An expression mark that aptly reflected the mood of much German music in the later 19th century. Siegfried's Funeral March in Götterdämmerung is so marked, as are many slow movements, such as those in Bruckner's Second Symphony (feierlich, etwas bewegt) and his Sixth (sehr feierlich). It need not necessarily designate a slow tempo, merely a certain seriousness.
See alsoTempo and expression marks.
Feijóo y Montenegro, Benito Jerónimo
(b Casdemiro, Orense, 8 Oct 1676; d Oviedo, 26 Sept 1764). Spanish essayist. A Benedictine monk, he settled in Oviedo in 1709, teaching theology at the university and later serving as abbot in the monastery of his order. His major works are two series of essays on a wide variety of subjects: Theatro critico universal (nine books, 1726–40) and Cartas eruditas (five books, 1742–60). In his effort to combat scholasticism, authoritarianism and superstition, and his insistence on reason and verification, he was the leading Spanish representative of the Enlightenment. He was sensitive and knowledgeable about music, though a traditionalist, following the ancients in viewing music as symbolic of the harmony of the universe and capable of powerful moral influence. In his celebrated ‘Música de los templos’ (Theatro, i, no.14) he deplored current Italian fashions in church music, viewing chromaticism, fast tempos, dance and opera styles and use of violins as inimical to the majestic repose ideal for worship. He blamed Durón for first introducing the style, but singled out Literes as a praiseworthy contemporary composer. This work, like many of this others, provoked a fierce polemic. Other musical essays include ‘Maravillas de la música’ (Cartas, i, no.44) and a musical section in ‘Resurrección de las artes’ (Theatro, iv, no.12), both comparing ancient and modern music; ‘El deleite de la música’ (Cartas, iv, no.1), singling out music as the noblest of the arts and the most conducive to virtue; and ‘El no sé qué’ (Theatro, vi, no.12), using musical illustrations to analyse qualities generally considered inexpressible.
M.Menéndez Pelayo: Historia de las ideas estéticas en España (Madrid, 1883–91, rev. 3/1962 by E. Sánchez Reyes)
R.Mitjana y Gordón: ‘La musique en Espagne’, EMDC, I/iv (1920), 1913–2351, esp. 2109, 2128
M.N.Hamilton: Music in Eighteenth Century Spain (Urbana, IL, 1937/R)
M.San Emeterio y Cobo: ‘La estética musical del P. Feijoo’, Ocho ensayos en torno a Feijoo (Santander, 1965), 109–26
I.L.McClelland: Benito Jerónimo Feijóo (New York, 1969)
A.Martín Moreno: El Padre Feijóo y las ideologías musicales del siglo XVIII en España (Orense, 1976)
N.D.Pennington: The Development of Baroque Guitar Music in Spain, including a Commentary on and Transcription of Santiago de Murcia’s ‘Passacalles y obras’ (1732) (diss., U. of Maryland, 1979)
Feinberg, Samuil (Yevgen'yevich)
(b Odessa, 14/26 May 1890; d Moscow, 22 Oct 1962). Russian pianist and composer. His parents were of Jewish origin, and in 1894 they moved from Odessa to Moscow. There Feinberg entered the conservatory, where he studied the piano with Gol'denveyzer, graduating in 1911. He also took private composition lessons with Zhilyayev. Over the next few years he started performing as a pianist and continued to compose. Around this time he played to Skryabin, who declared Feinberg’s performance of his Fourth Sonata the most convincing he had yet heard. In August 1914 he was sent to the Polish front, but he fell seriously ill and was sent to a military hospital, where he contracted typhus. He returned to Moscow and convalesced there for the rest of World War I. In 1922 he was appointed professor of piano at the Moscow conservatory. He also became a member of the circle which met at Pavel Lamm’s flat; musicians he encountered there included Myaskovsky and Anatoly Aleksandrov, both of whom wrote works for him. During the second half of the 1920s he achieved significant success abroad, giving concerts in Italy, Austria and Germany, and taking part in the 1925 ISCM Festival in Venice, where he aroused great interest with his Sixth Sonata. During the 1930s he served on the juries of several international competitions, but his concerts abroad appear to have ceased around the middle of 1929. Despite suffering from heart trouble from 1951 onwards, he performed, recorded and composed up until a few days before his death.
