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Author Topic: Mendelssohn Equale No. 2  (Read 350 times)
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hyperbolica
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« on: Nov 07, 2017, 02:54PM »

This Mendelssohn Equale has somehow found its way into my quartet's book. I have a feeling that I got the original at Ithaca College in the 1980's. I've found one recording https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExWJQCRPFMg  It looks to be sometimes listed as Equale No. 3, although my sheet music says No. 2. It is in 2 short movements, Alla Marcia and Andante Sostenuto, with a da capo. 3-4 minute piece, easy, but nice sounding. Maybe not as dramatic as the Beethoven Equali.

Does anyone know anything about the origin of this piece? Did it come from a larger work, or was it originally for another instrument? Any info would be helpful.
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fsgazda

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« Reply #1 on: Nov 07, 2017, 07:38PM »

All that I have found is that it was not published until 1967.  There appear to be editions by Glenn Smith (as Equale #3) and Voxman (as Equale #2).  Kind like it, and I would also like to know if this is original trombone music.  I suspect that it's not, but don't really know.
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« Reply #2 on: Nov 08, 2017, 06:20AM »

All that I have found is that it was not published until 1967.  There appear to be editions by Glenn Smith (as Equale #3) and Voxman (as Equale #2).  Kind like it, and I would also like to know if this is original trombone music.  I suspect that it's not, but don't really know.

You are indeed correct. The equale are transcriptions of Mendelssohn Leider by Gustave Wittmann (Trois equale, pour 4 trombones ou 4 bassons, Paris: Evette & Schaeffer, n.d.):

Eq. No. 1 – transcription of no. 6 of Sechs Lieder für vierstimmigen Männerchor, op. 50;
Eq. No. 2 – transcription of no. 2 of Sechs Lieder für vierstimmigen Männerchor, op. 50 and no. 2 of Vier Lieder für vierstimmigen Männerchor, op. 75;
Eq. No. 3 – transcription of No. 1 of Vier Lieder für vierstimmigen Männerchor, op. 75 and no. 2 of Vier Lieder für vierstimmigen Männerchor, op. 76.

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hyperbolica
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« Reply #3 on: Nov 08, 2017, 07:23AM »

Thanks for that information. It makes sense that they started as songs for male voice. Makes the transition to trombone very nicely. Thanks again for the additional information.
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robcat2075

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« Reply #4 on: Nov 08, 2017, 08:11AM »

Beethoven. Bruckner.

Are there any other genuine Equali out there? It seems to be such a rare form that it's odd it even has a name.
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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #5 on: Nov 08, 2017, 08:19AM »

...swiped from wikipedia

Aequales were conventionally used in Austria to commemorate the dead. They were performed from towers on All Souls' Day (2 November), and on the previous evening.[6] They were also performed at funerals.[5]

While aequales might be played by other instruments, the sound of trombones was thought to be especially solemn and noble. Trombones had also already acquired an association with death and the afterlife.[5] Finally, the theological symbolism of the trombone, representing divine presence, the voice of the angels, and the instrument of judgment, was thereby underscored.[6]

Examples[edit]

Beethoven's funeral procession, lead by a processional cross and four trombonists and sixteen singers performing Seyfried's voice arrangement of his Equali. [5]
Notable examples of the genre are the three Equali for four trombones of Ludwig van Beethoven ("Drei Equale", WoO 30, see score), written for Franz Xaver Glöggl and performed in Linz Cathedral on All Souls' Day (2 November), 1812. Two of them were later performed, with the addition by Ignaz von Seyfried of words from the Miserere, at Beethoven's own funeral in 1827. They were also played as instrumental pieces at the funeral of William Gladstone in Westminster Abbey in 1898.[7]

The two Aequali in C minor of Anton Bruckner date from 1847 and are for three trombones. Three years earlier, in 1844, the little-known Wenzel Lambel (1788–1861) of Linz had published ten equali for three or four trombones.[8] Stravinsky scored In memoriam Dylan Thomas, his setting of "Do not go gentle into that good night", for tenor, string quartet and four trombones, which may be an "echo" of the tradition.[7]
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robcat2075

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« Reply #6 on: Nov 08, 2017, 08:26AM »

Quote
Aequales were conventionally used in Austria to commemorate the dead.

That's what gets me.  If they really were "conventional" you'd think there'd be more of them.
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Robert Holmén

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hyperbolica
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« Reply #7 on: Nov 08, 2017, 08:26AM »

Beethoven. Bruckner.

Are there any other genuine Equali out there? It seems to be such a rare form that it's odd it even has a name.

It just means equal voices, so there are a lot of chamber music that could be called equali. Our quartet does have a more contemporary sounding piece called Equali 4, which is for trio by Newton.

Search Hickey's for Equali http://www.hickeys.com/search.php?prev_q=equal&q=equali&submit=GO
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