CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — A West Texas A&M University music professor has published the first modern edition of an Austrian composer’s work, according to officials with WTAMU.
Officials detailed that Kimberly Hieb, an associate professor of music in WT’s School of Music, published two volumes of scores by Andreas Hofer, a church composer who worked in Salzburg Austria in the 1600s.
Hofer’s book, titled “Andreas Hofer: Ver sacrum seu flores music,” translated to “Sacred Spring or Musical Flowers” celebrates a series of Catholic feasts, added officials.
“The title relates to the time of year the book was published—springtime—but it also relates to the prevalent topic of the musical compositions, many of which celebrate sacrifice or martyrdom,” Hieb said. “A ‘Ver sacrum’ or ‘sacred spring’ was a Roman practice of making sacrifices in spring to look forward to or give thanks for a successful harvest.”
Hieb explained that this is the first modern musical edition of these compositions, as they exist today only in centuries-old partbooks, meaning individual books of music are produced for each instrument or voice rather than the modern form, which consists of one combined score.
Officials added that Hieb traveled to Austria and Germany to conduct her research and transcribe Hofer’s music from their original sources. The trips were funded by a WTAMU Foundation faculty development grant.
“Before you can even do the transcription, though, you have to track down all of the partbooks, which can be fun and take you on some journeys,” Hieb said. “The archive in Ottobeuren was particularly tricky to access since they do not have a reading room or an archivist on staff. The abbot’s secretary fetched the partbooks from the archive for me and let me work transcribing at a little table in her office.
“This project offers meaningful sources of church music that were used in Salzburg in the second half of the 17th century, a place and time that boasts lots of virtuosic violin music that has been studied and performed frequently, for example Heinrich Biber’s Rosary Sonatas,” Hieb added. “Hofer’s music dates to about a generation or so before the Mozart family was in Salzburg, but it is still indicative of the music the Mozarts would have likely heard in worship while in Salzburg.”
According to WT, the books are available from publisher A-R Editions or on Amazon while WT’s Cornette Library has physical copies and PDFs available in the music library online.
Hieb, according to WT, hosts High Plains Public Radio’s “Classical Music Amarillo” at 12 p.m. on Sunday’s, with an encore at 7 p.m. on Thursday’s.