Altfrentsch unterwegs


Jokebantonis; Recht sennisch, Schottisch; Recht sennisch, Zäuerli; Recht Chrsennisch, Walzer; Walzerprozess; En omme; Ruguser; Appenzeller; Walzerwahnsinn; Edelweiss; Langnauerli; Die Löpfige; Schützenpolka; Bischelis Drüü; A der Appenzeller Chilbi; Juhizer; Die Letschte


Dancing is forbidden to both locals and visitors on Sundays and feast days, with Alpstubeten being excepted (“Appenzeller Volksfreund”, 6 July 1887) The history of Appenzell folk music was determined in large part by the Tradition of the “Alpstubeten”. These were originally convivial gatherings of dairy farmers as a means of diversion from their hard work in the summer, up in the Alps. “Z Stubete Goh” (“Going to the Stubete”) meant visiting riends and acquaintances for small, private parties in their “gute Stube”, their “good room” or parlour. The first reports of Alpstubeten date from the 15th century, and suggest that already by that time larger-scale, openair events were taking place at which those attending sang, made music and danced. Over the course of the centuries, several bans on dancing were enforced, which caused the farmers to organise Stubeten in secret, the so-called “Winkel-Stobeten”. As early as the 16th century, string instruments were being used to play at these events, including early forms of the violin and dulcimer. Drone instruments such as the hurdygurdy and the bagpipe were presumably also played. In the late 18th century, the “Basseetli” joined the violin and the dulcimer in the dance music of the day. This was a low-pitched string Instrument similar to today’s cello. It was later replaced by the “Bassgeige” (“bass violin”), namely the double bass. The resulting trio formation is still described today as the “Altfrentsch” ensemble. And the expression “altfrentsch uufgmacht” still means to perform with this small-scale ensemble in the traditional manner. “Altfrentsch” is a rarely used concept in Appenzell dialect that has its origins in the German expression “altfränkisch” (“old Franconian”), which itself derives from the Middle High German “altvrenkisch”, thus “in the manner of the old Franks”. It means roughly “old fashioned” or “in the old manner”. “Altfrentsch” is also used to denote the original forms of Appenzell string music. “Altfrentsch” is thus the name given to the oldest collection of dances from Canton Appenzell. The dances in this collection, dating from the late 18th century, were only discovered in Gonten in 1998. In 2006, the Centre for Appenzell Folk Music in the Roothuus in Gonten published these 55 dances in order to make them accessible to musicians today. "With “Altfrentsch”, we return to the deepest roots of what we know today as “Ländler music”, which lie back in the late 18th century – both the time of the French Revolution, and the era when the waltz was just starting to set European society spinning. Notions of liberty and individualism also entered into the world of music and dance at that time" (Matthias Lincke).


trad., Matthias Härtel


Matthias Lincke, Geige Gesang; Dide Marfurt, Halszither, Drehleier, Trümpi, Getrommel; Christine Lauterburg, GesangGeige, Bratsche; Simon Dettwiler, Schwyzerörgeli, Langnauerli; Elias Menzi, Appenzeller Hackbrett, Gesang; Matthias Härtel, Kontrabass, Geige, Gesang.

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