Reconstructing the 1904 Její pastorkyňa: An Introduction to the Sources, Methods and Results - PDF


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SBORNÍK PRACÍ FILOZOFICKÉ FAKULTY BRNĚNSKÉ UNIVERZITY STUDIA MINORA FACULTATIS PHILOSOPHICAE UNIVERSITATIS BRUNENSIS H 42 43, MARK AUDUS Reconstructing the 1904 Její pastorkyňa: An Introduction to the Sources, Methods and Results The presence of Janáček s Její pastorkyňa (or Jenůfa as it is known to non- Czech speakers) within the wider, international operatic repertoire is both assured and well-known. In terms of both frequency and geographical spread of performances, it has long been the most popular of all Janáček s operas, as has been shown by Svatava Přibáňová s two meticulous surveys of productions. 1 Not only the opera s stature and expressive power but also its position as a universal rather than a merely local work have been amply confirmed. But it has come on a long journey in every sense since the time of its premiere in Brno a century ago. The present paper sets out to chart an early part of this path, and to report on my efforts to reconstruct the version of Její pastorkyňa heard at its premiere in January Thanks to surviving correspondence, reminiscences and reviews, we know a good deal about the circumstances surrounding the premiere itself, including the shortcomings of the performance in terms of production, preparation time and musical forces. Reviews of the occasion are widely quoted in the Janáček literature, 2 and these served to introduce many of the topics that were to become the backbone of Janáček studies (Realism, Naturalism, use of folk music), as well as issues that were important in the subsequent battle for Pastorkyňa. 3 In fact, we have such a good picture of these events and the various responses to them that it still comes as something of a shock to remember that we don t know what the opera itself 1 Svatava Přibáňová, Opery Leoše Janáčka doma a v zahraniči, Brno: Státní divadlo v Brně, 1984; Svatava Přibáňová, Přehled inscenací jevištního díla Leoše Janáčka z let , Svět Janáčkových oper, Brno: Moravské zemské museum, Nadace Leoše Janáčka a Město Brno, 1998, pp See, for example, Alena Němcová, Brněnská premiéra Janáčkovy Její pastorkyně, Časopis Moravského musea v Brně: vědy společenské, 59 (1974), pp ; John Tyrrell, Janáček s Operas: A Documentary Account, London: Faber and Faber, 1992, pp Marie Calma, Z boje pro Janáčkovou Pastorkyni, Listy Hudební matice, 4 (1924 5), pp 28 MARK AUDUS actually sounded like in This is because Janáček revised the work heavily, both before and after the premiere, so that even the 1908 version given in Brno for the 2004 centenary performance, and last heard there in full in 1913 is already substantially different from what the composer originally wrote. Sources and methods The complex state of the surviving manuscript sources has ensured that the 1904 version of Její pastorkyňa has remained as elusive as the Kovařovic version (for so long the standard version) was tenacious. Many of the issues connected with the sources were discussed in detail by Bohumír Štědroň in his classic monograph on the opera s genesis. 4 Focusing his attention mainly on the authorized vocal score copied for Janáček by Josef Štross, Štědroň was able accurately to identify many features of the opera s earlier versions, but concluded that it was no longer possible to reconstruct the original Její pastorkyňa. 5 Subsequent commentators have agreed with him: the task of reconstructing the 1904 version of the opera, if not actually impossible, would be so difficult that only the foolhardy would attempt it. The reasons are not hard to see. Both the vocal score and the authorized full score also copied by Štross contain in addition to extensive cuts a great many passages which have been pasted over or thoroughly scratched out and rewritten, often rendering the original illegible. Table I, which shows the lifespan of each of the main sources mapped against a chronology of the different versions, demonstrates why the task of reconstruction is so difficult. The layers of revision are based on those identified by John Tyrrell in his Preface to the Mackerras-Tyrrell edition of the 1908 version; 6 the versions listed in the right-hand column are those it seems most helpful to pinpoint in any discussion of the opera s lengthy genesis. Completed by Štross in 1903, the manuscript full and vocal scores were both in use as performance material for several years after, and thus incorporate a number of layers of revision. The vocal score (ŠVS) was used from 1903 to 1908, when it served as the Stichvorlage for the vocal score published by the Klub přátel umění, and contains at least three layers of revision, while the full score (ŠFS) was in use up to 1916 and beyond, and incorporates not only Janáček s own revisions but those of Kovařovic as well. Many passages in both ŠFS and ŠVS are so heavily altered that it is often impossible to distinguish the discrete layers of revision based on a reading of these sources alone. 