Carnival in Germany, Switzerland and Austria
A variety of customs and traditions are associated with Carnival celebrations in the German-speaking countries of Germany and Austria. They can vary from country to country, but from one small region to another; this is reflected in the various names given to these festivities occurring before Lent. In parts of East and South Germany, as well as in Austria, the carnival is called Fasching. In Franconia and Baden-Württemberg as well as some other parts of Germany, the carnival is called Fasnacht, Fassenacht or Fasnet. While Germany's carnival traditions are celebrated in the predominantly Roman Catholic southern and western parts of the country, the Protestant North traditionally knows a festival under the Low Saxon names Fastelavend and Fastlaam; this name has been imported to Denmark as Fastelavn and is related to Vastenoavond in the Low-Saxon-speaking parts of the Netherlands. It is traditionally connected with farm servants or young men going from house to house in the villages and collecting sausages and bacon, consumed in a festivity on the same evening.
While going from house to house they made noise. The old tradition vanished in many places, in other places under influence of German carnival traditions it came to resemble carnival with its parades; the carnival session known as the "Fifth Season", begins each year on 11 November at 11:11 a.m. and finishes on Ash Wednesday of the following year with the main festivities happening around Rosenmontag. Although the festivities and parties start as early as the beginning of January, the actual carnival week starts on the Fat Thursday before Ash Wednesday; the big German carnival parades are held on the weekend before and on Rosenmontag, the day before Shrove Tuesday, sometimes on Shrove Tuesday itself in the suburbs of larger carnival cities. In German-speaking countries, there are 2 distinct variations of Carnivals: the Rhenish Carnival in the west of Germany, centred on the cities of Cologne, Mainz and Düsseldorf, the Alemannic or Swabian-Alemannic Fastnacht in Swabia, Switzerland and Vorarlberg.
The Rhenish Carnival is famous for celebrations such as costume balls. Cologne Carnival is most famous. Cologne, Düsseldorf and Mainz are held in the public media to be Germany's three carnival strongholds, but carnival celebrations are widespread elsewhere in the Rhineland. In the Rhineland festivities developed strongly, since it was a way to express subversive anti-Prussian and anti-French thoughts in times of occupation, through parody and mockery. Modern carnival there began in 1823 with the founding of a Carnival Club in Cologne. Most cities and villages of the Rhineland have their own individual carnival traditions. Nationally famous are the carnival in Cologne, Düsseldorf and Mainz. In the Rhineland, the culmination of the carnival around Rosenmontag is considered to be the "fifth season of the year". Clubs organize "sessions" which are show events called Sitzung with club members or invited guests performing dance and songs in costumes; the most performed piece of music during such "sessions" is the "Narrhallamarsch".
The committee that organizes the events in each town consists of a president and 10 junior members and is called the "Council of Eleven" or Elferrat. The number eleven, elf in German, is significant in Carneval celebrations because it is an acronym for the French Revolution values of egalité, liberté, fraternité; the carnival spirit is temporarily suspended during Advent and Christmas, picks up again in earnest in the New Year. The time of merrymaking in the streets is declared open at the Alter Markt during the Cologne Carnival on the Thursday before the beginning of Lent; the main event is the street carnival that takes place in the period between the Thursday before Ash Wednesday and Ash Wednesday. Carnival Thursday is called Altweiber in Wieverfastelovend in Cologne; this celebrates the beginning of the "female presence in carnival", which began in 1824, when washer-women celebrated a "workless day" on the Thursday before carnival. They founded a committee in 1824 to strengthen their presence in the still male-dominated carnival celebrations.
