About the life of Amandus Ivančič (Ivanschiz, Ivanschitz, Ivancsics, Ivanschütz) only fragmentary information is available so far. From the title pages of the composer's works it is evident that he was a friar (»P/adre/ Amando Ivanschiz«, »P. Ivanczitz«), in some of them he is more fully named as a member of the white-clad mendicant order of Paulines (»A/dmodum/ R/everendo/ D/omino/ P/adre/ Amando Ivanschiz ord/inis/ S/ancti/ Pauli P/rimi/ Erem/itae/«). The only so far known archival source which refers to him and places him into a given environment at a particular time is the fourth of the five bookkeeping annual records by Jesuits in Graz. Austria, concerning the administration of the St. Aegidius’church, today the Cathedral in this town. This source mentions the composer twice. The first entry states that he came to Graz in 1755 from the nearby Maria Trost Pauline monastery to overlook the performance of a composition of his (»Pro curru, quo ex Mariae Consolatricis Monasterio ad probandam mušicam vectus est VP. Compositor Amandus Ivantschiz .... 1.30«); according to the second entry he received in 1758 a fee for some of his compositions (»Pro 5 lytaniis et uno Sacro Cantato a VP. Amando Ivantschiz compositis .... 20«), And this is all. Otherwise, another document from the Maria Trost monastery, from the year 1776, also mentions a certain friar Amandus, but not his surname, and so it is not clear whether this mention refers to the composer. On the list of monks in this monastery, from seven years later, he is not entered at all. The Croatian musicologist A. Vidakovic’s hypothesis that after the dissolution of the Maria Trost monastery during the Josephine reforms in 1786 Ivancic was for a period of time organist at the Graz Cathedral has no support in the original archival materials. It is unknown whether he worked elsewhere than in Styria. Numerous copies of his works existing in Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia certainly raise the question of his possible connections with these countries, yet so far no evidence that he ever lived there has been found, neither that he — as the Czech musicologist Th. Strakova believes — was even born there. No document, again, discloses his Christian name (the name Amandus was undoubtedly given to him, and subsequently used, when he had become a monk), neither it is known where and when he was born nor where and when he died. Conjecture only is possible in this matter. If we assume that in 1755, when an entry made by the Graz Jesuits first bring him out of obscurity enveloping his origin and youth, he was about thirty years old, then he must have been born sometime during the years 1720—25; and he died, if we take into consideration the documents from the Maria Trost monastery as well as the life expectancy at his time, possibly around 1780. The surname and a few rare places in his output coloured by either the Slovene or the Croatian folkloristic idiom permit the conclusion that he was of South Slavic extraction. The surname in question is to be found over a fairly wide territory, both in Croatia and in Slovenia (the most uniform area of people bearing the surname of Ivancic being here Styria and via the Novo mesto district and the surroundings of Ljubljana extending over to Primorsko /Slovene Littoral Area/), and for this reason the composer's national provenience cannot be more reliably determined until his place of birth is known.

Much more than about Ivancic's life is known about his compositional output. He was clearly a prolific composer much enjoyed in his time. According to evidence gathered so far he wrote about one hundred compositions, scattered in copies over a fairly vast area in Central Europe, mostly in Austria and Czechoslovakia, but also in Germa- ny, Hungary, in Belgium, and in Yugoslavia, here in Slovenia (Ljubljana, Novo mesto) and Croatia (Zagreb). Fifty places have so far been identified where his works are to be found, but this number significantly increases if we include also the provenience of his compositions currently kept in state archives, libraries and museums. Ivancic's sacral works include twenty Masses (the twenty-first, sometimes ascribed to him, may in fact not be his), twenty Litanies of the Blessed Virgin, seven short oratorios dedicated to the Saints of the Jesuit order Aloysius Gonza- ga, Ignatius Loyola, Franciscus Xaverius, the cantata »Gemitus Crucifixi Jesu Nazareni«, »Motetto de beata Virgine Maria«, and a few minor compositions. His non- religious music includes twenty-two symphonies, a dozenodd chamber works and two written for harpshicord. but the latter are questionable. All these works have been preserved in copies of instrumental and vocal parts in various churches and monasteries as well as in collections kept by aristocratic music lovers. No print of a composition by Ivancic is known, but a few of his chamber works are listed in the catalogues of two German publishers at his time, Breitkopf, known to have produced in his workshop manuscript copies famous for reliable version, beautiful form, and good paper (these copies were sold at four groschen for sheet), and Ringmacher.