4 Bohumír Štědroň, Zur Genesis von Leoš Janáčeks Oper Jenufa, Brno: Universita J. E. Purkyně, 1968, 2/ Ibid., pp. 85, 91, 101; see also Bohumír Štědroň, Die Urfassung von Janáčeks Jenufa, Acta Janáčkiana 1: Operní dílo Leoše Janáčka, Brno: Moravské museum, 1968, pp John Tyrrell and Charles Mackerras (eds.), Leoš Janáček, Jenůfa/Její pastorkyňa: Brněnská verze (1908), Vienna: Universal Edition, 1996. Reconstructing the 1904 Její pastorkyňa 29 Table I: Lifespan of the main sources of Její pastorkyňa Date Layer ŠFS ŠVS OP OPx1 OPx2 OPx3 LB KPU Version 1903 FS1 Urfassung 1904 FS (premiere version) FS /8 FS FS FS ( Kovařovic version) Key to Sources: ŠFS authorized copy of the full score by Josef Štross, AWn, L1 UE 376 ŠVS authorized copy of the vocal score by Josef Štross, completed 25 January1903, BmJA, A7426 OP manuscript orchestral parts for the Brno premiere, copied October December 1903, BmJA, A OPx manuscript orchestral parts for revivals at the Brno National Theatre, copied in 1906 (OPx1), 1911 (OPx2) and 1916 (OPx3), BmJA, A LB manuscript libretto copied by Kostka, dated 25 October 1903, used as prompter s copy for performances of Její pastorkyňa in Brno, , BmJA, L7 KPU vocal score published by the Klub přátel umění (KPU), Brno, by 18 March 1908 Lay e r s in ŠFS (based on John Tyrrell, Preface to Leoš Janáček, Jenůfa (as in n. 6 above), p. xii) FS1 full score as originally copied by Josef Štross, by March 1903 = Urfassung FS2 extensive cuts and changes (including metric revisions and key signature changes) made by 8 October 1903 = 1904/premiere version FS3.1 cuts suggested by C.M. Hrazdira, 11 July 1906, to which Janáček added further cuts including the excision of the Kostelnička s aria Aji on byl zlatohřivy, two Act 1 ensembles and most of the Laca/Jenůfa duet at the end of Act 2 FS3.2 extensive cuts and revisions by Janáček, , to create the 1908 version published by KPU FS4 later corrections and revisions for the 1911 Brno revival the first performance since publication of the 1908 KPU vocal score FS5 cuts made to correspond with Karel Kovařovic s first suggestions, after 26 December 1915 FS6 reorchestration and further cuts to bring ŠFS into line with Kovařovic s adaptation as contained in the Košťálek MS full score (BmJA, A33.744a c) = Kovařovic version There are, however, two sources which originated with the 1904 production itself, and which between them offer much greater help in reconstructing the premiere version of the opera. Most important is the set of orchestral parts used at the premiere and in subsequent Brno performances (OP). Some of these were in use up until 1911 or even 1916 and accordingly contain many revisions, but others notably the string parts were used only until 1906, and thus contain relatively few changes. I have argued elsewhere that these parts offer the best chance of reconstructing the 1904 Její pastorkyňa. 7 Deciphering what they origi- 7 Mark Audus, Chybějící pojítko: Rekonstrukce Její pastorkyně z r. 1904, Opus musicum, 28 (1996), pp 30 MARK AUDUS nally contained is sometimes difficult but, with the aid of fibre-optic technology and read in conjunction with ŠFS, rarely impossible. They served as the basis of a new reconstruction of the 1904 score performed in May 2004 by the Warsaw Chamber Opera. To summarize very briefly: the form in which these parts were originally copied constitutes, I believe, the form of the work heard at the premiere and throughout the first year of performances, as well as being the essential basis of the work in its somewhat cut 1906 form. 8 Much more difficult has been the task of identifying the 1904 vocal lines. Since the surviving sources for these Štross s full and vocal scores were both heavily revised, it is often difficult to determine which version of a particular passage fits the 1904 orchestral layer. 9 Sometimes it is possible to decide by analogy with the instrumental parts; in other cases, it is more problematic, particularly because Janáček s ongoing revisions to the opera saw a gradual (though unsystematic) freeing up of the vocal lines from orchestral motifs, so that vocal-instrumental analogies decrease in frequency as the revision process progresses. There is, however, another 1904 source which can help here: the manuscript libretto (LB) used by the prompter in the original production. This important document, in the shape of a small black exercise book, contains many interesting features, among them a delightful series of doodles which place it in a tradition of musical cartoonery going back centuries. 10 More important, it also includes detailed markings to help the prompter in giving cues: signs indicating rests, word alterations and, most significantly, indications of word repetitions. 