Best Paper Award to Luiz Mantovani for his article on a guitar sonata by Ferdinand Rebay

Pater Roman

Monday, January 30, 2023

We have received the following from P. MMag. Roman Nägele OCist, head of the music archives of Heiligenkreuz Abbey:

About a year ago, in January 2021, the Brazilian guitarist Luiz Mantovani visited Heiligenkreuz Abbey to prepare the first recording of Ferdinand Rebay’s Guitar Sonata No. 2 in E major; an event we reported on. In the meantime the accomplished Rebay scholar continued his research into the original manuscript of this work that survives in the music archives in Heiligenkreuz. The fruit of his investigations, an article entitled “Fine-Tuning Ferdinand Rebay´s Second Sonata in E major for Guitar,” has now received the “Best Paper Award” of the Austrian Society for Musicology. At the award-giving ceremony held on 14 October 2022 as part of the general assembly of the Society, jury member Dr. Elisabeth Hilscher described the merits of the publication as follows:

„The article draws attention to the Viennese guitar school of the 20th century, which has been mostly ignored by music historians, as well as to the problems arising when composers write for instruments that they do not, or only insufficiently, master. A case in point is the Austrian composer Ferdinand Rebay, whose works have for some years been intensively studied and promoted at Heiligenkreuz Abbey. Himself a pianist, many of Rebay’s works for guitar were brought into playable shape by his niece Gerta Hammerschmid, who belonged to the Viennese guitar school mentioned above. Not so, however, with the Second Sonata, in the case of which the author of this article sought to assume the role of mediator between the composer’s intentions, the possibilities of the instrument, and musical practice. In our view, the construction of this bridge arching from historical source study, across musical philology and guitar-playing technique, to practice in the form of an edition and a recording of the work available on YouTube, has proved to be successful in an exemplary manner.”

Image: Luiz Mantovani in the music archives of Heiligenkreuz Abbey (January 2021). Image courtesy of the author.

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