Ode, serenata, Anglo-Irish, Matthew Dubourg, Johann Sigismund Cousser, Dublin, Irish State Music
The tradition of composing welcome, birthday, and New Year’s Day odes for the monarch in London is one that dates to as early as 1617. It was not until almost a century later that an equivalent tradition in Dublin is evident. The Dublin ode tradition has often been viewed as an imitation of that established at the London court, and, while it doubtless took the London odes as its model initially, its poets and composers developed a series of works that stand apart as unique in their rationale, style, and even musical genre. This chapter shall demonstrate that the Dublin works were distinctive in their political and social intent and function, their poetry housing the intentions of a loyal polity on the margins of the empire that had a unique and complex identity and relationship with Britain. It will discuss the music and word-setting of the works composed by Masters of the State Music Johann Sigismund Cousser and Matthew Dubourg, showing that this ceremonial music for Dublin constitutes a body of works invaluable to our understanding of the cultural and political climate in the city in the eighteenth century.