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Music and musical culture in the Czech lands during the reign of Emperor Rudolf II: Rudolfine Prague Composers.

The final part of the series of essays devoted to the fascinating and bountiful musical culture that thrived in Bohemia during the reign of Emperor Rudolf II focuses on two composers who were not employed at the court yet played a significant role in the musical life of Prague and Bohemia at the end of the 1 6th century. The first of them is the cultivated and learned aristocrat Krystof Harant of Polzice and Bezdruzice, who brought to bear his extraordinary musical training, atypical for one of his social class. The second is the composer and musician Jacobus Handl Gallus, who spent the twilight years of his life in Prague and had printed there the bulk of his extensive oeuvre. The third article deals with a collection compiled by Rudolfine musicians and dedicated to the noted courtier Jacob Chimarrhaeus.

Christophorus Harant Baro de Polzicz et Bedzaruzicz et in Pecka, S. C. M. Consiliarius et Cubicularius, lover of the art of music (1564-1621)

Petr Danek

"Along with Your Grace's myriad of activities, you have not failed to pursue the art of literature, but also the art of music, particularly vocal and instrumental. And that you are an extraordinary lover of the art of music is evident from your compositions, which are much favoured, not only with the imperial orchestra here in Prague, but also at the courts of archdukes and princes across the empire." This high-flown statement was written in 1606 by the printer Jonatan Bohutsky in the foreword to the new edition of the Czech version of Georg Lauterbeck's popular political handbook Regentenbuch, titled Politia Historica, o Wrchnostech a Sprawcych Swetskych, Knihy Patery, so as to praise the breadth of interests and skills possessed by Krystof Harant, to whom the publication was dedicated.

Qui vult venire post me

Krystof Harant was an immensely intriguing figure of the Rudolfine era of Czech history. Renowned for the sheer variety of activities he pursued, he was fascinating to the public owing to his turbulent life, as well as its dramatic end, under the axe of the notorious Prague executioner Jan Mydlar. Harant was exceptional among his peers in Bohemia as a true Renaissance uomo universale. Of a knightly origin, in 1607, upon the recommendation of Emperor Rudolf II, he was ennobled. Born in Klenova, near Klatovy, as a son of the governor of the Plzen region and associate justice Jin Harant of Polzice, in 1576, at the age of 12, he was employed as a page at the court of Archduke Ferdinand of Tyrol in Innsbruck. The experience and knowledge he gained while serving there undoubtedly had an essential impact on his personality. Harant was a polyglot, an exceptionally educated and erudite man with an active relation to the arts, a single-minded person possessing a great physical form.


The most noteworthy events of his life include fighting in the war between the Habsburg Monarchy and the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 1590s; the pilgrimage to the Holy Land he made in 1598; converging with Emperor Rudolf II in Plzen in 1599 and serving at his court as a chamberlain from 1601; his being ennobled six years later; the publication of a travel book in 1608; his being a member of the Imperial Council under Emperor Matthias; and a varied career as a military commissioner, imperial councillor, president of the Bohemian Chamber and supreme commander of the artillery of Friedrich, King of Bohemia.

Missa quinis vocibus, super Dolorosi martir

Krystof Harant is also worthy of our attention owing to his penchant for music, as indicated in the introductory quotation of Jonatan Bohutsky, which he manifested not only in the common liking for the art, but also as a performer and composer. Regrettably, only a few complete pieces of Harant's have been preserved up to the present day. The University Library in Wroclaw maintains a convolute of manuscripts and prints, which includes the Missa quints vocibus, super Dolorosi martir, with its author being named as one Christoph: Harantis, Baro: a Polschitz. Two Harant motets were printed: the Qui confidunt in Domino, for six voices, as a supplement to his travelogue, and Maria Kron, for five voices, included in a collection of Marian compositions, published in 1604 in Dillingen. Other works of his--the wedding motet Dejz tobe Pan Buh stesti (God Bless You), to Czech lyrics, and the Latin motets Psallite Domino in cythara, Dies est laetitiae and Qui vult venire--have only been preserved in the version for one voice, in a manuscript of Prague provenience, which also contains unique pieces by other Rudolfine composers (Philippe de Monte, Charles Luython) and which today is deposited at the Czech Museum of Music. His complete works reveal Harant as a very competent, skilful composer, who in every respect surpassed all his Czech peers, and they meet the high standards of Europe's foremost late-Renaissance music creators. Although not a professional composer, Harant, a "knowledgeable dilettante", wrote some of the most valuable Czech Renaissance pieces.

