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Grieg: The Maverick – Peter Donohoe in Conversation
Distinguished British pianist Peter Donohoe has embarked on another comprehensive recording project on Chandos label spotlighting Edvard Grieg’s complete Lyric Pieces, and the first volume is out since June 10 last year. Piano Street had a chance to talk to Donohoe about Grieg and his project. Read more >>

Topic: Romanesque  (Read 2135 times)

Offline JeffL

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Romanesque
on: May 03, 2004, 05:31:52 PM
Does anybody know why composers adopted this as a title to some of their pieces? The dictionary defines the word as meaning "of the transition from Roman to Gothic architecture." -not much help there.
Billy Mayerl's "Romanesque" sounds full of gypsy fiddles to me and when Josef Holbrooke recorded his "Valse Romanesque" it was re-titled "Roumanian". Could the word have some "exotic" connotation perhaps?

Offline bernhard

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Re: Romanesque
Reply #1 on: May 03, 2004, 08:19:09 PM
In the context of music, “Romanesque” has a number of meanings:

1. It is a synonym for galliard, which is a kind of dance. Do you know Thomas Arbeau’s “Orcheoseography”? It is a dance manual (1589 – reprinted by Dover) and he describes it there. Galliards are of Italian origin, in triple time, have quick and complex steps, were extremely popular during the 16th century, and were usually paired up with “Pavans” (4-time, and in contrat to Galliards, slow and solemn). A romanesque was probably a galliard danced in the Romagna region. Pavans and Galliards declined in popularity at the beginning of the 17th century being replaced by the Branle, the Courant and later by the minuet.

2. It is also the name of a melody often used in the ground bass of 17th century music.

3. A type of song (Monteverdi has a number of romanesques)

4. Romanesque style – this has to do with your dictionary definition. It basically refers to the style of music in the Romanesque period. (around 800 – 1200). Have a look here for more details:

https://www.classicalscore.com/romanesquestyle.htm

5. Finally it may also refer from music from Romania.

Who knows what Mayerl and Holbrooke meant by it though… They may simply have meant “with a Romanian” flavour. Or they may mean that the music aims at a certain “otherworldliness” often associated with music of the Romanesque period (plainsong, etc.)

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,
Bernhard.

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline JeffL

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Re: Romanesque
Reply #2 on: May 03, 2004, 09:12:26 PM
Thankyou for the reply; the musical definitions were all new to me.I did wonder whether the word had some connection with "Romany" (i.e. Gypsy) in connection with the Mayerl piece. As you suggest, who knows what each composer had in mind? There is a Romanesca by Chaminade different again from the other pieces I mentioned!
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