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Lecture by Prof. Ana Stefanović

Tuesday, January 26th

Online event, 19h

Psalm 137 in Baroque musical interpretations

The theme of this lecture is baroque interpretations of Psalm 137 (By the rivers of Babylon). It is the only psalm from the Book of Psalms that describes the exile and captivity of Jewish people in Babylon after the defeat of Jerusalem and the fall of the First Temple in the 6th century BC. The text of this psalm is attributed to King David and Prophet Jeremiah in different sources, and it is a regular part of the liturgy in both Jewish and Christian traditions. The complexity of its meaning, representing a communal lament, has been a source of inspiration for classical music composers since the Renaissance, until the 20th century. The musical setup of Psalm 137 by composer Salomone Rossi from his collection HaShirim asher li-Shlomo (1620/1623) will present a kind of historical and contextual axis for insight into psalm interpretations of composers before and after Rossi, namely, in the period of High Renaissance and middle and high Baroque period in Italy and also in France and northern Europe. Providing a historical lineage of musical setups of Psalm 137 enables us, on the one hand, to trace the changes in the form of the motet, which is a common musical form for psalms, and on the other hand, a kind of musical exegetical study, additional interpretative layer in musical fiber which illuminates the theological and philosophical implications of its meaning.

Prof. dr. Ana Stefanović

Musicologist, Professor at the University of Arts, Faculty of Music (Department of Musicology), in Belgrade, and Associate Researcher at IreMus, Paris. She received her MA degree at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade and her Ph.D. in musicology at the University Paris IV Sorbonne. The main areas of her research are baroque opera, solo song, the relation between music and text, as well as questions of musical style and stylistic analysis. She is engaged in several international and national projects in musicology and is the author of a large number of studies and articles published in reviews for musicology and music theory, and in collected papers. She edited several issues of collected papers and organized several international conferences. She published the books: La musique comme métaphore. La relation de la musique et du texte dans l’opéra baroque français: de Lully à Rameau, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2006; Temporality and Narraivity in Music Drama, Beograd, FMU, 2017. She is also the author of the Anthology of Serbian Art Song I–VI, Belgrade, UKS, 2008–2014.

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