Maria Kron, die Engel schon thun dich gar herrlich preisen

How, then, did it come to pass that Harant was able to compose? The answer to this question should be sought in the time of his adolescence, which he spent in Innsbruck (he was there for eight years!). While serving as a page, like the other teenagers, he received a universal education, encompassing the rudiments of literature and music. At the court at Schloss Ambras, he had the opportunity to encounter a number of outstanding musicians, who worked for Archduke Ferdinand II of Tyrol's orchestra. The Hofkapelle was headed by Wilhelm Bruneau, the post of preceptor was held by Gerard van Roo, and the boys were taught by Alexander Utendal, who was succeeded by Jacobus Regnart. The Ambras court, however, was also visited by other artists, among them the Rudolfine composers whom Harant would later on, in his adulthood, get to know in Prague (Franz Sale, Philipp Lang, Bonaventura Lefebure). There is no doubt that the Ambras palace in Innsbruck, affording plenty of inspiration, served to bring Harant's innate talent out to the full.

Qui confidunt in Domino, sicut mons Sion

In reference to 1608, Mikulas Dacicky of Heslov, an attentive observer of society in Bohemia prior to the Battle of White Mountain and the author of engrossing memoirs, noted: "Mr. Krystof Harant published a book printed in Czech about his travels to the Holy Land, which he inscribed and dedicated to His Grace Emperor Rudolf." That year, the Prague-based printing shop owned by the heirs of Daniel Adam of Veleslavin issued a travelogue that captured the attention of the general public. It was written by Krystof Harant, who described in it his journey to Judea and Egypt, made in 1598.

The travel book is divided into two parts, which give a chronological account of that which Harant and his companion, Herman Cernin of Chudenice, experienced on their long journey, with the places they had visited being described at relative length. In the spirit of Renaissance humanism, the text contains quotations of Ancient and contemporary figures, which served to bear witness to the author's extensive knowledge and culture. The narration is illustrated by wood-engravings, created by Jan Willenberg according to Harant's drawings. The first part provides an account of the pilgrimage from Bohemia to Jerusalem, which Harant and Cernin started "on the morning of Thursday, the 3rd day of April in 1598. During the initial section of the passage, from Bohemia to Venice, made on horseback, they visited a number of places in Bavaria, Austria and northern Italy. In Venice, they boarded a ship, and sailed across the Mediterranean, stopping in Crete and Cyprus. On 31 August, "following some difficulties at sea", they reached the Holy Land, arriving in Jerusalem on 3 September. Led by sincere piety, they visited "all the holy places, both in the city itself and in its environs, as far as Jericho and the river Jordan". In addition to describing the holy sites, Harant, a true Renaissance Man, also recounts entirely "secular" episodes, many of them revealing his affection for sports. One of the trips to the Jordan is depicted as follows: "At the time we were there, the water was low, yet it was still deep, as, after swimming across it six times, when I dived in the middle I could not reach the bottom." The first part concludes with the composition Qui confidunt in Domino, for six voices, written by Harant in Jerusalem "to the text of Psalm 124, which particularly clung to my mind at the time".


The book's second part gives a vivid account of the journey to Egypt and "further on, to the desolate Arabia ... to the Mount of Sinai, Oreb and Saint Catherine." When returning from the mountain, Harant and Cernin found themselves in a life-threatening situation, as they were assaulted by "eight-strong fellows with Arab spears, longbows and Turkish knives". By some miracle, they survived, even though they were robbed of everything, left "without a fibre on my body", as Harant recalled in the book. They returned to Europe on a ship, which set sail from Alexandria on 12 November, and at the end of 1598 they arrived in Venice.

Psalite domino in cythara et voce psalmi

Harant's travel book is furnished with ample illustrations, two of them truly exceptional. As has been mentioned above, at the end of the first part, on pages 400-405, there is a print of the motet Qui conjidunt in Domino, inspired by his stay in Jerusalem. The book's frontispiece features a very good portrait, a copperplate, created by the imperial engraver Aegidius Sadeler and showing Harant at approximately the age of 40, stylised as a soldier with a Spanish neckband and armature. The perimeter of the portrait bears the inscription CHRISTOPHORVS HARANT BARO DE POLZICZ ET BEZDRUZICZ ET IN PECKA, S. C. M. CONSILIARIUS ET CVBICVLARIVS. Placed under the picture is Harant's credo, represented by a combination of Latin words and music in a white mensural notation: Virtus ut sol mi-cat (Virtue shines like the sun), with an added denomination of the portrait's creator: S.C.M. Sculptor AEg. Sadder ad vivum delineavit.