Amandus Ivancic is a personality from the transitional period in the 18th century musical art, from the period in which the stylistic remnants of the Baroque were interwoven with the elements of the gallant and sensitive style, in broader terms, of the early Classicism. It appears that the most productive period of our composer extended between 1755 and 1770. Most of his works are undated, but even the reliability of years as given is relative as we have at disposal copies and not originals. The oldest among the dated compositions is Mass in C, from 1757, found in the Gotweig monastery. Most of the dated manuscripts, however, come from the period 1762—1772, Copies of some Litanies preserved in Bohemia and Slovakia were made still at the beginning of the 19th century and notes on two Masses discovered in the premonstratensian monastery at Strahov are proof that they were being performed throughout the first half of the 19th century. In the more recent period Ivancic is first mentioned in 1901 in Robert Eitner’s Quellen-Lexicon. True scholarly interest in his work started a few years before the second War, in Moravia, where Ivancic's compositions were studied by the musicologist Vladimir Helfert. Quite earlier on, in Slovenia, it was Stanko Premrl who first called attention to Ivancic; it was in a short note in Cerkveni glasbenik (1922) observing that »we may, with a considerable degree of probability if not with certitude, conclude that he was a native, a Slovene«.

The spelling of the composer’s name is in the 18th century manuscripts and in scholarly literature all but uniform. In the sources as many as forty variants are to be found, something certainly due to the different nationalities of the copyists who suited the spelling to their individual national orthography and also to their different education and sense of precision. By far the most frequent forms are Ivanschiz and Ivanschitz. Each of them comes up approximately fifty times. Rather more rare variants are Ivancsics, Ivanschütz and Ivanschicz. The number of spellings that occur once only is over thirty. In all these cases we have naturally to do with the same surname of South Slavic origin, derived from the male Christian name Ivan and used in Slovenia and Croatia; Ivancic, Ivancic. But if we consider the two forms ocurring in the original manuscripts from the 18th century most frequently, the composer's name should perhaps be spelled and pronounced to-day Ivansic or Ivanjsic. These are two variant spellings of the same origin, otherwise rather less common and found only in the north-eastern part of the Slovene Styria, in the Ptuj and Ljutomer region, but in this case more adequate. This again is but another hypothesis.

In comparison with his Symphonies, Masses and Litanies, the chamber works form a somewhat smaller part of Ivancic's compositional output. On record there are sixteen: two in C, two in D. one in E flat, three in F, four in G. two in A and two in B flat major (in several cases the copies of the same compositions differ in tonality, mostly tor a second). They are kept in the libraries and archives in Germany (Karlsruhe. München, Munster. Donaueschingen). Austria (Vienna. Lambach), Czechoslovakia (Prague, Zambcrk. Brno. Martin), and Hungary (Keszthely). In most cases these are not the places where they were originally kept. The richest in this respect are the Baden District Library in Karlsruhe and the University Library in Brno. In the first there are ten of the composer’s chamber works, originally from the musical collection of the Margraves of Baden, in the second four: these manuscripts used to be a part of the musical collection of the Counts of Waldstein at the Doksv Castle in North Bohemia, they were in recent time destroyed but have survived on microfilm. Some unpreserved and in part unidentified compositions are listed in the musical inventories of Princes Hohenzollern at Sigmaringen (1766). Princes Waldburg at Zeil (1767) and of the monasteries at Rajhrad (1771) and at Nova Rise (1825) in Moravia. A half of the composer's works of this genre are according to the evidence gathered so far preserved in only one copy, others have survived in more, even six copies. Altogether there are on evidence thirty-three manuscripts and a fragment of the thirty-fourth. Only two of them are dated: with the years 1762 and 1765. But indirectly the time of the origin of these works is to be inferred from the above-mentioned inventories and from the fact that seven of them are listed in the year 1767 by J. G. I. Breitkopf, the widely known publisher from Leipzig, in the Supplement II to his Catalogue, and two of them six years later by the Berlin publisher C. U. Ringmacher.

