A CROATIAN COMPOSER
NOTES TOWARD THE STUDY
by Sir William H. Hadow
First edition in 1897, London,
reprinted in 1972, New York.
Joseph Haydn (1738-1809). Pencil sketch by
George Dance, 1794.
Source of the photo Classical
[GERMAN NATIONAL ANTHEM and its relation to a Croatian folk song]
EXCERPTS from the book from p. 65 to p. 72.
p. 65 (a) [related to German National Anthem] The song "Stal se jesem," as sung in Marija
[Stal se jesem rano jutro, Stal se jesem rano jutro Malo pred
zorjum, Malo pred zorjum.]
* The musical stanza, in this song, goes to a half-stanza of the
words. The first is-
Stal se jesem rano jutro
Malo pred zorjom
In the early morning stood I
Close upon the dawn.
(b) The same song as it appears in the district of S. Ivan
[Stal se jesem rano jutro. Stal se jesem rano
jutro Malo pred zorjum, Malo pred zorjum.]
(c) The same as it appears at Medjumur (Murinsel)-
[Stal sem se ja vjutro rano. Stal sem se ja vjutro rano Malo
pred zorjum, Malo pred zorjum.]
In these versions the last four bars appear to have been
loosely attached to the rest of tune; at any rate, they are
often found, apart from the first phrase, in Croatian carols
and drinking songs.
p. 67 Variant from Kolnov (near Oedenburg)-
[Vjutro rano se ja stanem Malo pred zorom, Malo
(e) Variant from Cembe-
[Vjutro rano se ja stanem Malo pred zorom;
Vjutro rano se ja stanem malo pred zorom.]
The rest is easily divined. When in 1797 Haydn was
commissioned to set the National Anthem, he must have had
this tune before his eye, and have determined to use it as
the pedestal of the Monumentum aere perennius which his
loyalty erected. And here a word may be said as to the
manner in which the great tune appears to have been written.
It was no momentary inspiration, no sudden impromptu that
should come into existence at full growth; like most of
Beethoven's music, it was made carefully, and by deliberate
weighing of alternatives. By a piece of singular good
fortune, we are for once admitted to the master's workshop,
and allowed to take our lesson in melody by the observation
of his practice.
Now the second strain of the folk-tune is too short to fit the
second line of the poem; accordingly, Haydn began by extending
its cadence, and instead of -
following it with repeat-marks, after the common method of primary form.
Two other changes explain themselves. The measure is dignified by the
broader time-signature, and the accent shifted from arsis to thesis by
the rearrangement of the bars. Otherwise, in the first half of the stanza
the folk-tune remains unaltered.
But for the second half it was manifestly insufficient. Both the
possible variants are too trivial, and one too brief, to afford
the requisite climax. As a natural consequence, Haydn discarded
both, and proceeded to supply their place with two original
strains, which in the Autograph sketch run as follows: -
Still, he was dissatisfied with the result, and it is easy to
suggest the reason. I the former of these two strains there is a
passage which carries tonic harmony - out of place at this stage
of the tune - and its cadence, moreover, rhymes awkwardly with
that of the half-stanza. The latter of the two comes down from
its point of stress with a fine sweeping movement, but, three
bars from the end, breaks its melodic curve into two distinct
pieces, and so loses continuity of line. Both were accorindly
corrected, one on the same page, the bottom stave of which bears,
in hasty manuscript, the amended form-
the other, with a few more minute alterations, at a later period
of work. And thus, of such diverse metal as Cellini cast his
"Perseus," did Haydn beat out the melody by which he has
given voice to a nation's patriotism.
Back to Sir W.H. Hadow: A Croatian Composer; notes towards
the study of Joseph Haydn