Sadeler's picture served as the model for a number of other images of Harant: the German edition of his travelogue, published in 1678 in Nuremberg by Moritz Endter, under the title Der Christliche Ulysses, contains the original's mirror copy, conceived by Joachim von Sandrart d. A., who in 1615 was Sadeler's pupil in Prague. In the 1770s, Jan Jiri Balzer created a portrait of Harant for Frantisek Martin Pelcl's noted publication Abbildungen bohmiscker und mahrischer Gelehrten und Kiinstler, presenting major Czech historical figures. In the 19th century, a singular portrait of Harant was supplied by Karel Rybicka for a re-edition of the Journey from Bohemia to the Holy Land, prepared for printing in 1854 by Karel Jaromfr Erben.


Dies est laetitiae in ortu regali

Throughout his adult life, Harant evaluated the stimuli he received at the time of his adolescence, spent at the court of his art-loving master Ferdinand II of Tyrol in Innsbruck. He was linked with the House of Habsburg in several other ways too. In the 1790s, just after his return from the Holy Land, Harant won the favour of Emperor Rudolf II and was appointed chamberlain at his court in Prague. Following Rudolf s death, and the imperial seat's relocation to Vienna, he was assigned with occasional tasks. In 1615, on the Emperor's behalf, he made a trip to Spain on a diplomatic mission, so as to hand over the Order of the Golden Fleece, which was held by Rudolf (he did not give a written account of this journey). Nevertheless, in the years to come, fate would have it that Harant would join the forces adversary to the Flabsburgs: no later than in April 1619, he converted to Protestantism and fought on the side of the Bohemian Estates against the Catholics. After the uprising had been defeated, Harant was arrested and interrogated. He was found guilty and condemned to death. His property was confiscated too.


May God bless your pious resolve

On 21 June 1621, aged 57, Krystof Harant was beheaded in the Old Town Square in Prague, along with another 26 Czech noblemen who were executed in punishment for their participation in the anti-Habsburg insurrection. The prosecution charged Harant with having been the supreme artillery commander of the Estates Army and assuming the post of president of the Bohemian Chamber during the reign of Friedrich, King of Bohemia. On his final journey, he was accompanied by an old friend of his, with whom he had made the pilgrimage to the Holy Land: Herman Cernin of Chudenice. As an ardent Catholic and adherent to the Habsburg dynasty, however, Cernin, an imperial governor of Prague's Old Town, watched the execution from a nearby tribune.

Jacobus Handl Gallus vocatus, Carniolus, cantor, musicus egregius et praestantissimus (3 July 1550 - 18 July 1591, Prague)

Petr Danek

Ad lectorem

"In the year of Our Lord 1591, on Wednesday, the eve of the Feast of Saint fames, the music and books left after Jacobus Handl, the former cantor at the Church of Saint John on the Bank, were made a list of, in the presence of Jiri Handl, the brother of Jacobus, by Tomas Folchman, Jan Suman and Pavel Pihavy, the town clerk." With this sentence commences the record of the inventory of the books left in the personal effects of the composer, cantor and musician Jacobus Handl Gallus, which was drawn up shortly after his death, at the age of 41, on 18 July 1591 in Prague. The record is included in the town chronicle, today maintained at the City of Prague Archives. Handl spent in the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia the final six years of his life, filled with diligent and strenuous work, which in all likelihood resulted in his total exhaustion. During his time in Prague, Jin Nigrin published the bulk of his ample and remarkable oeuvre in exquisite and typographically notable prints.

