MUSIC, SPECTACLE, AND POLITICS IN EARLY SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY BRESLAU (Muzyka, spektakl i polityka we Wroclawiu na poczatku XVII wieku)
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In 1611 and 1620 the Silesian Estates and the city of Wroclaw welcomed their newly elected overlords (Matthias II and Frederick V) with traditional celebrations. Although the outward forms of the celebrations (processions, liturgies, triumphal arches, and polychoral music) were displays of fealty by the royal subjects, the communication was not one-sided - Wroclaw and the Estates had messages to deliver to both rulers. The royal entries are examples of civic celebrations that operated as both overt and subtle means of propaganda in a time of political and religious upheaval. The music composed specifically for the two occasions - polychoral motets by the Wroclaw composer Samuel Besler - played an important role in the communication between the city and its new rulers. Although the motets were perhaps the most ephemeral element, the messages they conveyed were just as concrete as the triumphal arches built for the occasion.
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