be heard on high,
The dead shall live, the living die,
And Music shall untune the sky.
NOTE.--Dryden wrote this song in 1687 for the festival of St. Cecilia,
the patron saint of music. To be appreciated it must be read aloud,
for it is full of musical effects, especially stanzas 3-6. St. Cecilia
has been represented by Raphael and other artists as playing upon some
instrument, surrounded by listening angels.
[1.] From harmony, etc. Some of the ancients believed that music
helped in the creation of the heavenly bodies, and that their motions
were accompanied by a harmony known as "the music of the spheres."
[2.] This universal frame, the visible universe.
[3.] The diapason, etc. The diapason means here the entire compass
of tones. The idea is that in man, the highest of God's creatures,
are included all the virtues and powers of the lower creation.
[4.] Jubal. It is said of Jubal: "He was the father of all such as
handle the harp and organ."--Genesis iv, 21.
[5.] The corded shell, i.e. the lyre. The first lyre was supposed to
have been formed by drawing strings over a tortoise shell.
[6.] Mortal alarms, i.e. notes that rouse men to deadly conflict.
[7.] Discovers, reveals.
[8.] Mend, amend, improve.
[9.] Orpheus is said to have been a Thracian poet who moved rocks and
trees and tamed wild beasts by playing upon his lyre.
[10.] Straight, straightway, immediately.
[11.] The last and dreadful hour, the Day of Judgment.
Hail! Bright Cecilia (Z.328), also known as Ode to St. Cecilia, was composed to a text by the Irishman Nicholas Brady by Henry Purcell in 1692 in honour of the feast day of Saint Cecilia, patron saint of musicians. Annual celebrations of this saint's feast day (November 22) began in 1683, organized by the Musical Society of London, a group of musicians and music lovers. Purcell had already written Cecilian pieces in previous years, but this Ode remains the best known. The first performance was a great success, and received an encore.
Brady's poem was derived from John Dryden's A Song for St Cecilia's Day in 1687, which suggested that Cecilia invented the organ. With a text full of references to musical instruments, the work requires a wide variety of vocal soloists and obbligato instruments.  Brady extols the birth and personality of musical instruments and voices, and Purcell treats these personalities as if they were dramatic characters. The airs employ a variety of dance forms.  "Hark, each Tree" is a sarabande on a ground.  It is a duet on a ground-bass between, vocally, soprano and bass, and instrumentally, between recorders and violins ("box and fir" are the woods used in the making of these instruments). "With That Sublime Celestial Lay" and "Wond'rous Machine" are in praise of the organ.  "Thou tun'st this World" is set as a minuet. "In vain the am'rous Flute" is set to a passacaglia bass.  In spite of Brady's conceit of the speaking forest (It should be remembered that English organs of the period typically had wooden pipes), Purcell scored the warlike music for two brass trumpets and copper kettle drums instead of fife and (field) drum. The orchestra also includes two recorders (called flutes) with a bass flute, two oboes (called hautboys), strings and basso continuo.
Purcell is one of several composers who have written music in honour of Cecilia.
For centuries, the trumpet was considered an instrument exclusive to the court, specifically the property of the ruler of highest rank who was usually the king. During the Baroque era the art of trumpet playing evolved to a high level of technical virtuosity achieved by a select group of players who maintained their exclusivity through guild membership. As early as 1623 an Imperial Guild of Court and Field Trumpeters and Court and Army Kettledrummers was formed in the Holy Roman Empire for the purpose of regulating instruction. This limited the number of performers, as well as placing restrictions on locations of performance and on who was allowed to perform. The Elector of Saxony was named as patron of the guild. While other countries outside the empire did not necessarily maintain comparable guilds as such, trumpet playing enjoyed similar status throughout Europe.6
Use of Mutes
Trumpet players are accustomed to playing with a variety of mutes as designated in their music, whether it be symphonic, jazz, or solo literature. But perhaps the earliest designation for muted playing comes from a 17th-century military order. The signal la sourdine was an order to march "with little noise". The directive for such practice was explained thus:
...the mute is used when there is a risk of being discovered by the enemy or when it is wished to surprise them, as also when it is desired to decamp or secretly withdraw... 1
To enforce the privileges for the newly formed guild, Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II decreed in the same year:
No honourable trumpeter or timpanist shall allow himself to be employed with his instrument in any way other than for religious services, Emperors, Kings, electors and Princes, Counts, Lords and Knights and nobility, or other persons of high quality: It shall also be forbidden altogether to use a trumpet or a timpani at despicable occasions; likewise the excessive nocturnal improper carousing in the streets and alleys, in wine and beer houses. He who transgresses in this way shall be punished.7
No less was to be expected from a class of musicians who not only wore the feather of nobility in their caps, but were also provided with horses and personal servants. Trumpeters were expected to travel with their lords so as to provide fanfares whenever the lord entered a town or castle. They also relayed messages in times of war and political crisis as well as participating in political intrigues.8 In Germany as well as France trumpeters were required in the military, especially in the mounted cavalry. Trumpets led the way in military parades, but during battle they were positioned at the rear of the battle alongside the commander, ready to communicate the various orders of movement such as the standard calls to the saddle and the charge, which were required to maintain order and timing.