Ad authorem

Jacobus Handl also had Nigrin print his extensive collection of motets titled Opus musicum. The fourth volume features a wood-engraving by an anonymous creator, capturing the composer's authentic semblance. The information stated next to the portrait cites his full name: IACOBVS HANDL GALLVS DICTVS CARNIOLVS, his age: AETATIS SV/E XL, and the year in which the picture was made: ANNO: M.D.XC. This brief data reveals a lot. The Latin attribute Camiolus makes it evident that he hailed from the Duchy of Krain (Krajnska / Carniola), which at the time of his birth was part of the hereditary lands belonging to the Habsburgs and today lies in Slovenia. His age in the year of the portrait's creation suggests that Handl was born in 1550. The Christian name Jacobus leads the contemporary researcher to the assumption that he was most probably born on 25 July, the day dedicated to Saint James. And when it comes to the surname Handl, also written as Handl, it was most likely derived from the original denomination of his family's profession (Handel = tradesman), while the nickname Gallus dictus (said Cockerel) indicates, in an exaggerated manner, the nature of his voice. Earlier, mainly Slovenian, musicologists had worked with the hypothesis that the surname is the German variant (a diminutive) of his family name (Petelin = cockerel), with Gallus only being its Latin version. Yet both interpretations are mere conjectures, which have not been clearly backed by period sources.

Ad cantorem modulorum Handelii

Similarly undocumented is Handl's origin, childhood and initial general and musical training. The foreword to the second volume of Opus musicum contains a note claiming that he served in Austrian and Moravian monasteries, which gave rise to the legend that he gained his education at the Cistercian Sticna Monastery in the town of Visnja Gora, in today's Slovenia. Another unsubstantiated myth pertains to his supposed subsequent employment at the Imperial Court in Vienna. Perhaps the first solid evidence of Handl's whereabouts relates to the Benedictine Melk Monastery, on the banks of the Danube in the Lower Austria. The fourth book of his masses, Selectiores quaedam missae, published in 1580, was dedicated to Johann Rueff (1520-1599), who was later on the abbot at the Cistercian Monastery in Zwettl. In the dedication, Handl recalls the time they spent together, a reference that has been generally assigned to the early 1570s, when Rueff was serving as capitulary at the Melk Monastery. Sometime in the middle of 1570s, Handl moved to the Premonstrate Monastery in Zabrdovice, near Brno, Moravia, whose abbot, Kaspar Schonauer (d. 1589) is mentioned in 1580 in the dedication of his third book of masses. At the end of 1579, or the beginning of the next year, Handl arrived in Olomouc and entered the services of Bishop Stanislav Pavlovsky (d. 1598), a noted political and clerical figure and patron of arts. While in Olomouc, Handl worked as Kapellmeister and, together with the bishop's court, also often travelled to Kromefiz, the other episcopate, and to Silesia and Poland as well. Handl also dedicated to his employer, to whom he referred as "Domino ... clementissimo", his very first music print, the motet for seven voices Undique flammatis Olomucum sedibus arsit (Prague, 1579). No later than 1586, he moved to Prague, where he stayed until his death, serving as a cantor at the small Church of Saint John on the Bank, which has not been preserved. In the 19th century, the church underwent various reconstructions and nothing has remained of it but suggestions of a few walls, which have become part of the building of the Na zabradli theatre. The church's structure is most tangible on Johann Wechter's veduta, made in 1606 according to Filip van den Bosch's design. Handl's tenure on that site is now only commemorated by a plaque bearing the inscription JACOBUS GALLUS CARXIOLUS HOC LOCO CANTOR MDLXXXVIMDXC, which in the anniversary year of his death (1991) was fixed on house No. 209 on Anenske square in Prague's Old Town.


Ad musicum

It would seem that Jacobus Handl moved to Prague for personal reasons, as the post he assumed in the imperial seat provided him with a lower level of material security. Besides working as a cantor and collaborating with the local literary brotherhoods and humanists, he oversaw the publication of his own music at one of Prague's most prominent printing offices, owned by Jin Nigrin, alias Georg Nigrinus, of Nigropont. In all likelihood, Handl's younger brother Jin, who has been mentioned above, worked at the shop. Owing to their joint efforts, Nigrin's publishing house, which in the years to come would also specialise in printing music (see CMQ 20i5/3), produced several notable collections of Jacobus Handl's compositions.

Selections quaedam missae, pro ecclesia dei non inutilles is a collection of polyphonic Ordinaries of the mass for four to eight voices, which was issued at Jin Nigrin's printing office in 1580. Its four volumes, published successively, contain 16 masses for various vocal groups. The first part includes the Super Undique jlammatis mass for seven voices, and three parody masses for eight voices. The second encompasses four masses for six voices, the third features four masses for five voices, and the final volume presents four masses for four voices. All of them are parody masses, based on motets, songs (including folk songs) and chansons, created by composers of a variety of proveniences and generations (Christian Hollander, Philippe Verdelot, Jacobus Clemens non Papa, Jacques de Wert, Orlando di Lasso, Jobst Brandt, Thomas Crequillon, and Jacobus Handl himself). Exceptional among them are the Missa super Mixolydium, drawing upon Handl's own invention and only respecting the Mixolydian mode, and the Missa canonica, which could be performed either by four voices or in the version for eight voices and two choirs.


