Session 14 (Themed Papers): Mapping the motet in German-speaking regions, 1500-1550 (I) – Sources

Tuesday, 6 July 2021, 11.00-13.00, Room 209 | Chair: Fabrice Fitch (University of Edinburgh)

Session Abstract

Decisive changes in motet composition around 1500 have been variously discussed in regard to Franco-Flemish composers, but the development of the genre in German-speaking regions and contributions of composers working in them have long been neglected. Although anthologies issued by German printers were instrumental in “internationalizing” Franco-Flemish repertoire, works by German-speaking composers in these sources are often disregarded as phenomena of limited regional interest. Therefore, compositional change in “German” motet production itself and its convergence with international trends remain little understood.

The proposed panel thus aims to chart new directions in motet research. In order to pave the way for a new understanding of the genre in a pan-European context, and to reassess the motet œuvre of the most prominent composer in German- speaking lands, Ludwig Senfl, scholars will investigate the style, transmission, and propagation of the music of German-speaking composers.

The panel consists of two sessions: to provide new insights into the production and dissemination of motets, the first session addresses the impact of sources (such as print anthologies, manuscript collections, and tablatures) from the middle of the sixteenth century in Central Germany as well as in the Czech and Slovak lands.

“A carefully selected bouquet” – German composers in early motet anthologies | Elisabeth Giselbrecht (King’s College London)

Between 1537 and 1540 more than ten motet anthologies were printed in German-speaking lands, while only one such publication had appeared there in the three preceding decades. Voluminous (with up to fifty pieces by many different composers) and often deliberately cross-confessional, these early motet anthologies were the first books in which German composers got their motets published. On the example of a few selected anthologies this paper will analyse how their emergence changed and influenced the dissemination—and potentially production—of motets by German composers around 1540.

Once again: D-Z 81/2 –Thoughts and observations on motets in manuscripts from Central Germany | Stefan Gasch (University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna)

The partbook set D-Z 81/2 must be counted as one of the most important manuscripts for the musical oeuvre of Ludwig Senfl in Central Germany. The manuscript, however, also provides a broad repertoire of motets by other composers who were active in German-speaking regions at the time. As the source belongs to a group of several music manuscripts which share the same scribe and content, the paper will investigate in the motet repertoire of these little-known sources. This will be a first step towards a better understanding of how and why certain motets circulated in Central Germany.

Motet in the tablatures 1500–1550 | Kateryna Schöning (University of Vienna)

This research area has not been elaborated, so the main topics, methods and questions will be presented for discussion. The central question is the reception of motet templates and the function of motet intabulations in this period. Essential is the choice of repertoire, the kind of templates, the adoption of Flemish or the establishment of own traditions. Furthermore, different approaches to the genre are revealed in the prints and in the manuscripts: representation is contrasted with practical processing and flexible handling of the genre. It will be indicated on examples from the tablatures of Hans Newsidler and Leonhard Kleber.

Old music, new places: Heinrich Finck’s sacred works in the Czech and Slovak lands | Alanna Ropchock Tierno (Shenandoah University)

Like other composers of his generation, Henrich Finck received posthumous Lutheran attention, as motets and masses by Finck appear in at least 26 sources intended for use in Lutheran churches and schools. While many of these sources are Germanic, over two dozen Finck compositions survive in sources from Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia. This paper addresses the impact of Czech and Slovak sources on our current understanding of Finck, exchanges between the Germanic and western Slavic regions, and Finck’s sacred music within the unique confessional climate of the Czech lands with the presence of Hussite factions along with Catholics and Lutherans.