The graduals of Johann Michael Haydn: performance editions and studies of selected works
Miller, Robert Dale
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Johann Michael Haydn was court composer, concertmaster, and later cathedral organist in the Salzburg court for niore than forty years. From his employment by the Prince-Archbishop Sigismund, Count Schrattenbach in 1763 to his death in 1806, Michael Haydn composed hundreds of secular works for use in the archiepiscopal court and sacred motets and Masses for worship services in the Salzburg cathedral and St. Peter's Abbey. It is well documented that more than one hundred of these sacred pieces were Graduals commissioned by Salzburg's Prince-Archbishop Hieronymus, Count von Colloredo-Waldsee in response to the reforms decreed by Emperor Joseph II in 1782. The Graduals and Offertories which Michael Haydn composed have been discussed by Reinhard Pauly in his 1956 dissertation "Michael Haydn's Latin Proprium Missae Compositions." Pauly has provided background information regarding the life and music of Michael Haydn, and insight into the social, religious and political climate in which he worked. Much has been written regarding the reforms of Emperor Joseph II and the effect that they had on the church music of the period. Because Pauly's work has dealt in great detail with the effect of Joseph IIs reforms on the ecclesiastical state in general and church music in particular, this study will only address those which deal most directly with the creation of the instrumentally accompanied choral Graduals. Joseph IIs reforms resulted in the suppression of purely instrumental music within the service. In Salzburg Prince-Archbishop Colloredo's response was a 1782 pastoral letter which, among other things, called for singing of hymns in the vernacular and resulted in the replacement of the purely instrumental music in the Mass, the "epistle sonata" for organ and orchestra, with the Offertory and Gradual for choir, organ, and small instrumental ensemble. The Graduals which resulted from Colloredo's response represent a significant proportion of Michael Haydn's compositional output. Their appropriateness for inclusion in the liturgical worship services in Salzburg and throughout Austria and Germany in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries is evidenced by the number of churches and monasteries which were found to own sets of parts as late as the middle of the twentieth century. This study of these Graduals draws upon Pauly's work for general descriptions of the music, but focuses on in-depth analysis of three of these sacred motets, Paratum cor meum, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Munchen, Musikabteilung (abbreviated Dbs), Mus. ms. 385, and Alleluja! Confitemini Domino, Dbs Mus. ms. 365, both for "ordinary" Sundays, and the festival piece, Beatus vir qui timet Dominum, Dbs Mus. ms. 425. These works are examined with regard to formal, harmonic, melodic, textural and textual considerations and are found to be worthy of inclusion in the twentieth-century liturgical and concert repertoire. Perhaps the three works of this study might be elevated in the modem era to a position of greater importance through their performance in concert and publication in this paper.