Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

Music from the court chapel of Frederik IV

The Danish king Frederik IV (1699-1730) had as crown prince as early as the 1690s a music ensemble consisting of 6 young boys. They began as the "Shawm wind group" and were promoted to the title "The Crown Prince's Violons". In 1695 they were between the ages of 17 and 25. When Frederik IV became king in 1699, the "6 princely Violons", together with the royal musicians, formed the Chapel. The six musicians formed for many years a united group and came to be called "The 6 Danish Violons".
Johan Friederich Fibiger (ca. 1675-1738) was employed in 1698 as guitar maestro, at first for a period of three years and from 1703 as a permanent member of "The 6 Danish Violons".
Johan Friederich Fibiger was probably of German descent, the Fibiger family belonging to the German church St. Petri. J.F. Fibiger's twins, Christian Ulderich and Dorothea Sophia were christened here in 1708.
In 1724 J.F. Fibiger was entrusted the duty of teaching guitar to one of Frederik IVís two children, Princess Charlotte Amalie (1706-1782). The salary for this work was 50 Rgd. (Danish currency of the time) a year, which he was paid until his death. His basic salary as court musician was 300 Rgd. a year, bringing his annual income to 350 Rgd.

Another of Princess Charlotte Amalie's teachers was the churchman Johann Hermann Schrader (1684-1737), who taught Charlotte Amalie from 1713 to 1722. In 1731 Schrader published "Vollständiges Gesangbuch/in einer Sammlung ...", known as the "Tønder Hymn Book", which is one of the most important in the church history of Slesvig-Holstein. It formed part of the model for H.A. Brorsonís "Troens rare Klenodier" ("The treasures of faith") (1739), who also both took its texts as the basis of most of his translations and used the melodic specifications (Swan Songs). The Tønder Hymn Book had no accompanying melody book, but Princess Charlotte Amalie had a notebook with 220 hand-written melodies with figured bass that match the selected hymns in the hymn book. This notebook was possibly written by Schrader for Princess Charlotte Amalie's personal practice.
In 1728, Lorentz Hartmann, one of the most trusty members of "The 6 Danish Violons", presented the king with samples of a recently purchased music collection at a royal banquet at Frederiksberg Palace (where this CD was recorded). It included 12-14 operas by Lully, "Instrumental Music pour la Chasse" with title references to 12 different Danish place names, several books with "Dessus (upper part) und Bas", various "English dances", "The newest Menuets" and much else.

J.F. Fibiger had access to this collection and the rest of the court's music. He used them as a basis for a number of arrangements that he made for guitar (in tablature) with a bass part, and furthermore arranged simple guitar duets and hymns in guitar tablature with bass. Beginning after Frederik IV's death in 1730, he wrote a total of five books with guitar tablature, with an accompanying bass book, that chronologically match the guitar books perfectly. In all, they contain 255 pieces for guitar with a bass part, 37 pieces with a second guitar part and 34 hymns in guitar tablature. There are many single pieces but also 42 suites (Sonata) with between three and six movements.
While most of the court's music collection has been lost in fires at Christiansborg, Fibigerís manuscripts have survived, thanks to Princess Charlotte Amalie's keeping them at Charlottenlund Castle together with, for example, Disel's manuscripts and Schrader's chorale book, until they came to The Royal Library in Copenhagen where they together today constitute "Princess Charlotte Amalieís Music Collection".
In 1733, J.F. Fibiger's daughter Dorothea Sophia was married to the Rev. Jacob Ulitz, who was a vicar near Nakskov. J.F. Fibiger and his wife spent their last years here after Fibiger in 1736 retired on full salary. Nathanael Diesel (ca. 1692-1745) took over Fibiger's position as both royal lutenist and guitar teacher for Princess Charlotte Amalie. Fibiger died on August 10th 1738 in Nakskov, having received his salary until his death.
Through Fibigerís manuscripts, music has been handed down that has otherwise been lost in its original version, such as the hunt music "La Chasse d'Jägersburg" (Jægersborg) and "La Chasse d'HirshHolm" (Hørsholm). Jægersborg and Hørsholm are nowadays suburbs of Copenhagen. The manuscripts contain a great deal of information about what was played at the court at that time, for example music by Dieupart . There is a selection of the most well-loved and used hymns, some of which have been chosen from Schrader's hand-written chorales, and arrangements of music we already knew were in the courtís music collection, for example operas by Lully .
Johann Christian Schickhardt originates from Braunschweig and travelled extensively in Europe. He is mostly known for his music for recorder and about 30 sets of sonatas with 6 or 12 in each have been published. Many of his compositions were dedicated to various princes and royal persons. "Six sonatas for violin or oboe and continuo, op. 8" was dedicated in 1710 to the Danish king Frederik IV. Schickhardt may have been in the service of Frederik IV, or more probably, sought a position at the Danish court. Schickhardt had links with Denmark in a period around 1723, when he was employed by a Danish official Abraham Dreyer, who worked both in Trondheim, Norway, and in Copenhagen. To him, Schickhardt dedicated op. 20/2. Abraham Dreyer was possibly related to J.K. and D.F. Dreyer, to whom op. 16 was dedicated. Schickhardt's "12 sonatas foe guitar" has no number, and is not known whether other versions exist.



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