Music migrations connected with the geographical area of today’s Slovenia

The territory of today’s Slovenia (part of the so-called Central Europe par excellence) was in the past always a transitional geographical zone with largely multilingual population. Bordering to the Romance world in the West, Croatian lands in the South and East, Hungarian dominions in the North-East and being mostly governed by the Austrian rulers it was open to various kinds of cultural and also musical migrations and encounters of different traditions. But even though local music history is relatively well – but not at all comprehensively – researched this geographical zone is a rather neglected area within larger European musicological projects and is mostly ignored by most recent "all-including" histories of European music: a yet unwritten map that the Slovenian group proposes to fill with comprehensible information.

Even though migrations of musicians has never yet been a focus of any systematic musicological study in Slovenia it is known from the general situation and knowledge on extant music repertoire and some individual cases of more important composers, that in the 17th and 18th centuries musical impetus came mostly from the neighbouring Italian lands or else from the highly Italianised music centres in the Habsburg monarchy, while from roughly the mid-18th century musicians from the North, especially Czech instrumentalists and teachers seemed to seek their fortune or opportunity in the more southern provinces, such as was then Carniola (now central part of Slovenia). As far as it is presently known migrations functioned vertically from South to the North and vice versa – but no important interaction or cultural exchange is perceivable for that period between for example the Croatian and the Slovenian lands, i.e. horizontally on the map.



The migrations to be studied and systemized within the project fall into five areas:

1. Monastic orders.
Migrations within orders were most common in the and yet – at least in Slovenia – still the least researched part of the history of music in the territory of today’s Slovenia. Some of the funds have not even been properly catalogued. Studied will be especially the two Franciscan orders – Observants and Minorites , active in Ljubljana, Koper, Novo mesto, Maribor and Ptuj. Apart of an already well known case of a migratory musician-composer, Gabriello Puliti, other cases will undoubtedly crop up through systematic searching and studying of different types of archival materials, not only local funds of extant music but also books of expenses, reports on visitations, etc.

2. Other sacred circles (the main churches as music centres – Ljubljana, Maribor, Ptuj, Celje, Novo mesto, Koper).
This is the case of some already detected migratory currents that were perceptible especially after the important Catholic church reforms in the Habsburg lands from around 1730. The needs of proficient church musicians grew steadily and many came from non-Slovenian speaking realms of the Habsburg monarchy and some still from Italy. These circles have to be divided into three distinct groups: diocesan circles and minor parish circles. Beside the case of František Benedikt Dussik (musician at the Cathedral of Ljubljana from the1790s; also active as instrumentalist and theatrical composer) that is already well researched and could act as a model, there are other names that need further study. The group proposes the systematic research and recovery of as many data on these persons as possible.

3. Operatic groups, libretti and arias collections.
Another type of migrations of musicians that was typical mostly for the 18th century secular circles was the case of itinerant operatic families that stopped for examples in Ljubljana (but also Gorizia, Klagenfurt and Graz) on their way from Italy to the north, Germanic but also Slave. Prague and Brno in Czech lands and Moravia were two important centres to which and from where musicians travelled to Slovenian lands, thus paving the way for the future more intense cultural encounters. A model case for further research is a study of the 1740 and the 1742 Mingotti’s seasons in Ljubljana. Other 30 or so operatic productions registered for the second half of the 18th century offer material for further detailed study on migrations of operatic repertoire, singers, impresarios etc. The story of migrations of musical taste is testified also by extant collections of 17th and 18th centuries opera libretti and collections of opera arias.

4. Professional incomers.
At the end of the 18th century the stronger flow of migration of the »foreign« professional musicians, who came to Ljubljana mostly from the other lands of the Habsburg monarchy, is observed. The beginnings of the public concert life, organised by the newly established bourgeois music society Philharmonische Gesellschaft (1794), encouraged the engagement of the interpreters (soloists and members of the military orchestra) and music teachers. One such example is a Czech musician Casper Maschek, who came to Ljubljana from Prague, Petersburg and Graz in 1820 and worked as a conductor, teacher and composer. There were numerous such musicians who need to be researched better and put on a music map of Europe.

5. Slovenian musicians abroad.
On the other hand migrations from Slovenian to other European countries were extremely rare. At least at the present stage we know only about a few cases. The reasons for departures of native musicians are to be found mostly in the search for better opportunities for the realisation of their musical talent. An example of a virtuoso instrumentalist, who migrated from Ljubljana to Vienna, Paris and finally to Milan, is Francesco Pollini (1762–1846), a piano virtuoso, composer and teacher; much of his music is still not well studied. Proposed by the Slovenian group is an edition of his early piano works and a concert of these works.

The general goal of the Slovenian project group is to compile a comprehensive list of migrant musicians connected with Slovenian lands (geographical area of today’s Slovenia) in the proposed period. The data on musicians will be included in the COMMON DATABASE. When basic facts will be collected from different sources, music archives and other state and church archives, the group will proceed to comparative assessment and detailed CASE STUDIES on musicians, repertoire and ideas.

The aim of the Slovenian group as a whole is also to present research results to the widest possible public and to attain this goal its task is to prepare the most representative music pieces connected to the researched materials in the form of TWO CRITICAL MUSIC EDITIONS and to organise TWO PUBLIC CONCERTS. The concerts will be educational as they will be accompanied by popularizing comments.