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Records of Catholic Musicians, Actors and Dancers at the Court of August II, 1723–32: the Establishment of the Catholic Cemetery in Dresden

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2020

Jóhannes Ágústsson*
Affiliation:
Reykjavík, Iceland
Janice B. Stockigt
Affiliation:
University of Melbourne, Australia
*
*Corresponding author. Email: djdresden@simnet.is

Abstract

In 1724 a cemetery was established at Neustadt Ostra (today Friedrichstadt, Alt Dresden) for the burial of Catholic members who served at the Dresden court of Saxon Elector Friedrich August I (‘der Starke’: as King of Poland known as August II). Between 1723 and 1732 annual lists were compiled of these Catholic employees, their family members and servants, by the Royal Polish and Saxon Electoral office of the Court Marshal. These chronicles, which function as a type of census, give details of Catholic artists affiliated with the Dresden court. Listed are those who were eligible to be buried in the Catholic cemetery. Included are complete lists of the families and households of Catholic members of the Italian and French ensembles of actors, dancers and musicians (the Italienische Comoedianten and Französische Comoedianten und Tänzer), of the Catholic musicians of Dresden's outstanding Capelle (also known as the Hofkapelle), and of the young choristers (mostly from Bohemia) who performed the usual music in the Catholic court church of Dresden. Additional information becomes available about the throng of outstanding performing artists from throughout Europe who came to serve at the court of a charismatic ruler, one whose taste made Dresden one of the most brilliant artistic centres of the age.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 The Royal Musical Association

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Footnotes

The authors express gratitude to the archivists at the Sächsisches Staatsarchiv – Hautpstaatsarchiv Dresden (D-Dla) and the Domstift und Bischöfliches Ordinariat, Bibliothek und Archiv, Bautzen (D–BAUd) who assisted during the research for this study. We are especially grateful to Dr David Fairservice and Susanne Haring for their help with Latin and German transcriptions and translations, and to Professor Michael Talbot for his comments on the first draft and German translations. The advice of Dr Samantha Owens, who proof-read the text and assisted with the reading of source materials, is acknowledged with great appreciation.

References

1 On the foundation of the Dresden Catholic court church see Paul Franz Saft, Der Neuaufbau der Katholischen Kirche in Sachsen im 18. Jahrhundert, Studien zur Katholischen Bistums- und Klostergeschichte 2 (Leipzig, 1961), chapter 1, ‘Gründung’, 23–33. See also Wolfgang Horn, Die Dresdner Hofkirchenmusik 1720–1745, Studien zu ihren Voraussetzungen und ihrem Repertoire (Kassel and Stuttgart, 1987), 19–20.

2 See Janice B. Stockigt, ‘The Court of Saxony’, in Music at German Courts, 1715–1760: Changing Artistic Priorities, ed. Samantha Owens, Barbara Reul and Stockigt (Woodbridge, 2011), 7–49.

3 Moritz Fürstenau, Zur Geschichte der Musik und des Theaters am Hofe der Kurfürsten von Sachsen und Könige von Polen. 2 vols. (Dresden, 1862; reprint with commentary and indexes by Wolfgang Reich, 1971), ii, 95–6.

4 Alina Żórawska-Witkowska, ‘The Saxon Court of the Kingdom of Poland’, in Music at German Courts, ed. Owens, Reul and Stockigt, 55–61.

5 Fürstenau, Zur Geschichte der Musik, ii, 119–20.

6 ‘Historia Missionis Societatis IESU Dresdae in Saxonia ab Anno Salutis 1708.mo: Ordinationes Regis pro Eccl[es]ia et Capella Regali Catholicis aperta’, D–BAUd. The ‘Historia Missionis Societatis IESU Dresdae’ was the annual compilation of events of the church. It was based upon the daily chronicle kept by the Dresden Jesuits: ‘Diarium’ (1710–38). 2 vols. vol. 2: ‘Continuatio Diarij seu Protocolli a FREDERICO AUGUSTO Dresdae in urbe sua Electorali institutae Societatis JESU Missionis. Ab Anno 1721. usque ad Annum 1738, inclusive’. MS. Microfilm copy kept at D–BAUd. Excerpts published by Wolfgang Reich, Exzerpte aus dem Diarium Missionis S.J. Dresden, in Zelenka– Studien II: Referate und Materialien der 2. Internationalen Fachkonferenz Jan Dismas Zelenka: Dresden und Prag 1995 (Sankt Augustin, 1997), 315–75.

