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On “the German” in “A German Requiem” by J. Brahms: in the issue of ideological and music bonds of the German national culture

Dombrauskene Galina Nikolaevna

Doctor of Art History

Professor at the Department of History of Art and Culture of Maritime State University n.a. Admiral G.I. Nevelskoy, Professor at the Department of Music History, Far Eastern State Institute of Arts

690090, Russia, Primorskii krai, g. Vladivostok, ul. Pos'etskaya, 28A, kv. 19

dombrauskene@mail.ru
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DOI:

10.7256/2453-613X.2019.2.29143

Review date:

04-03-2019


Publish date:

06-05-2019


Abstract.

The research object is “A German Requiem” by J. Brahms, which is a unique meta-text concentrating various semantic structures, both music and ideological. They serve as cultural codes containing a wide cultural and historic context: it was formed by the system of patterns of the German national culture - the Protestant religion, philosophy, history, literature, etc. The research subject is a group of internal semantic motives underlying “A German Requiem”. As the key approach, the author has chosen the context approach revealing the cultural and historic conditions the German romantic composers used to work in. Textological and music analysis of “A German Requiem” helped the author to describe the internal process of genre bifurcation between the traditional Catholic canon and Brahms’ individual project in the spirit of the German liberal Protestantism. The study of “A German Requiem” helped characterize it as a genre simulacrum preserving only formal resemblance with a traditional funeral mass. The internal composition of the music piece is unique; it is defined by the logic of the composer’s idea influenced by personal and national semantic motives. In total, the example of Martin Luther’s theory, considered by the majority of the Germans as a national hero; the cultural heritage, penetrated with the melodics of Protestant chorals; the works of outstanding baroque composers headed by J.S. Bach - all of it had formed a specific set of values, the semantic constants of of which were implemented in the works of many German philosophers of the 19th century, including romantic composers. The romantic individualism of Brahms had formed in the same conjunction with the German national music culture.

Keywords: musical semiotics, choral processing, German music, cultural pattern, Johann Sebastian Bach, Martin Luther, German romanticism, protestant choral, Johannes Brahms, Deutsche Requiem
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .

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