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Speer: Kriegsgeschichten by Georg Daniel Speer - Naxos Sheet Music

By Markus Miesenberger

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By Markus Miesenberger, Ars Antiqua Austria, and Gunar Letzbor. By Georg Daniel Speer. Classical. 1 listening CD. Naxos #PC 10317. Published by Naxos (NX.PC-10317).

Item Number: NX.PC-10317

In the year 1688, when the 52-year-old Georg Daniel Speer, son of a reputed peltmonger family of Breslau, had his Musicalisch-Turckischer Eulen-Spiegel published in Ulm, he was an organist and assistant teacher in South Germany and already had an eventful life behind him. At the age of 18, he sets off on his way through the Carpathian Mountains to Spisz (located in the north-east of present-day Slovakia). Throughout the following years, he works as a mercenary for various armies, once as an army drummer, then as a bugler in the war of Hungary against the Turks. Finally, he reaches Constantinople in the company of a "high-born lord".

In his Musicalisch-Turckischer Eulen-Spiegel, Speer sets texts from his picaresque novel Ungarischer oder Dacianischer Simplicissimus in music. Spear lets his hero Lompyn travel musically through all the countries then affected by the Turkish invasion. To this effect, the versatile composer created dances and melodies in the style of each of these almost exotic peoples. In the War Stories, we experience the rough time of the Turkish wars from the point of view of a simple man who is trying to survive the most dangerous of situations, ideally without any noteworthy scratches. With cunning and humor, he is able to survive dangerous attacks but also refuses to cringe in the face of substantial ribaldry and incivility. At the end, the hero ponders the absurdity of war.

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