7 ‘Historia Missionis Societatis IESU Dresdae’, f. 7.

8 Saft, Der Neuaufbau der Katholischen Kirche in Sachsen, 48–9. Saft also identifies the Capuchin monastery at Rumburg in Northern Bohemia as a burial place for Dresden Catholics, 49.

9 The Johanniskirchhof cemetery, founded in 1571, was situated in the ‘Pirnaischer Vorstadt’. The last burial there took place in 1814, and by 1858 it had been dissolved. Rainer Petzold, ‘Bestattungskultur im Umbruch?’, Lukasbote, Mitteilungsblatt der Evang.- Luth. Lukaskirche Dresden, (October/November 2003), 3.

10 D-Dla, 10025 Geheimes Konsilium, Loc. 4561, ‘Acta derer Roemisch-Catholischen Actus Ministeriales und andere ungebührliche Anmaßungen b[etrag]. vol. II. ab anno 1719–1725’, ff. 87r–87r, letter dated Dresden, 22 November 1719.

11 ‘Historia Missionis Societatis IESU Dresdae’, 1711, D-BAUd, 45–6.

12 ‘Musicus Regius Catholicus poterat à Superintendente locum pro Sepelienda prole sua in Caemeterio, negatus est locus donec Parens numerates 20 grossis redimeret prolem in templo Catholico baptizatam’. ‘Annuae Litterae Dômus Professae Societatis IESU Micro Pragae ad annum 1713. Missio Dresdensis’, Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu (ARSI), (Provinciae Bohemiae (Boh.) 126, 14–15. This child was either cellist Augustino de Rossi's daughter, who died on 13 May 1713, or the three-year-old son of violinist Franz Hundt, who died on 22 May 1713. Stadtarchiv Dresden, 2.1.3 Ratsarchiv, Kirchliche Wochenzettel, 1713.

13 ‘Ordinationes’, item 14.

14 ‘Annuae Missionis Dresdensis ad annum 1723’. D-BAUd, Alet: E Gruppe VIII No. 86, loc. 3718d 1718–1729, 139.

15 D-Dla, 10025 Geheimes Konsilium, Loc. 4555, ‘Das öffentliche Exercitum der Röm.- Cath. Religion in Dresden und Leipzig betr. Ao. 1709–1710, vol. I’, ff. 199r–200r.

16 D-Dla, 10025 Geheimes Konsilium, Loc. 4561, ‘Acta derer Roemisch-Catholischen Actus Ministeriales und andere ungebührliche Anmaßungen b[etrag]. vol. II. ab anno 1719–1725’, ff. 87r–88v, letter dated Dresden, 22 November 1719.

17 Saft, Der Neuaufbau der Katholischen Kirche in Sachsen, 65–6.

18 Horn, Die Dresdner Hofkirchenmusik 1720–1745, 27.

19 A copy of this decree is kept in D-Dla, 10025 Geheimes Konsilium, Loc. 4636, ‘Den vor Ihr. Hoheit der Königl. Prinzeßin [insert: Maria Josepha] Hoffstadt concedirten Begräbnüß-Plaz zu Dreßden betr. de a[nn]is 1719. 1720–1734. […] Ingleichen was wegen des Huldigungs Eyder derer Römisch Catholischen Geistlichen vorgegangen’, ff. 177r–180v.

20 ‘Annuae Missionis Dresdensis ad annum 1723’. D-BAUd, Alet: E Gruppe VIII No. 86, loc. 3718d 1718–1729, 139.

21 Saft, Der Neuaufbau der Katholischen Kirche in Sachsen, 73–4.

22 ‘Annuae Missionis Dresdensis ad annum 1724’, ARSI, Boh. 139, 19.

23 ‘Diarium’, 17.2.1724: ‘Hora 10. cantatum Requiem pro pie defuncto…Philippo Molteni…curavit illud Dominus Röstori Comoedorum Patronus’. (At 10 o'clock. Sung requiem mass for the piously defunct…Philippo Molteni…It was organized by Ristori, Patron of the Actors).