Opus musicum, harmoniarum quatuor, quinque, sex, octo et plurium vocum, quae ex sancto catholicae ecclesiae usuita sunt dispositae is the title of four volumes of Latin motets, containing 374 compositions for the whole year. The expansive collection of pieces for four to 24 voices, published at Nigrin's printing office between 1586 and 1590, is structured by periods of the ecclesiastic year. With a few exceptions, it is based on the Roman breviary: the first three books cover the time from Advent to the period after Pentecost, while the fourth volume is pars de Sanctis, dedicated to the particular saints. Besides motets, the collection also comprises polyphonic passion plays and lamentations. The first book is dedicated to the Archbishop of Prague, Martin Medek (1538-1590), the Bishop of Olomouc, Stanislav Pavlovsky, and the Bishop of Wroclaw, Ondrej Jerin (1541-1596). The second volume is actually dedicated to all Catholic dignitaries (abbatibvs, praepositis, caeterisqve ecclesiasticis viris ...), the third to the members of the wealthy bourgeoisie (amplissimis consulibus, senatoribus, patritiis, civibus mecoenatibus ...), while the fourth volume is inscribed to the abbot of the Zabrdovice Monastery, Ambrosius of Tele (d. 1597).

Harmoniae morales, quibus heroica, facetiae, naturalia, quotlibetica, turnfactafictaque poetica, & c. admixta sunt is a collection that was printed by Jiff Nigrin in 1589 and 1590. It features 53 settings for four voices of Latin texts written by a number of authors whose works were among the pillars of humanist education (Virgil, Ovid, Petrus Hispanus, Maximianus, etc.) and texts compiled in a variety of the then popular anthologies of poems or proverbs (Carmina proverbalia, Anthologia latina, Proverbia dicteria) in the madrigal style. In the preface, Handl explains his selection as follows: "I have been constantly approached by friends, asking me to devote to something entertaining now and then! They call on me, appeal to me to descend from church lofts to the streets, from sacred and serious songs to jocose home parties and feasts ... Instead of using the term madrigals, I call this more cheerful musical genre moralia ..., as they in part deal with the paramount questions of virtue and morality, and are utterly at variance with any type of obscenities." That is why the composer dedicated the entire collection to his friends (Jacobus Handl suis musicaeque amicis).

Moralia ... quinque, sex et octo vocibus concinnata was only published five years after Handl's death (1596), in Nuremberg by Alexander Theodoricus. The collection's edition was undertaken by the composer's brother Jin, who dedicated it to the Senate of Prague's Old Town (Amplissimo celeberrimoque veteris Pragae senatui). The introductory poem (Ad cantorem modulorum Handelii) was penned by Jin Karolides of Karlsperk, a distinguished Prague poet and occasional composer. The collection includes 47 madrigal-type pieces for five to eight voices, which conceptually link up to the previous collection, Harmoniae morales. In the foreword, the editor, Jin Handl, explains: "... soon after he [Jacobus] had published some of his moralia ... his friends, cultivated men, began sending him from various places numerous astute and witty maxims, and both serious and jocose deliberations, asking him to set them to music in the same manner he had the previous ones ..."


Instructio ad musicos

Jacobus Handl's oeuvre is extensive, singular and highly remarkable. The works that have been preserved are of a variety of genres and types, as well as styles. Handl possessed an extraordinary melodic invention, and was highly resourceful as regards rhythm and metre. Out of principle, he exclusively used Latin, which he deemed the queen of languages (Linquarum Regina). He repeatedly took up the art of Dutch counterpoint, yet in many of his works he embraced the modern polychoral style, influenced by Adrian Willaert and the Venetian tradition. Evident too is that he was very familiar with the Italian music of the second half of the 16th century. Handl's was already tonal music. When is comes to modality, he mainly brought it to bear to enhance the melodic-harmonic peculiarities of some of his pieces. Where appropriate, he was also able to compose a work exemplarily chromatic (Mirabile mysterium) in the style of Cipriano de Rore. Handl's pieces are extremely good to sing, and none of them can be considered routine or mediocre. A number of his opuses have only been preserved in manuscripts, while the frequency of their occurrence in Silesian, Polish, Slovak, Czech, Hungarian and German sources is comparable to that of Orlando di Lasso's works. During his lifetime, many of Handl's pieces were subject to interesting, and undoubtedly unauthorised, intavolations for keyboard instruments. Plenty of printed and manuscript sources of his works have been preserved in Bohemia, including the complete edition of Opus musicum, maintained at the National Museum Library in Prague.