In each city, a woman in black storms the city hall to get the "key" for the city-/townhalls from its mayor. In many places "fools" take over city halls or municipal government and "wild" women cut men's ties wherever they get hold of them; as a tradition, women are allowed to kiss every man who passes their way. On the following days, there are parades in the street organized by the local carnival clubs; the highlight of the carnival period however is Rose Monday. Although Rose Monday is not an official holiday in the Rhineland, in practice most public life comes to a halt and all workplaces are closed; the biggest parades are on Rose Monday, the famous Rosenmontagsumzug, e.g. in Cologne, Düsseldorf and many other cities. During these events, hundreds of thousands of people celebrate in the streets if temperatures are low, most of them dressed up in costumes. Many regions have special carnival cries; the carnival in the Netherlands is derived from the Rhenish carnival. The Swabian-Alemannic carnival is known as Fastnacht, where Fast-Nacht means th
The harp is a stringed musical instrument that has a number of individual strings running at an angle to its soundboard. Harps have been known since antiquity in Asia and Europe, dating back at least as early as 3500 BC; the instrument had great popularity in Europe during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, where it evolved into a wide range of variants with new technologies, was disseminated to Europe's colonies, finding particular popularity in Latin America. Although some ancient members of the harp family died out in the Near East and South Asia, descendants of early harps are still played in Myanmar and parts of Africa, other defunct variants in Europe and Asia have been utilized by musicians in the modern era. Harps vary globally in many ways. In terms of size, many smaller harps can be played on the lap, whereas larger harps are quite heavy and rest on the floor. Different harps may use strings of catgut, metal, or some combination. While all harps have a neck and strings, frame harps have a pillar at their long end to support the strings, while open harps, such as arch harps and bow harps, do not.
Modern harps vary in techniques used to extend the range and chromaticism of the strings, such as adjusting a string's note mid-performance with levers or pedals which modify the pitch. The pedal harp is a standard instrument in the orchestra of the Romantic music era and the contemporary music era; the earliest harps and lyres were found in Sumer, 3500 BC, several harps were found in burial pits and royal tombs in Ur. The oldest depictions of harps without a forepillar can be seen adjacent to the Near East, in the wall paintings of ancient Egyptian tombs in the Nile Valley, which date from as early as 3000 BC; these murals show an instrument that resembles the hunter's bow, without the pillar that we find in modern harps. The chang flourished in Persia in many forms from its introduction, about 4000 BC, until the 17th century. Around 1900 BC arched harps in the Iraq–Iran region were replaced by angular harps with vertical or horizontal sound boxes. By the start of the Common Era, "robust, angular harps", which had become predominant in the Hellenistic world, were cherished in the Sasanian court.
In the last century of the Sasanian period, angular harps were redesigned to make them as light as possible. At the height of the Persian tradition of illustrated book production, such light harps were still depicted, although their use as musical instruments was reaching its end; the works of the Tamil Sangam literature describe the harp and its variants, as early as 200 BC. Variants were described ranging from 14 to 17 strings, the instrument used by wandering minstrels for accompaniment. Iconographic evidence in of the yaal appears in temple statues dated as early as 500 BC One of the Sangam works, the Kallaadam recounts how the first yaaḻ harp was inspired by an archer's bow, when he heard the musical sound of its twang. Another early South Asian harp was the ancient veena; some Samudragupta gold coins show of the mid-4th century AD show the king Samudragupta himself playing the instrument. The ancient veena survives today in the form of the saung harp still played there; the harp was popular in ancient China and neighboring regions, though harps are extinct in East Asia in the modern day.
The Chinese konghou harp is documented as early as the Spring and Autumn period, became extinct during the Ming Dynasty. A similar harp, the gonghu was played in ancient Korea, documented as early as the Goguryeo period. Harps are triangular and made of wood. Strings are made of gut or wire replaced in the modern day by nylon, or metal; the top end of each string is secured on the crossbar or neck, where each will have a tuning peg or similar device to adjust the pitch. From the crossbar, the string runs down to the sounding board on the resonating body, where it is secured with a knot, it is the distance between the tuning peg and the soundboard, as well as tension and weight of the string, which decide the pitch of the string. The body is hollow, when a taut string is plucked, the body resonates, projecting sound; the longest side of the harp is called the column or pillar, though some earlier harps, such as a "bow harp", lack a pillar. On most harps the sole purpose of the pillar is to hold up the neck against the great strain of the strings.