24 On Giovanni Alberto Ristori's title, see Curt Rudolf Mengelberg, Giovanni Alberto Ristori: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte italienischer Kunstherrschaft in Deutschland im 18. Jahrhundert (Leipzig, s.n., 1916), 3. In December 1721 he was a witness at the baptism of Molteni's daughter Cecilia. D-BAUd, Taufbuch.

25 ‘Diarium’, 18.2.1724: ‘Alterum cantatum Requiem pro pie defuncto Philippo Molteni…Musicam produxit D. Zelenka’ (A second sung requiem for Philippo Molteni, who died piously…Zelenka produced the music).

26 The report of this affair is appended to the list of Catholics for the year 1724, 302r–304v. A transcription, with English translation, is reproduced at the conclusion of the list for 1724, below.

27 ‘Annuae Literae Missionis Dresdensis Ad Annum 1729’, ARSI, Boh. 145, 24–5.

28 ‘Annuae Literae Regiae Missionis Dresdensis pro anno 1731’, ARSI, Boh. 148, 30–1.

29 D-Dla, 10026 Geheimes Kabinett, Loc. 654/03, ‘Minutario di Corrispondenza italiana 1724’, f. 16v.

30 These registers are found in D-Dla, 10025 Geheimes Konsilium, Loc. 4636, ff. 227r–489v.

31 The Bockpfeiffer ensemble of the Dresden court comprised mainly Polish bagpipes (Polnischer Bock) and violins of various sizes.

32 D-Dla, 10025 Geheimes Konsilium, Loc. 4636.

33 For more on the Ristori family see Jóhannes Ágústsson, ‘Giovanni Alberto Ristori at the Court of Naples, 1738–1740’, Studi Pergolesiani 8, ed. Claudio Bacciagaluppi, Hans-Günther Ottenberg, Luca Zopelli (Bern, 2012), 53–100.

34 In 1723 two lists of Capelle members were prepared. The first is dated 10 December 1723, and the second is dated 11 December 1723.

35 Members of the Pohlnische Capelle Musique are unlisted in 1732. On 22 October 1731 Augustus II left Dresden for Warsaw. These musicians must have accompanied him there.

36 This decision was reported in the annual letter to Rome: ‘Sub initia Anni scolastici aucta juventute musicâ Marianum cultum ampliaturi Sabbata cuncta, idem feriae festa Mariana praecedentes habebunt, Litaniis, exposito in ciborio Sanctissimo, hoc primùm anno instituimus honorare, Benedictio ad finem populo datur’ (At the beginning of the school year the number of young musicians was increased in order to amplify Marian devotions, and all Saturdays and also ferial days preceding Marian feasts will be celebrated with litanies, the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the ciborium, as we began to do this year, and finally, the Benediction of the congregation). ‘Annuae Litterae Missionis Dresdensis ad annum 1727’, ARSI, Boh. 143, 19.

37 Many important musicians received their training as Kapellknaben. Franz Benda (who left Dresden in May 1723, before these records were begun) is among the more distinguished singers and instrumentalists of the group. Others include the one-time organist Augustin Uhlig and the singer Joseph Titterle, both of whom became violinists in the Dresden Hofkapelle. Following the death of Kapellmeister Johann David Heinichen in 1729, Jan Dismas Zelenka seems to have become an influence upon members of the Kapellknaben as director of their music making and teacher. The future careers of the well-trained young musicians who returned to Bohemia upon the breaking of their voices would make an interesting study.

38 Until 1730 this group also employed at least one person specified as a musician, Jean Drot (or ‘Droit’).

39 Fürstenau, Zur Geschichte der Musik und des Theaters, ii, 169.

40 Jóhannes Ágústsson, ‘The Secular Collection of Jan Dismas Zelenka: A Reconstruction’, Studi vivaldiani, 13 (2013), 25.