Summa privilegii caesareai

Handl's biographers have often speculated about his relationship to the Imperial Court. Although he evidently never actually served at it, there is clear proof indicating that he was known and respected in courtly circles. The fourth volume of the Opus musicum collection is furnished with the imperial privilege dating from 1588, by which the Imperial Office prohibited further, illegal, re-printing of its pieces, while all the three volumes of Harmoniae morales refer to the privilege (Cum gratia etprivilegio S.C.M.). Of significance too is that Handl's motet Chimarhaee, tibi io was included in the collection Odae suavissime in gratiam D. Iacobi Chimarrhaei, which major imperial composers and composers close to the Imperial Court (e.g. Krystof Harant) dedicated to the court chaplain and influential elemosinario Jacobi Chimarrhaei.


In tumulum Iacobi Handelii Carnioli

Jacobus Handl was buried in the cemetery next to the Church of Saint John on the Bank. His death is commemorated by a sheet preserved at the library of the Strahov Monastery in Prague (In tumulum Iacobi Handelii Carnioli--On the death of J. H. C.), issued on this occasion by the leading Prague humanist poets centred around the University and the School of Saint Henry: Jan Khernerus Plzensky, Jan Mathiolus Vodnansky and Jan Sequenides Cemovicky. The print contains panegyric poems in the form of the fashionable elegiac couplets, lauding Jacobus Handl as an "immortal singer, whose image should be carved in marble by Phoebus himself' (Ipse tibi cupiat vultus da marmore Phoebus...). After his death, Handl's music continued to be widely performed. Selected pieces would become part of the repertoire of literary brotherhoods and churches even over the next centuries, while some, such as the version for four voices of the responsoty Ecce quomodo moritur iustus, have survived until the present day.

One of the reasons is their being clearly Catholic. The fate of Handl's music is thus similar to that of Palestrina's works.

Odae Suavissimae in Gratiam et Honorem Admodum Reverendi ac Illustri Domino D. Iacobi Chimarrhaei Ruremundani S. C. M. supremi Eleemosynarii--a Rudolfine collection of panegyric motets

Petra Jakoubkova

The collection of panegyric motets Odae Suavissimae was conceived to express reverence for Jacob Chimarrhaeus, the almoner (elemosinario) at the court of Rudolf II in Prague. It contains 29 motets for six voices and five motets for five voices, composed by 24 musicians, the majority of whom served in the Imperial Hofkapelle or were somehow connected with the court. The collections included pieces by such illustrious composers as Philippe de Monte, Charles Luython, Franz Sale, Jacob Regnart, Camillo Zanotti, Jacobus Handl Callus, Rudolphus de Lasso, Hans Leo Hassler, Philippus Schoendorff, Liberale Zanchi, Lucas Zigotta, Alessandro Orologio, Mathias de Sayve, Stefano Felis, and others. Most of them are represented in the collection by a single composition, some of them by two, while Charles Luython and Philippe de Monte have three motets featured each. The compilation was made by Philippus Schoendorff, a pupil of Chimarrhaeus. Besides contributing two motets of his own, he also penned the Latin dedication in the introduction. Unfortunately, the publication has not been preserved in its entirety. Three partbooks (altus, bassus, quintus) are maintained at a library in Regensburg, the partbook for tenor is deposited in Wolfenbiittel, whereas two books have been lost. When it comes to the circumstances of the print's origin, there are plenty of unknowns. The collection lacks the year of printing, as it does the impressum, specifying the workshop at which it was made; nor do we know why precisely the collection was compiled. As regards the dating, serving as a certain clue in this respect is the portrait of Chimarrhaeus in the tenor book. The copperplate, created by Egidius Sadeler, the engraver at the Imperial Court in Prague, is dated 1601. Yet the year 1601 is the date of the making of the portrait and does not necessarily mean the year in which the collection was printed, as the standard practice during the Renaissance period was to enclose in the print already existing effigies. Nonetheless, owing to the portrait's assignation, it is possible to determine the lower limit of the time when the print was produced. Accordingly, the collection could not have been printed before 1601. What is more, the portrait also reveals that at the time of its making Chimmarrhaeus was 59 years of age. On the basis of this fact, the German musicologist Klaus Niemoller has posited that the collection was probably intended to mark Chimarrhaeus's 60th birthday, and hence he believes that it was printed in 1602. Although merely a theory, as the print does not provide any information indicating that it had actually been made for this purpose, this explanation appears to be plausible.

