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The Dresden
Dresden
amen (Dresdner Amen) is a sequence of six notes sung by choirs during church services in the German state of Saxony
Saxony
since the beginning of the 19th century. The motif was first used in, and is particularly associated with, the city of Dresden. The sequence has been used in various forms by composers since the 19th century. Composition[edit] The Dresden
Dresden
amen was composed by Johann Gottlieb Naumann
Johann Gottlieb Naumann
(1741–1801) for use in the Royal chapel in Dresden. Such was its popularity that it spread to other churches, both Catholic
Catholic
and Lutheran, in Saxony. The " Dresden
Dresden
amen" is actually the second and third parts of a threefold amen. Use in classical music[edit] Felix Mendelssohn
Felix Mendelssohn
used the Dresden
Dresden
amen in his fifth symphony, the "Reformation". In the first movement, the theme appears in the strings:

The theme was also used by Richard Wagner, most notably in his last opera, Parsifal. Wagner was a Kapellmeister in Dresden
Dresden
from 1842 to 1849; however, he would probably have learnt the motif as a boy attending church in Dresden. It was incorporated into one of his earliest operas, Das Liebesverbot, and also appears in the third act of Tannhäuser. Anton Bruckner
Anton Bruckner
used the Dresden
Dresden
amen in several motets (Christus factus est WAB 11, Virga Jesse WAB 52 and Vexilla regis WAB 51),[1] the finale of his Fifth Symphony and the adagio of his last symphony, the Ninth, while Gustav Mahler
Gustav Mahler
incorporated it into the last movement of his first symphony, "Titan". Manuel de Falla
Manuel de Falla
quoted from it in his incidental music for Calderón de la Barca's El gran teatro del mundo. Alexander Scriabin
Alexander Scriabin
inserted a theme reminiscent of the Dresden
Dresden
amen in the first movement (Luttes ["Struggles"]) of his Symphony no. 3. Eric Ball's tone poem The Kingdom Triumphant, a musical picture of the first and second coming of Christ, uses the Dresden
Dresden
amen prior to the presentation of the hymn Helmsley with its associated words "Lo, He comes with clouds descending". Carl Davis
Carl Davis
used the Dresden
Dresden
Amen prominently in his score for the sound-added reissue of the 1925 silent film Ben-Hur, particularly in scenes featuring the life of Christ. John Sanders based his Responses for Evensong on the Dresden
Dresden
Amen. References[edit]

^ van Zwol, Cornelius (2012). Anton Bruckner
Anton Bruckner
– Leven en Werken. Thot. ISBN 90-686-8590-2. 

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Motifs

BACH motif C. F. E. BACH motif Cross motif Dresden
Dresden
amen DSCH motif Sacher hexachord Schoenberg hexachord

Cruciform melody Figure Fortspinnung Leitmotif Musical cryptogram Ostinato Pianto

v t e

Richard Wagner's Parsifal

Characters

Parsifal Gurnemanz

Films

Parsifal
Parsifal
(1904) The Evil Forest (1951) Parsifal
Parsifal
(1982)

Sources

Parzival Perceval, the Story of the Grail

Related

Parsifal
Parsifal
bell Parsifal
Parsifal
discography Dresden
Dresden
ame

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