On harps which have pedals, the pillar is a hollow column and encloses the rods which adjust the pitches, which are levered by pressing pedals at the base of the instrument. On harps of earlier design, a given string can play only a single note without retuning. In many cases this means such a harp can only play in one key at a time and must be manually retuned to play in another key. Various remedies to this limitation evolved: the addition of extra strings to cover chromatic notes, addition of small levers on the crossbar which when actuated raise the pitch of a string by a set interval, or use of pedals at the base of the instrument which change the pitch of a string when pressed with the foot; these solutions increase the versatility of a harp at the cost of adding complexity and expense. While the angle and bow harps held popularity
An emperor is a monarch, the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife, mother, or a woman who rules in her own right. Emperors are recognized to be of a higher honour and rank than kings. In Europe, the title of Emperor has been used since the Middle Ages, considered in those times equal or equal in dignity to that of Pope due to the latter's position as visible head of the Church and spiritual leader of the Catholic part of Western Europe; the Emperor of Japan is the only reigning monarch whose title is translated into English as Emperor. Both emperors and kings are monarchs, but emperor and empress are considered the higher monarchical titles. Inasmuch as there is a strict definition of emperor, it is that an emperor has no relations implying the superiority of any other ruler and rules over more than one nation, therefore a king might be obliged to pay tribute to another ruler, or be restrained in his actions in some unequal fashion, but an emperor should in theory be free of such restraints.
However, monarchs heading empires have not always used the title in all contexts—the British sovereign did not assume the title Empress of the British Empire during the incorporation of India, though she was declared Empress of India. In Western Europe, the title of Emperor was used by the Holy Roman Emperor, whose imperial authority was derived from the concept of translatio imperii, i.e. they claimed succession to the authority of the Western Roman Emperors, thus linking themselves to Roman institutions and traditions as part of state ideology. Although ruling much of Central Europe and northern Italy, by the 19th century the Emperor exercised little power beyond the German-speaking states. Although technically an elective title, by the late 16th century the imperial title had in practice come to be inherited by the Habsburg Archdukes of Austria and following the Thirty Years' War their control over the states had become nearly non-existent. However, Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned Emperor of the French in 1804 and was shortly followed by Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor, who declared himself Emperor of Austria in the same year.
The position of Holy Roman Emperor nonetheless continued until Francis II abdicated that position in 1806. In Eastern Europe, the monarchs of Russia used translatio imperii to wield imperial authority as successors to the Eastern Roman Empire, their status was recognised by the Holy Roman Emperor in 1514, although not used by the Russian monarchs until 1547. However, the Russian emperors are better known by their Russian-language title of Tsar after Peter the Great adopted the title of Emperor of All Russia in 1721. Historians have liberally used emperor and empire anachronistically and out of its Roman and European context to describe any large state from the past or the present; such pre-Roman titles as Great King or King of Kings, used by the Kings of Persia and others, are considered as the equivalent. Sometimes this reference has extended to non-monarchically ruled states and their spheres of influence such as the Athenian Empire of the late 5th century BC, the Angevin Empire of the Plantagenets and the Soviet and American "empires" of the Cold War era.
However, such "empires" did not need to be headed by an "emperor". Empire became identified instead with vast territorial holdings rather than the title of its ruler by the mid-18th century. For purposes of protocol, emperors were once given precedence over kings in international diplomatic relations, but precedence amongst heads of state who are sovereigns—whether they be kings, emperors, princes, princesses and to a lesser degree presidents—is determined by the duration of time that each one has been continuously in office. Outside the European context, emperor was the translation given to holders of titles who were accorded the same precedence as European emperors in diplomatic terms. In reciprocity, these rulers might accredit equal titles in their native languages to their European peers. Through centuries of international convention, this has become the dominant rule to identifying an emperor in the modern era. In the Roman tradition a large variety in the meaning and importance of the imperial form of monarchy developed: in intention it was always the highest office, but it could as well fall down to a redundant title for nobility that had never been near to the "Empire" they were supposed to be reigning.