As a pianist, Feinberg was considered the equal of Gol'denveyzer, Sofronitsky, Neuhaus and Ginzburg; the latter two, as well as Feinberg’s pupil Viktor Merzhanov and Mikhail Sokolov, are known to have played Feinberg’s works during his lifetime. Feinberg held in his memory Bach’s Das wohltemperirte Clavier (he was the first Russian pianist to play the entire cycle in public), Beethoven's 32 sonatas and most of the output of Chopin, Schumann and Skryabin, whose ten sonatas he often performed over two concerts. Although Prokofiev, whose Third Concerto Feinberg was the first to play in Russia, considered his interpretations too nervous and Romantic in approach, Feinberg’s playing was notable for its clarity, quality of legato playing, range of tone and rhythmic subtlety. The obscurity of his compositions, even in his own lifetime, may be traced to his ‘deep antipathy to any form of self-advertisement’ which he ‘stretched to its very limits’ (L. Feinberg, 1984). He was a member of the Association for Contemporary Music (ASM) in Moscow in the 1920s and was considered by some of its members to be on the more conservative wing of the organization; but despite the outward lack of a brazenly modernist aesthetic, many of his works contain harmonic, gestural and formal innovations. In early works, such as the First Sonata, he used the middle-period works of Skryabin and, to a lesser extent, certain rhythmic and textural properties of Schumann’s piano music as models; but by the Fourth Sonata (1918) he had developed a highly singular style into which he had assimilated much of the prevailing atonal experimentation of the era as well as his considerable contrapuntal technique. The sixth and seventh sonatas are perhaps his finest achievements: while the former employs a vast, mosaic-like structure of cellular motifs all based on the same two intervals, the latter explores linear progressions in textures of considerable complexity. Although his works of the 1920s are tragic in expression, in contrast to the ecstatic nature of his earlier Skryabin-inspired works, both share a virtuoso complexity and an apocalyptic tone. In the mid-1920s he experimented, along with Anatoly Aleksandrov, with Schoenbergian 12-note serialism, but he considered his attempts unsatisfactory. The première of his First Piano Concerto aroused vilification among critics of the proletarian camp. This event caused Feinberg to all but cease performing his works in public. Problems arose for Feinberg in 1936 when his former teacher and close friend Zhilyayev was arrested in the Tukhachevsky affair; both Zhilyayev and Sollertinsky, who was also implicated, died in prison. The fact that Zhilyayev was his editor at the publishers Muzgiz explains why Feinberg’s seventh and eighth sonatas were not published until the mid-1970s. It also accounts for the style of the two works, both of which are aesthetically distant from the musical atmosphere of the late 1930s. In later years Feinberg turned, like his teacher and friend Gol'denveyzer, to a quasi-diatonic polyphonic language which, while displaying comparative simplicity on the surface, retains much of the intellectual rigour that characterizes his best work of the 1920s.
3 pf concs.: op.20, ?1931–2 [partly based on Sonata no.3]; op.36, 1944; op.44, 1946–7, rev. 1951
‘Sud'ba muzïkal'noy formï’ [The fate of musical form], S.Ye. Feynberg: pianist, kompozitor, issledovatel', ed. I. Likhacheva (Moscow 1984), 16–86
V. Belyayev: ‘Contemporary Russian Composers, 2: Samuel Feinberg’, The Sackbutt, v (1925), 326–9
V. Belyayev: Samuil Feynberg (Moscow, 1927)
L. Sabaneyev: Modern Russian Composers (New York, 1927)
M. Sokolov: Pianistï rasskazïvayut [Pianists in Discussion] (Moscow, 1984) [incl. Feinberg’s comments on the interpretation of Bach]
I. Likhacheva, ed.: S.Ye. Feynberg: pianist, kompozitor, issledovatel' [Pianist, composer, researcher] (Moscow, 1984) [incl. articles and works and reminiscences by L. Feinberg, T. Nikolayeva and others]
P.D. Roberts: Modernism in Russian Piano Music: Skriabin, Prokofiev and their Contemporaries (Bloomington, IN, 1993)
V.Bunin: S. Ye Feynberg: zhizn' i tvorchestvo [Life and works] (Moscow, 1999) [incl. letters, reminiscences and list of concerts given by Feinberg]
J. Powell: After Scriabin: Six Composers and the Development of Russian Music (diss., U. of Cambridge, 1999)
C.Sirodeau: ‘Sur Samuil Feinberg’, Cycle Skalkottas, Paris 1998–1999 (Paris, 1999) [incl. catalogue of works]