Music Research and Composition Works

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The Music Times





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When I was preparing my final undergraduate recital at the Escuela Superior de Música del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in la Ciudad de México I was asked to add a baroque piece to my repertoire. My violin teacher, Maestro Cuauhtémoc Rivera Guzmán suggested that I look at the work of a unique Bohemian- Austrian composer, Biber. I started my research and found the Rosary Sonatas. They captured my attention not because of their rare tuning, beautiful copper engravings of the original, and unique copy of the manuscript, but for their representational clarity, something I noticed and experienced upon first hearing the Sonata No. 1, ̈The Annunciation”, particularly its Preludium. Through the virtuoso and intricate line of the violin I was able to ̈see ̈ in my mind, the Archangel Gabriel revealing God ́s will to a frightened Mary. I imagined a concerned and fearful Virgin Mary answering to the angel.

In summation, I witnessed an angelic dialogue by listening to the music. I identified musical elements as biblical characters with determined acting roles. These characters have an agency and reside in a certain level of musical subjectivity that virtually exists in the world as creations of composers and performers. To explain this, I will base my reflections on the recent Theory of Virtual Agency for Western Art Music by the music theorist Robert S. Hatten.

Citation of this paper:

López-Ceseña, Frangel. ¨Analysis of the Preludium of the Rosary Sonata No. 1 in D minor for violin and basso continuo The Annunciation by H. I. F. von Biber: An Angelic Dialogue.¨ The Music Times vol XIV No. 4 July-August 2020: P. 13.