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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformanceMusic, Concerts and Recordings(Moderator: BGuttman) What is the story with Liszt's "Hosannah!" ?
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harrison.t.reed
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« on: Dec 23, 2017, 08:45AM »

I have been looking into Liszt's 'Sunday Piece for Trombone' that goes by the name "Hosannah!". I first heard this piece on the album Alain Trudel put together with Naxos titled "The Art of the Trombone". On his album, "Hosannah!" is accompanied by a short prelude that he calls a chorale in the linear notes. The prelude is organ alone, and it is apparently a melodic theme from Johann Gottlob Topfer's piece called "Heilig ist Gott der Vater". This theme seems related to the melodic line in "Hosannah!", but is distinct, and it seems as though the piece for trombone is inspired by Topfer's piece, but not directly taken from it.

Christian Lindberg and BIS have also recorded this piece, again with the little prelude, but on the BIS album, the trombone plays the prelude in unison with the organ. Again, it appears to be the same prelude as the one in the Trudel recording.

I can see that these two pieces are related, and I wanted to find out more, so I went to IMSLP. "Hosannah!" is listed as an arrangement under the much larger work by Liszt for voices, organ, and orchestra called "Cantico del Sol del San Francisco". So I poured through that score first, but I couldn't see the melody from "Hosannah!" OR the prelude piece anywhere in there. I also did not see the prelude piece anywhere under Liszt's page, or Topfer's page.

So that's where I am at right now. I was hoping someone could shed some light on a few things:

1. What exactly is the little prelude piece that seems to always be recorded before "Hosannah!"? The version for sale on Hickeys doesn't include it. Where are the people recording this piece getting the music?

2. How is "Hosannah!" related to "Cantico del Sol"? I didn't see anything resembling it in the original manuscript.

3. Is there a better source where I could read more about this subject?
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Le.Tromboniste
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 23, 2017, 10:05AM »

Yeah I went through the exact same questioning only a couple weeks ago and looked into it a bit.

The chorale is not actually based on Töpfer, but the other way around. Heilig ist Gott der Vater is a chorale from the 1543 Kirchenordnung Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel. The Liszt piece is based in part on that chorale, and I seem to recall it is included in the Schott edition of the Liszt piece with the trombone doubling the melody. The middle section of the Hosanna (where it goes into A major and D major) is a direct quote of that chorale, which ends with "Hossiana in der Höhe" - hence the title of the piece I guess.

Whoever sorted the Hosanna in IMSLP as an arrangement of the Cantico del Sol clearly had no clue what they were doing. The Hosanna is an arrangement, but not of that piece. It is an arrangement of Liszt's solo piano piece Alleluia, which in turn is only loosely based on the Cantico del Solo di Francesco d'Assisi, not an arrangement (and interestingly not listed on IMSLP as an arrangement either). The opening is the same as the Cantico, but it's the only direct quotation I found, the rest are only small melodic fragments, and as I said, part of it is based on a completely unrelated chorale.

Also, some editions say "d'après Arcadelt" or "Nach Arcadelt". I couldn't find an Arcadelt piece related to it. But the original Alleluia for piano was published together with an Ave Maria based on a 19th century adaptation of Arcadelt's chanson Nous voyons que les hommes.
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Maximilien Brisson
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 23, 2017, 10:11AM »

OK, glad I am not the only one who wondered about this. Thanks very much for the info!
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 23, 2017, 10:24AM »

Isnt Liszt's "Hosannah for bass trombone? Or maybe there is just one who arranged it for bass trombone and organ?

Leif
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« Reply #4 on: Dec 23, 2017, 10:38AM »

It's Liszt's own arrangement for organ and trombone ad lib (yeah, the trombone is not obligatory) of his own piece Alleluia for piano solo
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Maximilien Brisson
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 23, 2017, 10:51AM »

The trombonist he wrote it for was known to be a low trombone specialist, but probably not the bass trombone we know and love today. There was a thread on this a while back. He probably played what we would recognize as a German tenor with an F attachment.
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 23, 2017, 11:28AM »

The trombonist he wrote it for was known to be a low trombone specialist, but probably not the bass trombone we know and love today. There was a thread on this a while back. He probably played what we would recognize as a German tenor with an F attachment.

Yes. By 1867, F-attachment had become quite standard. Definitely what's referred to as "bassposaune" here - although probably one of the larger sizes that were used specifically for "bass" trombone. Piece can't be played without F attachment, nor can it be played on an F bass (which lacks the low Bb). It could be played on a large Eb bass but I'm not sure how efficient that would be and I doubt that's what Liszt was writing for.
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Maximilien Brisson
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