The name of the position split in several branches of Western tradition, see below. The importance and meaning of coronation ceremonies and regalia varied within the tradition: for instance Holy Roman Emperors could only be crowned emperor by the Pope, which meant the coronation ceremony took place in Rome several years after these emperors had ascended to the throne in their home country; the first Latin Emperors of Constantinople on the other hand had to be present in the newly conquered capital of their empire, because, the only place where they could be granted to become emperor. Early Roman Emperors avoided any type of ceremony or regalia different from what was usual for republican offices in the Roman Republic: the most intrusive change had been changing the color of their robe to purple. New symbols of worldly and/or spiritual power, like the orb, became an essential part of the imperial accessories. Rules for indicating successors varied: there was a tendency towards male inheritance of the supreme o
The cor anglais or English horn in North America, is a double-reed woodwind instrument in the oboe family. It is one and a half times the length of an oboe; the cor anglais is a transposing instrument pitched in a perfect fifth lower than the oboe. This means that music for the cor anglais is written a perfect fifth higher than the instrument sounds; the fingering and playing technique used for the cor anglais are the same as those of the oboe and oboists double on the cor anglais when required. The cor anglais lacks the lowest B♭ key found on most oboes and so its sounding range stretches from E3 below middle C to C6 two octaves above middle C; the pear-shaped bell of the cor anglais gives it a more covered timbre than the oboe, closer in tonal quality to the oboe d'amore. Whereas the oboe is the soprano instrument of the oboe family, the cor anglais is regarded as the tenor member of the family, the oboe d'amore—pitched between the two in the key of A—as the alto member; the cor anglais is perceived to have a more plaintive tone than the oboe.
Its appearance differs from the oboe in that the reed is attached to a bent metal tube called the bocal, or crook, the bell has a bulbous shape. It is much longer; the cor anglais is notated in the treble clef, a perfect fifth higher than sounding. Some composers notated it in the bass clef, when the lower register was persistently used, several other options were employed. Alto clef written at sounding pitch is used by as late a composer as Sergei Prokofiev. In late-18th- and early-19th-century Italy, where the instrument was played by bassoonists instead of oboists, it was notated in the bass clef an octave below sounding pitch. French operatic composers up to Fromental Halévy notated the instrument at sounding pitch in the mezzo-soprano clef, which enabled the player to read the part as if it were in the treble clef. Although the instrument descends only to low B♮, continental instruments with an extension to low B♭ have existed since early in the 19th century. Examples of works requiring this note include Arnold Schoenberg's Gurre-Lieder, Gustav Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, Heitor Villa-Lobos's Chôros No.
6, Karlheinz Stockhausen's Zeitmaße. Antonín Dvořák, in his Scherzo Capriccioso writes for the cor anglais down to low A, though it seems unlikely that such an extension existed. Reeds used to play the cor anglais are similar to those used for an oboe, consisting of a piece of cane folded in two. While the cane on an oboe reed is mounted on a small metal tube covered in cork, there is no such cork on a cor anglais reed, which fits directly on the bocal; the cane part of the reed is longer than that of the oboe. Unlike American style oboe reeds, cor anglais reeds have wire at the base 5 mm from the top of the string used to attach the cane to the staple; this wire serves to stabilize tone and pitch. The best-known makers of modern cors anglais are the French firms of F. Lorée, Marigaux and Rigoutat, the British firm of T. W. Howarth, the American firm Fox Products. Instruments from smaller makers, such as A. Laubin, are sought after. Instruments are made from African blackwood, although some makers offer instruments in a choice of alternative woods as well, such as cocobolo or violet wood, which are said to alter the voice of the cor anglais reputedly making it more mellow and warmer.
Fox has made some instruments in plastic resin and in maple. The term cor anglais is French for English horn, but the instrument is neither from England nor related to the various conical-bore brass instruments called "horns", such as the French horn, the natural horn, the post horn, or the alto horn; the instrument originated in Silesia about 1720, when a bulb bell was fitted to a curved oboe da caccia-type body by the Weigel family of Breslau. The two-keyed, open-belled, straight tenor oboe, more the flare-belled oboe da caccia, resembled the horns played by angels in religious images of the Middle Ages; this gave rise in German-speaking central Europe to the Middle High German name engellisches Horn, meaning angelic horn. Because engellisch meant English in the vernacular of the time, the "angelic horn" became the "English horn". In the absence of any better alternative, the curved, bulb-belled tenor oboe retained the name after the oboe da caccia fell into disuse around 1760; the name first appeared on a regular basis in Italian and Austrian scores from 1741 on in the Italian form corno inglese.