11 The system of notation for these repetitions strongly suggests that the libretto was copied from the Štross vocal score in its 1904 form. 12 Two examples demonstrate the usefulness of the manuscript libretto in reconstructing the 1904 score. The first is the entrance of the Mayor in Act 3, scene 2. Here the libretto (detail shown in Fig. 1) indicates quite precisely the word repetitions, including the threefold dej, dej, dej! (written out in full) and polekala, polekala, polekala? (shown by a double repeat sign). 8 For a detailed list of the 1906 cuts in ŠVS, see Audus, Chybějící pojítko, pp , Table 2. 9 Any other vocal material that may have been prepared in connection with the early performances of Její pastorkyňa, such as individual vocal parts, appears not to have survived. 10 Štědroň gives a detailed description of the MS libretto (Zur Genesis, pp ), and notes, one can also conclude from various scribblings that this libretto exercise book was probably used by prompters (p. 76). I am grateful to the Music History Department of the Moravian Regional Museum for permission to reproduce examples from this source here. 11 Štědroň, Zur Genesis, pp Rehearsal numbers from the Štross full score appear to have been added later in pencil, together with reinforcements to the original repetition markings. Indications of rests and phrase breaks were also added after the original copying of the libretto. Reconstructing the 1904 Její pastorkyňa 31 Fig. 1: MS libretto, entrance of Mayor in Act 3, scene 2 The corresponding vocal line, partly obscured in both ŠVS and ŠFS by pasteovers, is easily legible with a fibre-optic light, and the reconstructed passage is shown in Ex. 1a. Ex. 1a: Reconstructed 1904 vocal line, entrance of Mayor in Act 3, scene 2 32 MARK AUDUS Two early revisions are evident: Janáček added the third bar (bracketed here) before the orchestral parts were copied; and the Mayor s asterisked notes in the last two bars 6 and 7 were originally an octave lower. Compared with the later 1908 revision (Ex. 1b below), with its different pattern of word repetition, the 1904 vocal line imparts to the whole passage a much greater feeling of regularity and symmetry, a characteristic of the premiere version in general and the voice parts in particular. Ex. 1b: 1908 vocal line, entrance of Mayor in Act 3, scene 2 The second example is from the end of the Kostelnička s Act 1 intervention, where she insists that Laca should refrain from drinking for one year and the chorus of recruits responds, Ale je to přísná ženská! ; see Fig. 2 and Ex. 2 below. Fig. 2: MS libretto, end of Kostelnička s intervention in Act 1 Reconstructing the 1904 Její pastorkyňa 33 Ex. 2: End of Kostelnička s intervention in Act 1 (1904 and 1908 versions) The fifth bar of Ex. 2 had originally been in 6/8. The Più mosso indication and change to 6/16 were added before the premiere: this much is confirmed by the orchestral parts. However, the libretto s very precise indication that the recruits phrase is sung seven times makes clear that the vocal revisions in the first four bars of the example (shown in small notes in Ex. 2) came only later, probably in 1907/8. Two features of this later revision are particularly notable here. Most obvious is the improved stress pattern for the Kostelnička s phrase; in addition, the added phrases for the chorus basses before the tempo change ensure a more secure transition to the following più mosso than having the chorus come in cold at the tempo change itself. Both of these examples help in identifying and placing points of detail in the revision process. But the manuscript libretto (LB) can also help in confirming as- 34 MARK AUDUS pects of the opera s overall shape at the time of the premiere. This is particularly the case in Act 1, where the inclusion of the Kostelnička s intervention aria, Aji on byl zlatohřivy, has long been the subject of debate. 13 Not only is this Ex. 2 (continued) 13 See Alena Němcová, Otazníky nad Její pastorkyní, Opus musicum, 26 (1984), pp Reconstructing the 1904 Její pastorkyňa 35 passage uncut in LB, it also shows very clear signs of use: corrections to the text, indications of rests and vertical strokes to mark breaks in phrases all reinforce the impression gleaned from the orchestral parts that this crucial passage was indeed heard at early performances of the opera (see Fig. 3). 