Tugend und Untugend: German Music from the Time of Luther

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Ensemble Villanella


The century from 1450 to 1550 brings an awakening, anestablishment and a golden age of German music. The Fundamentum organisandi

by the Nuremberg organist

Conrad Paumann and the Buxheimer Orgelbuch areevidence of the German pioneering work in the field of keyboard music. Thenewly discovered polyphonic possibilities of the lute are explored by Germanmusicians and starting with Lied manuscripts such as the Lochamer Liederbuch

and the Glogauer Liederbuch, the Lied reaches new heights. Among theprincipal composers and innovators in the art of the Lied are Heinrich Isaac, PaulHofhaimer and Ludwig Senfl, while the development of printing soon led in Germanyto the introduction of music printing.


The Franco-Flemish composer Heinrich Isaac wasparticularly active in Italy and in Austria, where between 1497 and 1514 heheld the position of court composer to Maximilian I. From 1480 to 1492 heserved Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, where he was cathedral organist,thereafter moving to Innsbruck and then to Vienna in the imperial service. Hespent the last three years of his life in Florence, where he died in 1517. Oneof the most skilled and prolific composers of his time, he composed, in additionto large scale Masses and motets, songs and instrumental music. The song on whichthe five-part Carmen [1] is based has not been found, while the musicalone survives of the popular song In meinem Sinn [5,7,8]. Songs byIsaac included are Greiner, Zancker [ll], Mein Freud allein

[16), an instrumental prelude on Ich stund an einem Morgen [26], acontrapuntal piece on the notes La Mi La Sol (A-E-A-G) [30] and aversion of a song Las rauschen [35], the words of which, preserved in a quodlibetby Wolfgang Schmetzel from 1544, are about love-making in a field of clover.


Paul Hofhaimer was born in Radstadt in 1459 andestablished himself as an organist of international reputation, becomingorganist to Maximilian I in 1490 and from about 1520 to 1537 organist to thePrince-Archbishop of Salzburg. He was also distinguished as a teacher,numbering among his pupils Hans Kotter. The lyrical qualities of his music areevident in the examples of his work here included, Erst weis ich, was die Liebeist [6), Greiner, Zanner [14], Mein einigs A [31 and 32] and Zucht,Eer und Lob [33 and 34].


Another musician in the service of Maximilian I wasHeinrich Finck, who served in his time three Polish kings. From 1510 to 1513 hewas Kapellmeister to Duke Ulrich in Stuttgart, then court musician toMaximilian I in Augsburg. In 1520 he was appointed composer to the chapter ofthe Cathedral in Salzburg and in 1525 and 1526 was court Kapellmeister to theEmperor Ferdinand I in Vienna. He died in 1527. Famous for his liturgicalcompositions, he also won a reputation for his secular tenor songs, most often usinghis own melodies. These give evidence of the highest level of feeling formelody and contrapuntal skill. Greiner, Zanner [12] uses the song for aninstrumental piece and Gloria, laus et honor [23] derives aninstrumental composition from a tenor Gregorian theme, reflecting as in manyMass movement of this period, the rhythm of the basse-



The Flemish musician Arnold von Bruck, born, as his nametells us, in Bruges, was a pupil of Finck and from 1527 to 1546 was Kapellmeisterto Ferdinand I in Vienna, continuing earlier service of the Hapsburgs. Althoughordained priest in 1546, he wrote a quantity of music apparently for Protestantuse and was much respected by contemporaries for his songs. So trinken wir alle

[19] is an instrumental version of a drinking-song by Arnold von Bruck whilethe song Es ging ein Landsknecht uber Feld [36] includes in its text aninteresting list of plants with aphrodisiac qualities.


The great Flemish composer Jacob Obrecht, a native ofBerg-op-Zoom, with Josquin and Isaac a leading figure in the music of theperiod, worked in Cambrai, Bruges and Antwerp, dying in the service of theducal court of Ferrara in 1505. Immensely prolific, he wrote some 26 Masses, 32motets and 30 secular pieces, many of the latter possibly instrumental, sincethey lack texts. His instrumental Stat ein Meskin [2] is clearly based ona secular song.