The earliest known orchestral part for the instrument is in the Vienna version of Niccolò Jommelli's opera Ezio dating from 1749, where it was given the Italian name corno inglese. Gluck and Haydn followed suit in the 1750s, the first English horn concertos were written in the 1770s; the Schwarzenberg Wind Harmonie of 1771 employed 2 Cor Anglais as well as 2 Oboes, 2 Bassoons and 2 Horns. The Prince Fürst Joseph Adam Johann Nepomuk Franz de Paula Joachim Judas Thaddäus Abraham von Schwarzenberg was a keen boar hunter and so most employed Oboe de Caccia players, which explains the preference for the new Cor Anglais as opposed to the Clarinet. Johan Went was 1st; the first Oboe Trios were co
Timpani or kettledrums are musical instruments in the percussion family. A type of drum categorised as a semispherical drum, they consist of a membrane called a head stretched over a large bowl traditionally made of copper. Most modern timpani are pedal timpani and can be tuned and to specific pitches by skilled players through the use of a movable foot-pedal, they are played by striking the head with a specialized drum stick called a timpani stick or timpani mallet. Timpani evolved from military drums to become a staple of the classical orchestra by the last third of the 18th century. Today, they are used in many types of ensembles, including concert bands, marching bands, in some rock bands. Timpani is an Italian plural, the singular of, timpano. However, in English the term timpano is only in use by practitioners: several are more referred to collectively as kettledrums, temple drums, timp-toms, or timps, they are often incorrectly termed timpanis. A musician who plays timpani is a timpanist.
First attested in English in the late 19th century, the Italian word timpani derives from the Latin tympanum, the latinisation of the Greek word τύμπανον, "a hand drum", which in turn derives from the verb τύπτω, meaning "to strike, to hit". Alternative spellings with y in place of either or both i's—tympani, tympany, or timpany—are encountered in older English texts. Although the word timpani has been adopted in the English language, some English speakers choose to use the word kettledrums; the German word for timpani is Pauken. The Ashanti pair of talking drums are known as atumpan; the tympanum is defined in the Etymologiae of St. Isidore of Seville: Tympanum est pellis vel corium ligno ex una parte extentum. Est enim pars media symphoniae in similitudinem cribri. Tympanum autem dictum quod medium est. Unde, et margaritum ipsum ut symphonia ad virgulam percutitur; the tympanum is hide stretched over a hollow wooden vessel which extends out. It is said by the symphonias to resemble a sieve, but has been likened to half a pearl.
It is struck with beating time for the symphonia. The reference comparing the tympanum to half a pearl is borrowed from Pliny the Elder; the basic timpano consists of a drum head stretched across the opening of a bowl made of copper or, in less expensive models, fiberglass or aluminum. In the Sachs–Hornbostel classification, this makes timpani membranophones; the head is affixed to a hoop. The counter hoop is held in place with a number of tuning screws called tension rods placed around the circumference; the head's tension can be adjusted by tightening the rods. Most timpani have six to eight tension rods; the shape and material of the bowl's surface help to determine the drum's timbre. For example, hemispheric bowls produce brighter tones. Modern timpani are made with copper due to its efficient regulation of internal and external temperatures relative to aluminum and fiberglass. Timpani come in a variety of sizes from about 33 inches in diameter down to piccoli timpani of 12 inches or less. A 33-inch drum can produce C2, specialty piccoli timpani can play up into the treble clef.