In the title pages Ivancic's chamber compositions are variously designated as »Sonata«. »Divertimento«, »Trio«, »Simfonia«, »Nocturno«, in inventories as »Parthia«. The same work is occasionally found under four different titles, nevertheless, these compositions are essentially of the same compositional genre. All of them are written »a tre« for two solo instruments and bass, thus belonging to the baroque genre of the trio sonata, which, however, is in a number of its compositional elements adapted to its time and thus shows besides the residues of Baroque also the early classicist features. In the cyclical construction it is the three-movement model that is well-nigh prevalent, a model exemplified by first three Sonatas in the present selection: first comes a movement in a slow or moderate tempo, designated Largo, Adagio, Andante or Andantino; this is followed by a Minuet with Trio; and finally comes an Allegro. The two movements at either end are in a sonata form. In the two trio sonatas with marked features of the sensitive style — the fourth and the fifth Sonatas in the present selection — the sequence of the last two movements in this model is reversed: Allegro comes as second, while the Minuet, each time without Trio, forms the concluding movement. The remaining sequences are constructed differently. The first of them comes close to the form of the composer’s three-movement symphonies (Affettuoso, Largo, Tempo di menuetto), the second[Page]displays a cyclical conception of Divertimento in five movements (Andante, Allegro, Menuet-Trio, Andante, Allegro), and the last — possibly the oldest of them all — is modelled after a four movement form of the baroque Sonata da chiesa and is variation thereof: the usual introductional Grave is replaced by Affettuoso and the traditional Gigue at the end by a Polonaise, while wholly written in the traditional spirit are the two movements in the middle — the second as fugai Allegro, the third as Siciliano in parallel minor. All the movements of the cycles are as a rule in the same key and this is one of the antique features of the composer’s chamber output.

The sonata form as used by Ivancic is a rudimentary early classical sonata form, either in three parts with complete recapitulation or in two parts with incomplete recapitulation. Musical ideas have a lapidary character, but the thematic contrast is sufficiently clearly brought out, even if there are instances of mono-thematic and occacionally also of poly-thematic movements, in which it is difficult to distinguish the primary from the secondary material. The second theme is frequently put in the dominant’s dominant and this might be a special characteristic of this composer. The least developed part of the form is the middle section; it should, however, be added that in some of his, most probably, later works Ivancic has also compa- ratively rich and with good thematic work constructed developments.

The combinations of instruments he uses vary but not significantly. The following are to be found: violin, viola and bass, flute, viola and bass, two violins and bas, two flutes and bass, flute, violin and bass. By far the most frequent is the first combination, the last three are rare, almost exceptional. What stands out is the fact that as the second solo instrument predominates the viola, thus no longer a soprano instrument but an instrument of the middle register. The lowest part, designated as »basso« or »violoncello«, exceptionally as »fondamento« is not figured in any manuscript and is also no longer a model of basso continuo; nevertheless, this part in all probability continued to be performed by means of a keyboard instrument. Amandus Ivancic's chamber compositions represent both with their style and instrumentation a transitional phase in the development of the baroque Sonata a tre into the classical chamber works: either into the trio for strings or into the piano quartet — depending on the fate of the keyboard instrument which played in these works together with violoncello the bass part.

Ivancic's compositional style is compact, mostly straightforward, in some particulars even unpolished. The most powerful element in his music is undoubtedly its melodics. Though marked by some mannerisms of the time it is nevertheless, both in quick and in slow movements, fresh and appealing. It reveals our composer as a lovable musical nature capable of arousing the listener’s interest to this very day.