Despite recent change, there is still a lot of unexplored source material and there are still major gaps in research into 19th century music culture. This project carries out a scientifically based, interdisciplinary and exhaustive study of one 19th century musical work in all its facets. It concentrates on De Oorlog (1873), an oratorio by Peter Benoit (1834-1901) on text by Jan Van Beers (1821-1888). To date, this monumental work has never been thoroughly studied, although De Oorlog is considered Benoit's magnum opus and a milestone in Flemish music history. Following the example of recent foreign examples (Danuser & Zimmerman 2013), the present project aims at an exhaustive study of the oratorio.
This project wants to shed light on the following central research question: is De Oorlog indeed a milestone in Flemish music history, and if so, how does the oratorio perform this function, in the nineteenth-century context of creation and in a contemporary performance? It aspires a scientific added value, as well as a social and artistic relevance. During the process articles will be published in magazines and newsletters; the written end products are a collection of articles (in book form) and a scientifically justified score edition. Ten Oorlog! will culminate in the performance of De Oorlog by deFilharmonie in 2018, in combination with a study day and a book and score performance.