In Darius Milhaud's 1923 ballet score La création du monde, the timpanist must play F♯4. Each drum has a range of a perfect fifth, or seven semitones. Changing the pitch of a timpani by turning each tension rod individually is a laborious process. In the late 19th century, mechanical systems to change the tension of the entire head at once were developed. Any timpani equipped with such a system may be considered machine timpani, although this term refers to drums that use a handle connected to a spider-type tuning mechanism. By far the most common type of timpani used today are pedal timpani, which allows the tension of the head to be adjusted using a pedal mechanism; the pedal is connected to the tension screws via an assembly of either cast metal or metal rods called the spider. There are three types of pedal mechanisms in common use today: The ratchet clutch system uses a ratchet and pawl to hold the pedal in place; the timpanist must first disengage the clutch before using the pedal to tune the drum.
When the desired pitch is achieved, the timpanist must reengage the clutch. Because the ratchet engages in only a fixed set of positions, the timpanist must fine-tune the drum by means of a fine-tuning handle. In the balanced action system, a spring or hydraulic cylinder is used to balance the tension on the head so the pedal will stay in position and the head will stay at pitch; the pedal on a balanced action drum is sometimes called a floating pedal since there is no clutch holding it in place. The friction clutch or post and clutch system uses a clutch. Disengaging the clutch frees it from the post, allowing the pedal to move without restraint. Professional-level timpani have copper bowls; these drums can have one of two styles of pedals. The Dresden pedal is operated by ankle motion. A Berlin-style pedal is attached by means of a long arm to th
The French horn is a brass instrument made of tubing wrapped into a coil with a flared bell. The double horn in F/B♭ is the horn most used by players in professional orchestras and bands. A musician who plays a French horn is known as hornist. Pitch is controlled through the combination of the following factors: speed of air through the instrument. Most horns have lever-operated rotary valves, but some older horns, use piston valves and the Vienna horn uses double-piston valves, or pumpenvalves; the backward-facing orientation of the bell relates to the perceived desirability to create a subdued sound in concert situations, in contrast to the more piercing quality of the trumpet. A horn without valves is known as a natural horn, changing pitch along the natural harmonics of the instrument. Pitch may be controlled by the position of the hand in the bell, in effect reducing the bell's diameter; the pitch of any note can be raised or lowered by adjusting the hand position in the bell. The key of a natural horn can be changed by adding different crooks of different lengths.
Three valves control the flow of air in the single horn, tuned to F or less B♭. The more common double horn has a fourth, trigger valve operated by the thumb, which routes the air to one set of tubing tuned to F or another tuned to B♭ which expands the horn range to over four octaves and blends with flutes or clarinets in a woodwind ensemble. Triple horns with five valves are made tuned in F, B♭, a descant E♭ or F. There are double horns with five valves tuned in B♭, descant E♭ or F, a stopping valve, which simplifies the complicated and difficult hand-stopping technique, though these are rarer. Common are descant doubles, which provide B♭ and alto F branches. A crucial element in playing the horn deals with the mouthpiece. Most of the time, the mouthpiece is placed in the exact center of the lips, because of differences in the formation of the lips and teeth of different players, some tend to play with the mouthpiece off center. Although the exact side-to-side placement of the mouthpiece varies for most horn players, the up-and-down placement of the mouthpiece is two-thirds on the upper lip and one-third on the lower lip.
When playing higher notes, the majority of players exert a small degree of additional pressure on the lips using the mouthpiece. However, this is undesirable from the perspective of both endurance and tone: excessive mouthpiece pressure makes the horn sound forced and harsh, decreases player's stamina due to the resulting constricted flow of blood to the lips and lip muscles; the name "French horn" is found only in first coming into use in the late 17th century. At that time, French makers were preeminent in the manufacture of hunting horns, were credited with creating the now-familiar, circular "hoop" shape of the instrument; as a result, these instruments were called in English, by their French names: trompe de chasse or cor de chasse. German makers first devised crooks to make such horns playable in different keys—so musicians came to use "French" and "German" to distinguish the simple hunting horn from the newer horn with crooks, which in England was called by the Italian name corno cromatico.