14 Fig. 3: Aria of Kostelnička in libretto of Act 1 (1904 version) 14 Although the latest date written in LB is 25/9 [19]06 (a single performance in Moravská Ostrava), the same prompter who signed here (Háček) seems actually to have used ŠVS for all three 1906 performances. Despite the inclusion of the Kostelnička s aria in the editions by J. M. Dürr (Universal Edition, 1969) and Charles Mackerras and John Tyrrell (Universal Edition, 1996), there is no indication that Janáček ever sought to reinstate this passage once it was cut. 36 MARK AUDUS These three examples demonstrate how the manuscript libretto can often be of great help in reconstructing the 1904 vocal lines and in confirming the opera s overall shape in On the other hand, there are of course many instances throughout the opera where the manuscript libretto is of less help: where the vocal rhythms or melodic profile have been changed in the revision process, for instance, but the word order and number of repetitions (or lack of them) are exactly the same. However, instances such as those detailed here can undoubtedly help to inform, refine and temper editorial judgement in the majority of less clear-cut cases. Some features of the 1904 version With the exception of the removal of the Kostelnička s aria in Act 1, Janáček s post-1904 revisions to Její pastorkyňa entailed no substantial changes to the course of the dramatic action. The opera was, however, somewhat longer at the time of the premiere, as the following table of total bar counts for each act illustrates: (Mackerras/Tyrrell edition, incorporating Janáček s post-1908, pre-kovařovic changes) 1916 Act Act Act Apart from the two Act 1 ensembles ( A vy, muzikanti and Každý párek ), many of Janáček s most extensive cuts were concentrated on the final scenes of each act; in the process he created three of the most dramatically effective and intense curtains in the repertoire. (The closing pages of Act 1 seem to have posed particular problems for him: they were revised several times both before and after the premiere.) The bald figures presented above give little idea of the nature and scope of wider changes, but they indicate in general how Kovařovic s largely cosmetic 1916 changes are dwarfed by those the composer himself made between the time of the premiere and the publication of the KPU vocal score in Janáček s cuts undoubtedly tightened the dramatic pacing and made the musical and dramatic flow more cogent. But any impression that the 1904 version was noticeably more expansive needs to be tempered by the realization that the opera was performed relatively fast compared with the tempi which have since become standard Annotations in the original parts, apparently relating to the 1904 performances, give the following timings: Act 1: 40 minutes; Act 2: 45 minutes; Act 3: 30 minutes. Janáček later bemoaned the slower speeds used in Prague and Vienna in a letter to Erich Kleiber, who conducted the Berlin premiere in 1924 (Janáček to Kleiber, 22 March 1924); see Bohumír Štědroň (ed.), Leoš Janáček: Letters and Reminiscences, Prague: Artia, 1955, pp Reconstructing the 1904 Její pastorkyňa 37 In 1904 the opera included a number of passages featuring insistent ostinati, of the type that were to become a hallmark of Janáček s mature style. Among these, perhaps most notable is the accompaniment to the Kostelnička s Už od té chvíle in the first scene of Act 1, shown in Ex. 3 below. Ex. 3: Kostelnička, Už od té chvíle, Act 1, scene 1 (1904 version) By 1908 such passages had either been replaced by rests with only occasional punctuating figures, or the accompaniment had otherwise been radically recast in a process of distillation which retained the essence of the musical idea whilst allowing the voice greater dynamic, rhythmic and expressive freedom. Alongside such early anticipations of Janáček s mature style, the 1904 Její pastorkyňa contains passages which owe more to nineteenth-century convention than to early twentieth-century innovation, both at the level of the local melodic or harmonic gesture and also in broader formal terms. This is particularly evident in the earlier composed Act 1: the ensemble Každý párek in its uncut 1904 form, for instance, is even more clearly a consternation ensemble in the pezzo concertato tradition, already largely obsolete by the 1890s. Also much closer to nineteenth-century trends is the treatment of folk-inspired passages (notwithstanding their roots in Janáček s own recent folkloric researches), which in 1904 are generally more richly scored and stand out as strikingly colourful set pieces. The Act 1 chorus Daleko, široko, for example, incorporates vocal drones for the tenors and basses; and the village girls song in Act 3 is not only more fully scored, but features an ear-catching countermelody for Barena in the leader-chorus manner. Even Števa s Act 2 outburst, Když jsem ji po odvodě ráno uhlídal recalling the morning of the conscription and its associated revelries includes the double-stroke accompaniment style (duvaj) typical of the starosvětská spinning dance from Moravian Slovakia. 16 In his later revisions, the composer removed, texturally lightened or otherwise modified all these features, thereby integrating into his emerging musico-dramatic style what in 1904 had more self-consciously folksy set pieces. 16 See Janáček s preface to František Bartoš and Leoš Janáček (eds.), Národní písně moravské v nově nasbírané, Prague: Česká akademie císaře Františka Josefa pro vědy, slovesnost a umění, 1901, pp. cxiv cxix. 38 MARK AUDUS As has already been se
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