Trumpet masters, jealous to keep their high standing, maintained a veil of secrecy over their guild by playing from memory and by teaching new guild members by rote. They were especially secretive about techniques such as flutter tonguing, double and triple tonguing, trilling, and high tessitura playing, as well as instrument construction such as mouthpiece design and tubing for pitch changes.9
Trumpets were also active in other forms of music that did not necessarily involve the nobility directly. During the Baroque several forms of entertainment emerged in which war imitated art, and vice versa. One example is the concept of "battle choreography" as described in Möller's Trilekunst zu fuss (Infantry Drill) published in 1672. Here the author provides minute instructions for placing foot soldiers in a pattern representing the arms of the imperial city of Lübeck. Another example was the tournament, where competition was staged with music and the proceedings took on a sense of theater with allegorical tones. Rifles had now become the common elements of war, rendering the weaponry and conflict that the tournament represented obsolete. Nevertheless, tournaments remained a popular activity--and the trumpet, being the musical signature of the nobility, was an integral part of this pastime.
In time, tournaments gave way to military or equestrian ballets. In Italy, early examples even incorporated elements of opera. Ferdinand III introduced the practice in Austria where the Spanish school of riding can still be enjoyed today in the performances of the Lippizaner stallions. In France, Louis XIV was also fond of these horse ballets, known as Caroussels. Since most trumpet music was improvised, few examples survive from these engagements.
On occasion, composers also wrote less programmatic music for the trumpet. Some specific examples include Praetorius's setting in 1618 of In dulci jubilo (Polyhymnia panegyrica et caduceatrix no. 34) using a six-part ensemble in a chorale style. Franz Biber wrote two sonatas for six- and eight-part trumpet ensembles with kettledrums and continuo. Also worthy of mention is Michel Corrette's Divertissement Op. 7 for two trumpets.
As technical prowess improved, composers wrote music incorporating high tessitura or clarino playing in their trumpet parts. The design of Baroque mouthpieces facilitated this style of playing with a rim that was flatter and wider, allowing for greater endurance. It also had a pronounced edge between the cup and the throat that allowed for (1) bending the pitch on out-of-tune notes, as well as (2) lending a certain brilliance to the tone. Earlier in the Baroque, players were reaching the 16th partial with regularity, eventually reaching into the fourth or fifth octave late in the Classical period, as heard in the concertos of Michael Haydn, Reutter, F. X. Richter, and Joseph Riepel. Bach featured the skill of the celebrated player Gottfreid Reiche (senior Stadtpfeifer in Leipzig until his death in 1734) in many of his works, though the second Brandenburg Concerto preceded their acquaintance, and the Christmas Oratorio was performed by his successor.10
As the Baroque era declined, musical taste dictated a style different from the brilliant virtuosity demanded from trumpet players. Also, royal wealth and status declined, thanks in part to the French Revolution, making the financial status of the trumpet guild increasingly shaky. The guild was dissolved in Berlin by 1810, and the guild in Saxony, after some 200 years of existence, followed suit in 1831.
Im Dorfe. Happy Birthday, Schubert.
It is so fitting, isn’t it, that Schubert should have been born in January? As I’ve mentioned before I love Schubert’s music dearly all year round, but it seems to me especially appropriate for the month of January, and I have, in fact, set up a rule for myself that under no circumstances am I allowed to listen to Winterreise earlier than January 1. That way I have something to look forward to about this the bleakest, coldest month of the year.
Oh, Schubert. It really does make me so weepy every time I think about his much too early death, even more so than with Mozart. The Grim Reeper cheated us out on a lot of undoubtedly great music from both gentlemen, certainly, but at least Mozart got to have a wife and kids. What did Schubert get? Syphilis, that’s what. Or at least something similarly nasty and painful and isolating. To have lived through such misery and then to have maintained the ability to communicate feelings so well through his music, to have insisted on remaining so warm and human deep inside that coldness … It breaks the heart.
"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."