Amandus Ivančič (Ivanschiz, Ivanschitz, Ivancsics, Ivanschütz) and his oeuvre have been in a brief outline presented in the introduction to Volume I of the present series, which contains a selection of his sonatas a tre.30 The information given there cannot be as yet supplemented by anything essentially new. As regards his life history, this 18th century composer is still a mysterious person, about whom nothing more is known than that he was a monk, a member of the Pauline order, and that at least between the years 1755 and 1758 he lived at the Maria Trost monastery near Graz. But as regards his compositional output, there have most recently come to light — in Austria, Germany, Bohemia, Slovakia, and Hungary — some new manuscripts of his works; for the most part these are new copies of compositions already known, but also a few hitherto unknown works, among them Te Deum, another mass (so already twenty-one of them are on record), the offertory "Ardens est cor", and two arias. On the title page of Mass in C, found at the Mattsee monastery near Salzburg, this being the eighth copy of this composition known so far, the author is not named by his monastic name Amandus but as Ivan (" A/dmodum/ R/everendo/ D/omino/ P/adre/ Johann Ivantschiz"). This might be his Christian name, unless a mistake had been made, which is possible and even probable. It is almost certain than in the future other new manuscripts of works by this author will be discovered, for in many places research in the musical archives has not yet been carried out. However, the existing knowledge about him convincingly suggests that Amandus Ivančič was a prolific and, in his time, popular composer: there are on record as many as one hundred of his, exclusively in the manuscript form preserved, sacred and secular compositions, and some of them have by now been found in several, seven, eight, even fourteen copies.

Ivančič's three symphonies for two violins and bass, presented in this volume, lead us with their title "Simfonia" to believe that they were conceived as triosymphonies, such as were in the fifties and sixties of the 18th century common among the Viennese composers and which may in part be due to the shortage of violists in the bands at that time,31 or as compositions which — possibly following a little earlier published "Six sonates a trois parties concertantes qui sont faites pour executer ou a trois ou avec toute l'orchestre" (1755) by Jan Vaclav Stamic — could be performed either by soloists or by a larger, orchestral, cast. By cyclic construc- tion these works are exactly of the same kind as the composer's sonatas a tre. Each of them consists of three movements, of which the first is Andantino or Andante, the second a Minuet with Trio, and the last Allegro. All three are written in the same key. These compositions differ from the composer's three-movement symphonies above all in that they do not have a slow middle movement, which Ivančič regulary sets in a different, mostly subdominant, key.

The composer belongs among the representatives of the musical style in the middle of the 18th century, which formed a bridge between baroque and classicism. Stylistic characteristics, typical of his other, especially secular, works, are clearly noticeable also in these symphonies. They display features of the gallant and of the sensitive style, but the latter are fewer and less pronounced. The musical material is mostly made up of tiny, manneristically modeled motifs. The outside movements of the sequences are in an embryolike early-classicist sonata form in three sections with full recapitulation — a characteristic of lvančič's symphonies, only the introductory Andantino of Symphony in A has the form of a two-part sonata with incomplete recapitulation, often found in his sonatas a tre. The developments are rudimentary, themes sufficiently contrastive, although not always in terms of clear thematic dualism but here and there in the form of several contrasting motifs. Therefore individual movements give the impression of polythematicism. The cast "a tre" for two violins and bass is not frequent in the composer's sonatas a tre, for here he most often uses as the second instrument viola rather than violin. Bass is not figured, and such as it is shows that at the time when the compositions were written continuo was no longer much used. But it had not become completely disused, the period of time was one of transition and the transition was slow.32 Probably these symphonies were still played by casts including a keyboard instrument.

The time of their origin cannot be fixed precisely. One of the three today known copies of Symphony in B flat has the year 1765; the original in any case comes from a few years earlier. The same copy is valuable also because on the title page as the place of its origin Rome is given. This detail speaks in favour of the hypothesis that Ivančič might have studied at the seat of the Pauline order in Rome,33 and it certainly gives evidence that his works were known not only in Central European countries but also in Italy.


30. MONUMENTA ARTIS MUSICAE SLOVENIAE, I, Amandus Ivančič. Sonate a tre, cd. D. Pokom, 1983, str. XVI-XVIII.

31. LaRue J.. Die Entwicklung der Symphonie im 18. Jahrhundert. Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 12, 1965. col. 1812.

32. Geiringer K., The Rise of Chamber Music. The New Oxford History of Music, VII, The Age of Enlightenment 1745-1790, 1973, p. 549.

33. Flotzinger R. und Gruber G.. Musikgeschichte Osterreichs, II, 1979, p. 97.