Reference : National-classical music: Luxembourg
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Arts & humanities : Performing arts
National-classical music: Luxembourg
Sagrillo, Damien mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe
Leerssen, Joep
Study Platform on Interlocking Nationalisms
[en] Music History
[en] FULL TEXT Musical nationalism in Luxembourg does not follow the standard European pattern of a folk-inflected exceptionalism vis-à-vis the French/Italian/German mainstream, arising around the mid-19th century. Luxembourg was too small to initiate an own musical nationalism, and had been under foreign control for several centuries before developing into the direction of sovereignty between 1815 and 1890. At this time Luxembourg had only one music school, and no professional orchestra; but amateur ensembles began to emerge all over the country following the liberal constitution of 1848 which granted the right of association. Luxembourg composers born in the mid-century (e.g. Jean-Antoine Zinnen, 1827-1898, the composer of the national anthem) established themselves in the city of Luxembourg and composed for choir and for wind band; there is little overtly national bias in their work.

In 1870 the diocese of Luxembourg was founded; this also had an influence on musical life. Henri Oberhoffer (1824-1885), organist at the cathedral of Luxembourg, and Laurent Menager (1835-1902) wrote sacred music; Oberhoffer was a champion of the Cecilian movement in Luxembourg with Franz Xaver Witt ran the periodical Cäcilia from 1862 to 1871. The outstanding composer of this first generation was Laurent Menager, the first to have studied music abroad – in Cologne, where he came in contact with several Romantic composers, among others his composition teacher Ferdinand Hiller. His 63 secular and sacred songs for four-part male choir and his 23 songs for voice and piano are a fine representation of the taste of the period, reminiscent of Schubert.
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