41 In 1724 and 1725 Tobias Butz and Johann Joseph Goetzel (Götzel) are listed in the Hofstaat of the prince. D-Dla, 10025 Geheimes Konsilium Loc. 4636, ‘Extract Von dem Etat S.r Hoh.t des Königl. Printzen Hoffstadt…[1724], ’ f. 249r; ‘Extract. Von dem Etat Sr. Hoh.t des Königl. Pohl: und Chur-Printzen zu Sachßen Hoffstadt. De Ao: 1725…’, f. 369r. In 1725 (f. 391r), and 1728 (f. 433v) they are also listed as members of the combined Hofstaat of the prince and princess. Tobias Butz was to become a church composer at the Dresden court alongside his teacher Zelenka, and from 1738 they, together with the honorary court church composer J.S. Bach (‘Bach, Joh. Seb. : Kirchen Compositeur Tit.), were listed together in the Königl. Polnischer und Churfürstl. Sächsischer Hof- und Staats-Calender (HStCal), Leipzig (from 1728, except 1730 and 1734). Goetzel became a tenor in the Hofkapelle and was first listed in the HStCal edition of 1732 (prepared late 1731).

42 Francesco Arrigoni was a former theorbo player of the Hofkapelle. Whenever named, these Catholic family members of deceased court musicians are listed at the conclusion of annual lists.

43 Johann Beer, Sein Leben, von Ihm Selbst Erzählt, ed. Adolf Schmiedecke (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprechte, 1965), 83 (entry of 7 October 1699). Cited by Steven Zohn in chapter 15 of Music at German Courts, 1715–1760, 417.

44 HStCal, 1731, 36v, col. 1.

45 HStCal, 1732, 19v, col. 2.

46 News of le Riche's death reached the court in 1730. D-Dla, 10026 Geheimes Kabinett, Loc. 950/04, ‘Korrespondenz zwischen dem Minister Grafen von Hoym zu Dresden und dem Geheimen Rat von Bünau zu Warschau über verschiedene Regierungsanglelegheiten 1730–31’, letter from Count Heinrich von Bünau to Count Karl Heinrich von Hoym dated Warsaw, 31 October 1730, f. 85r.

47 Stadtarchiv Dresden, 2.1.3 Ratsarchiv, Kirchliche Wochenzettel.

48 In a salary list of c.1721 Girolamo Personelli is entered thus: ‘Sänger Altist’. In the salary list for c.1725 this is repeated, but subsequently crossed through and ‘Contra Bass u. Notiste’ written above. D-Dla, 10006 Oberhofmarschallamt (OHMA), K II Nr. 6, ‘Königl: Pohlnisches und Churfürstl. Sächßisches Hoff-buch von 1721. usq. 1725’: Capell-Musici’, ff. 77v–78r (c.1721); ff. 3v–4r (c.1725). Andrea Ruota (male soprano) and Nicolo Pozzi (male alto), Matteo Luchini (tenor) and Cosimo Ermino (bass), first appear in these records (with various spellings) in 1726 listed with the Italianische Comoedianten. New information on the arrival of this Italian group of singers in October 1724 is provided by Jóhannes Ágústsson, ‘The Secular Collection of Jan Dismas Zelenka: A Reconstruction’, Studi vivaldiani, 13 (2013), 9–10.

49 http://openlibrary.org/works/OL15990711W/Le_triomphe_de_l'amour

50 Ute Dorothea Sauer, ‘Genesis of the “Ballettoper” at the Court of Dresden (Saxony)’, in Seventeenth-Century Ballet: A Multi–Art Spectacle. An Interdisciplinary Symposium, ed. Barbara Grammeniati (Xlibris Corporation, 2011), 102.

51 In the HStCal edition of 1732 singers listed under the heading ‘Musicians Vocals François’ are: Compositeur, Louis André; Altiste, François Gottfried Beauregard; Bassist, Jean David Drot; Discantiste, Marguerite Genevieue Prache de Tilloy, Louise Dimanche, – – Brunet. In the list for 1733 under ‘Musicians Vocals François’, both French and Italian singers are named: Compositeur, Louis André; Altiste, François Gottfried Beauregard; Bassist, Jean David Drot; Discantiste: Marguerite Genevieue Prache de Tilloy, Louise Dimanche, – – Brunet; Soprano: Ludovica Seyfried; Maria Santina Cattaneo, Anna Negri, Maria Rosa Negri, Andrea Ruota, Ventruria Rochetti, Giovanni Bindi; Contralto: Margheritta Ermini; Nicolo Pozzi; Domenico Annibali; Tenore: – – Goetzel; Basso: Cosimo Ermini; Joh. Dav. Bahn.

52 ‘Der alte Katholische Friedhof Dresden Friedrichstraße.’ Pamphlet issued by the Katholische Kirchhof Stiftung Büro (Dresden, n.d.).

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