Newly Digitized: Auswahl maurerischer Gesænge

When we name composers associated with Freemasonry, Mozart is likely to top the list, thanks to his compositions for masonic ceremonies and the symbolism found in the libretto and music of Die Zauberflöte. Of course, many other composers – far too many to list here – were masons as well, and the tradition of writing songs, choruses, and incidental music for use in meetings and ceremonies is well-represented through the 18th and 19th centuries.

Title page vignette, Auswahl maurerischer Gesænge, Merritt Room Mus 558.5

Title page vignette, Auswahl maurerischer Gesænge, Merritt Room Mus 558.5 (click to enlarge)

  • Auswahl maurerischer Gesænge
    Auswahl maurerischer Gesænge / von verschiedenen Componisten ; herausgegeben von Friedrich Franz Hurka. [Germany : s.n., between 1803 and 1805].
    Merritt Room Mus 558.8

Friedrich Franz Hůrka (1762-1805), a Czech tenor, composer, and teacher, became a freemason in 1794, when he joined the Berlin lodge “Friedrich Wilhelm zur gekrönten Gerechtigkeit.” In this collection, dedicated to King George III’s son Augustus Frederick, Hůrka gathered nearly 70 songs and choruses on masonic themes by composers including Himmel, Pleyel, Naumann, and Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst Bach. The title page vignette is rich in masonic iconography; note in particular the blazing star embossed with “G,” representing God, and the cherubs wielding stone-working tools and using a pair of compasses to measure the Pythagorean theorem.

-Kerry Masteller

2 Comments

  1. SOme reason link in this post don’t open

    https://blogs.harvard.edu/loebmusic/2013/12/11/newly-digitized-auswahl-maurerischer-gesaenge/

    Could YOu help me read this sang collection

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