Unanswered until recently was the question of which printing shop actually published the collection, since none of the preserved partbooks bears the impressum. Yet when the typographical equipment used is analysed, the print is clearly commensurate to the Prague workshop owned by Jin Nigrin of Nigropont, who used two different styles of typeface for printing music. The first of them was part of his workshop's inventory, which Nigrin acquired after his marriage in 1571; he himself purchased the other for the thriving establishment in approximately 1586. Up until his death, Nigrin solely used the newer type for polyphonic music prints. And the second set is identical with the types applied in the typography of Odae Suavissimae. They are consistent with Nigrin's material in all musical symbols, from accidentals, custodes to notes. Particular attention should be paid to the fusas, notes with flags, which appear in the print in two variants. For each fusa at a certain pitch, there are two types of symbols, which differ from each other in the placement of the flag in the stave and its shape, which was also typical of Jin Nigrin's office, specifically of his later prints dating from around 1600 (it can be found in Luython's Selectissimarum sacrarum, 1603; and in Opus musicum, 1604). Similarly, the symbol for the mensura tempusperfectum diminutum, as printed in Odae Suavissimae, corresponds to Nigrin's prints dating from around 1600. In these cases, the mensura appears in the stave between the first and third spaces from the bottom of the stave (again in Selectissimarum sacrarum), whereas in his earlier prints it only occurs in the version shifted a space up. Similarly, all the wood-block initials used in Odae Suavissimae as decoration at the beginning of each of the compositions are consistent with the equipment of Nigrin's workshop. The pattern of the initials too matches that of his shop applied after 1600. In terms of the initials used, Nigrin's prints dating from that time are far more uniform than the older prints, as in the prints made circa 1600 Nigrin generally included within a single print mainly initials from one set (only sporadically supplemented with letters from other sets of initials), which afforded the print a more integrated look. In the previous three decades Nigrin had decorated his prints with a variety of initials --up to nine types within a single print. Analysis of the print's typography has led to the conclusion that the collection Odae Suavissimae was indeed published in Prague at Nigrin's office, yet it has also supported Niemoller's assumption of its dating, as in terms of typography the print corresponds to the period around 1600. Exclusively on the basis of the typographical material, the lower limit has been demarcated by the years 1598, when Nigrin procured one of the initials used, and 1606, the year of his death, following which the workshop ceased to produce polyphonic prints.



Another remarkable facet of the collection Odae Suavissimae is a richly ornamented front-page. Unlike the other parts, made in the then common printing from a setting, the more exacting copper-engraving technique was applied. At the end of the 16th century, copper-engraving was very rare in Bohemia and, as far as we know, the very first copperplate front-page occurred in the case of the prints from Nigrin's office Empresas morales (1581), Typotius's Symbola divina (1601) and Symbola varia (1602). The upper part of the front-page features an engraving of a canon with the text Domat omnia virtus. The actual Latin texts of the motets directly relate to Chimarrhaeus or contain the text of the canon, which seems to have been Chimarrhaeus's motto. Whether the canon's music too was used in the compositions has to date not been confirmed, yet it has been ruled out in the case of the motets for five voices (by the musicologist Jana Bajerova). Even though the pieces' texts were closely linked to Chimarrhaeus, they were not directly composed for Odae Suavissimae. The texts of 17 of the total number of 34 motets were taken over from the collection Carmen Gratulatorium, as has been observed by the musicologist Michael Silies. Carmen Gratulatorium came into being in 1595, on the occasion of Chimarrhaeus's visit to Cologne.

The series of musicological articles devoted to the music in Bohemia during the reign of Emperor Rudolf II of the House of Habsburg, published in CMQ 3-4/2015 and 1-2/2016, was the fruit of collaboration with the Musica Rudolphina research centre (CMQ_2/2014, pp. 23-29,
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Title Annotation:history
Author:Danek, Petr; Jakoubkova, Petra
Publication:Czech Music
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:4EXCZ
Date:Apr 1, 2016
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