Die Choralreform in den Ostseeprovinzen in der ersten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des protestantischen Kirchengesangs in Estland und Livland

Detta är en avhandling från studio · verlag, Zehnthofstrasse 2, D-53489 Sinzig, Germany

Sammanfattning: The present thesis analyzes the reform of congregational singing in Livonia and Estonia in the first half of the 19th century. In this process the writings on the aesthetics of the congregational singing of a German pastor Johann Leberecht Ehregott Punschel (1778–1849) active in Livonia, and a chorale book (1839) that he edited occupied the central place. Punschel’s activities are directly associated with the protestant restoration movement in the first half of the 19th century, and his ideas pertaining to aesthetics are intelligible only when projected to the background of German publications of his contemporaries. But to the same degree his reform has also been influenced by the unique political and religious situation of Baltic provinces characteristic of which were the increasing ambitions for power of Russian Orthodox Church in the middle of the 19th century, the unusually high activity of the Herrnhut Unity of the Brethren (Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine), as well as the deepening of a national conflict between the Estonian and Latvian natives and the Lutheran church led by clergymen who had immigrated mostly from Germany. In this thesis the ideo-historical background of the historicistic reforms of Lutheran hymnals and chorale books has been investigated, as well as the motives for standardizing congregational singing. The situation of hymn singing before Punschel’s reform has been described on the basis of the local chorale books, printed and in manuscript, from the period of 1774–1831. The phenomenon of the “old way of singing”, its replacement with the “regular singing”, and the role of musical education in this process has been approached from the ethno­hymno­logical perspective. In researching the genesis of the Punschel chorale book attention is paid to its models, the repertory of hymnal tunes, characterizing aesthetics, as well as its early reception. The issue of counter­action to this chorale book in Estonia has been treated as well: the activities of a German organist Johann August Hagen (1786–1877) who has worked in Tallinn led to the publication of an alternative chorale book. Hagen proceeded from the tunes and singing tradition of the Unity of the Brethren, widespread in the Baltic provinces. In these two different attempts of reform a paradoxical conflict between restoration and tradition appears. The successful chorale reform realized by Punschel and the 16 editions of his chorale book (1839–1935) is understood as the inculturation of the German tradition of protestant church singing in the spirit of the period of historicistic restoration.

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