More "French horn" is used colloquially, though the adjective has been avoided when referring to the European orchestral horn since the German horn began replacing the French-style instrument in British orchestras around 1930. The International Horn Society has recommended since 1971 that the instrument be called the horn. There is a more specific use of "French horn" to describe a particular horn type, differentiated from the German horn and Vienna horn. In this sense, "French horn" refers to a narrow-bore instrument with three Périnet valves, it retains the narrow bell-throat and mouthpipe crooks of the orchestral hand horn of the late 18th century, most has an "ascending" third valve. This is a whole-tone valve arranged so that with the valve in the "up" position the valve loop is engaged, but when the valve is pressed the loop is cut out, raising the pitch by a whole tone; as the name indicates, humans used to blow on the actual horns of animals before starting to emulate them in metal. This original usage survives in the shofar, a ram's horn, which plays an important role in Jewish religious rituals.
Early metal horns were less complex than modern horns, consisting of brass tubes with a flared opening wound around a few times. These early "hunting" horns were played on a hunt while mounted, the sound they produced was called a recheat. Change of pitch was controlled by the lips. Without valves, only the notes within the harmonic series are available. By combining a long length with a narrow bore, the French horn's design allows the player to reach the higher overtones which differ by whole tones, thus making it capable of playing melodies before valves were invented. Early horns were pitched in B♭ alto, A, A♭, G, F, E, E♭, D, C, B♭ basso
Viorica Ursuleac was a Romanian operatic soprano. Viorica Ursuleac was born the daughter of a Greek Orthodox archdeacon, in Chernivtsi, now in Ukraine. Following training in Vienna, she made her operatic debut in Zagreb, as Charlotte in Massenet's Werther, in 1922; the soprano appeared at the Vienna Volksoper, Frankfurt Opera, Vienna State Opera, Berlin State Opera, Bavarian State Opera. She married the Austrian conductor Clemens Krauss in Frankfurt during her time there, she was Richard Strauss's favorite soprano, he called her die treueste aller Treuen. She sang in the world premieres of four of his operas: Arabella, Friedenstag and the public dress-rehearsal of Die Liebe der Danae, she appeared at the Salzburg Festival and in one season at The Royal Opera Covent Garden where she sang in the first performances in England of Jaromír Weinberger's Schwanda the Bagpiper and Arabella. She appeared as Desdemona in Verdi's Otello at the Royal Opera, with Lauritz Melchior in the name part, Sir Thomas Beecham conducting.
Ursuleac sang at La Scala in Richard Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten, Elektra, Mozart's Così fan tutte, Wagner's Die Walküre. Her only American appearances were at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, as Brangäne in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, opposite Kirsten Flagstad, in 1948. In her repertory were the Countess Almaviva, Donna Elvira, Senta, Amelia Grimaldi, Leonora, Élisabeth de Valois, Minnie, Der Rosenkavalier, Ariadne auf Naxos, Die ägyptische Helena, etc, she was awarded the title of an Austrian Kammersängerin in 1934, a Prussian Kammersängerin in 1935. She gave her farewell in 1953 in Wiesbaden in Der Rosenkavalier, she was appointed professor at the Salzburg Mozarteum in 1964. Ursuleac's voice was not of great beauty, at least as recorded, but she was reckoned a great musician and actress. In the words of one colleague, the soprano Hildegard Ranczak, "Although she had a lovely, facile top, I was amazed at the two hours' vocalizing she went through before each performance. Hers was, in my opinion, a marvelously constructed, not natural voice which she used with uncanny intelligence".
Ursuleac died at the age of ninety-one in the village of Ehrwald in Tyrol where she had resided since before the death in 1954 of her husband, Clemens Krauss. Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos Strauss: Friedenstag Strauss: Arabella Strauss: Capriccio: excerpts Wagner: Der fliegende Holländer Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier Wagner: Tristan und Isolde Strauss: Lieder Safe Passage, by Ida Cook, Harlequin, 1950/76/08. ISBN 978-0-373-89201-3 Richard Strauss und seine Sänger, by Signe von Scanzoni, Munich, 1961; the Last Prima Donnas, by Lanfranco Rasponi, Alfred A. Knopf, 1982. ISBN 0-394-52153-6 Media related to Viorica Ursuleac at Wikimedia Commons Viorica Ursuleac in an excerpt from Capriccio on YouTube Photograph of Viorica Ursuleac, in Die Frau ohne Schatten