Carl Amand Mangold


In our video the Charles River Sinfonietta made on September 22, 2020 to be put on Cable TV in many towns we’d gotten grants and support to give concerts this year, the first piece on the program was a septet by Carl Amand Mangold written in 1855. It appears that previous to our video this piece didn’t seem to have been recorded anywhere and was only recently published for the first time in 2008.

Carl Amand Mangold was born October 8 1813 at Darmstadt into a very musical family where his father , George Mangold(1767-1835) was director of the music for the court and his brother Wilhelm Mangold(1796-1878) was the local conductor and his sister Charlotte Mangold(1794-1870) was also involved. Carl was an unpaid member of the court orchestra starting at a pretty young age, and appeared as a singer as well.



With financial help from the grand duke, Carl studied violin, composition and singing from 1836-1839 in Paris where he made good friends with Hector Berlioz, Giacoma Meyenbeer, Franz Liszt and Clara Wieck. After those three years he returned to Darmstadt and was very busy directing several orchestras and choruses, teaching at the local highs school and upper secondary school , and composing. His compositions were very numerous including 6 operas, 3 oratorios, 5 concert dramas, cantatas with and without orchestra, arias and scenes, several hundred lieder, 8 symphonies, 2 violin concertos piano works, and chamber music. Most of his compositions remain unpublished and the manuscripts wait for their musical reanimation.

This septet he composed in 1855 because of two paintings that were temporarily exhibited in the music hall of the grand ducal castle from February 18th till March 10th in 1844 in Darmstadt, which had been commissioned by the Belgian government and which led to a fierce discussion among the top politicians about to what extent the portrayal of historical paintings expressing political opinions should be allowed.

The two pictures were “The resignation of the emperor Karl V in favor of his son Philipp II at Brussels the 23rd of October 1555” and “The signing of the Flemish nobility’s compromise on 16th February 1566” These occasions were both important events that led to national independence, for prior to this the Netherlands were part of the Spanish kingdom, reined by a governor..

Each of the 4 movements of this septet represent things having to do with the Dutch getting their independence. In the first movement it is supposed to represent the Spanish and the Dutch. In the Andante , the 2nd movement, this represents Goethe’s Egmond and Klarchen, an episode. In the Scherzo this represents when the Count of the Flemish nobility and his people handed over a petition to the Spanish governess Margarethe of Parma. At this time the Flemish were considered “gueux’ or beggars. During a feast the word “Geusen” was assigned to all those people associated with the revolutions, Then the fourth movement quotes a chorale “Who leaves everything to God and always hopes for him that one GOD will miraculously save in all affliction and grief”

This piece clearly shows how Carl Amand Mangold was a musician with many political concerns. In this piece he portrayed how music could be connected to other art works like these paintings.

Carl Amand Mangold composed many pieces for several more decades before he finally passed away on August 4 1889. Hopefully more of his beautiful works will be pulled from their manuscripts and published, but he sure had lots of competition with the big composers of the time like Johannes Brahms and Richard Wagner.

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