Thursday, May 14, 2009

Friedebald Gräfe, 1840-1880; Gräfe, Friedebald, 1840-1880; Friedebald Graefe, 1840-1880; Graefe, Friedebald,1840-1880

I provide these hard-won birth and death dates in the hope that a persistent Google search will turn them up. (Much of the little that is out there on Gräfe and his trombone concerto appears to be misinformation.)

May 22, 1840-June 22, 1880

Source: Schnebel, Hanns-Helmut. "Auch Militärmusiker litten Hunger: Friedebald Gräfe (1840 bis 1880) und sein 'Konzert für Posaune.'" Bayerische Blasmusik 55, no. 11 (2004): 4-6.

Cf. Robert Reifsnyder, "The Romantic trombone concerto and its place in the German solo tradition, part II," ITA journal 15, no. 3 (Summer 1987): 35, which states that "Gräfe may have been a violist employed by the Gewandhaus orchestra from 1853 to 1859. If so, etc." (italics mine). By the time the identical claim appears here (http://gazettedescuivres.free.fr/docs/dossier_trombone.pdf (Noël Lopez, "La épopée du trombone," écoutervoir no. 136 (avril 2003): 20), the subjunctive has disappeared. Yet if Schnebel is right (and his article is based on archival research), the real Friedebald Gräfe would have been about 13 years old in 1853. (One sees also references to 1875-1920. And so forth. Misinformation, apparently, abounds.)

Update:  until I can get round to publication, I'm going to place this rough draft of a rankly amateur (!) translation up here.  Though I retain the rights, I would welcome and acknowledge any suggestions for improvement.

Update (27 August 2018):  A modified version of the translation I mention above, which incorporates a couple of suggestions by the author, has now been published in the International Trombone Association journal:  Hanns-Helmut Schnebel, "'Even the military musicians went hungry:  Friedebald Gräfe (1840-1880) and his 'Concerto for trombone,'" trans. Steve Perisho, International Trombone journal 46, no. 3 (July 2018):  32-33.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hart on the Galileo affair

"the irony is, strange to say, that it was the church that was demanding proof, and Galileo who was demanding blind assent--to a model that was wrong."

David Bentley Hart, Atheist delusions: the Christian revolution and its fashionable enemies (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009): 66. Hart's account here is only perhaps rhetorically original, but I did think this well put.