The Swiss organist and composer Ludwig Senfl was born in ZUrichc. 1492, trained

as a chorister, and studied with Isaac in Constance,serving later as his assistant in Augsburg. He was appointed court chambercomposer to Maximilian 1, a position he held in succession to Isaac from 1514to 1519, and was subsequently active in Passau and at the Bavarian court in Munich.

A Catholic composer with some Protestant sympathies, he wrote a quantity ofmusic for the Catholic liturgy, Lutheran chorale variations and some 250superbly crafted and imaginative songs. It is largely on these last that hisfame rests. Will niemand singen [3], Ein Maidlein zue dem Brunnen ging

[4], Dort oben auf dem Berge [9], Nun wollt ihr horen neue Mar'

[15], Ich soll und muess einen Buehlen haben [17], Oho, so geb' derMann ein'n Pfennig [18], Es wollt' ein Maidlein Wasser hol'n [21], Eswollt' ein Frau zuem Weine gahn [22], Ich stuend an einem Morgen

[27] and Ich weiβ nicht, was er ihr verhieβ [38]exemplify Senfl's gifts as a song composer, with a four-part instrumentalversion of the last of these [37], an instrumental Lamentatio [24] on a tenorof liturgical derivation and an instrumental version of the song Albrecht mirsschwer [29].


Hofhaimer's pupil Hans Kotter, born in strasbourg inabout 1485, was organist at the Church of St Nicholas in Freiburg before aperiod of exile, in the religious disturbances of the day, brought him to Berneas a schoolmaster. His importance lies in particular in his book of tablature(1513-1522), which includes some 67 works by various composers, including Hofhaimer,Isaac and Josquin. In meinem Sinn [7] is a keyboard setting of the famousmelody, with a transcription of Hofhaimer's Min einigs A [32] and of hisZucht, Eer und Lob [33]. Leonhard Kleber apparently from Wurttemberg, apupil of Amolt schlick, the Heidelberg organist, was himself organist in Esslingerand subsequently in Pforzheim, where he died in 1556. In 1534 he published anorgan tablature book that includes 112 pieces by composers including Finck, Hofhaimer,Isaac, Josquin and 5enfl.

In meinem Sinn [5] is a keyboard version of thelost song of that name.


Other collections of music of the period are found in theGlogauer Liederbuch, a manuscript from about 1480 that includes sacred andsecular songs and a number of short instrumental pieces. The secular songs arecharacterized by an earthy and exuberant popular style, as in Zenner, Greyner

[10], the oldest of the songs here recorded, on a familiar theme.


Representative of a later generation, Nikolaus Ammerbach,organist for 35 years at the Thomaskirche in L
Disc: 1
Ich weiss nicht was er ihr verhiess
1 Carmen a 5
2 Stat ('tsaat) ein meskin
3 Will niemand singen
4 Ein Maidlein zue dem Brunnen ging
5 In meinem Sinn
6 Erst weis ich, was die Liebe ist
7 In meinem Sinn
8 In meinem Sinn
9 Dort oben auf dem Berge
10 Zenner greyner
11 Greiner zancker
12 Greiner Zanner
13 Die Megdlein sind von Flandern
14 Greiner Zanner
15 Nun wollt ihr horen neue Mar'
16 Mein Freud allein
17 Ich soll und muess ein'n Buehlen
18 Oho, so geb' der Mann
19 So trinken wir alle
20 Heth sold ein meisken garn om win
21 Es wollt ein Maidlein Wasser holn
22 Es wollt ein Frau zuem Weine gahn
23 Gloria laus
24 Lamentatio
25 Bicinium gerrmanicum
26 Ich stund an einem Morgen
27 Ich stuend an einem Morgen
28 Ich stuend an einem Morgen
29 Albrecht mirs schwer
30 La mi la sol
31 Min ainigs A
32 Mein einigs A
33 Zucht, eer und lob
34 Zucht, eer und lob
35 Las rauschen
36 Es ging ein Landsknecht uber Feld
37 Ich weiss nicht was er ihr verhiess
38 Ich weiss nicht was er ihr verhiess
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