Music in the City of Augsburg between Reformation and Counter-Reformation (Juli 2012)

Das Symposium im Rahmen der Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference 2012 in Nottingham beschäftigte sich mir dem Reichsstädtischen Musikleben in Augsburg in der Reformationszeit. Hier finden Sie das Programm der MedRen in Nottingham. Die folgenden Abstracts geben einen ersten Überblick über die gehaltenen Vorträge.

Jacob Fugger the Rich and the Invention of Music; Franz Körndle (Universität Augsburg)

In 1512 the Augsburg merchant Jacob Fugger made a contract with the Carmelitian monastery of Saint Anna to build a new chapel at the western end of the gothic church. The new organ surrounding the big window was finished c. 1516-17. The paintings on the wings of the Rückpositiv show the famous story of the invention and perpetuation of music according to the bible (Genesis 4) and the writings of Flavius Josephus. This well-known story seems to be completely enigmatic as a topic for the wings of an early Renaissance organ and is nowhere else to be found on an organ. My paper seeks to explain why this subject was chosen for the decoration of this instrument, and presents a completely new interpretation of the concept of Jacob Fugger’s chapel.

A Musical Admonition for Unity? Ludwig Senfl‘s Motet „Ecce quam bonum“ at the Diet of Augsburg 1530; Moritz Kelber (Universität Augsburg)

Up to now, a short remark in Johann Mathesius’ book on Martin Luther (1566) was the only evidence for localising Senfl‘s famous psalm motet „Ecce quam bonum“ on the diet of Augsburg in 1530. Mathesius’ report is now supported by two liturgical books from Augsburg. These ordosprovide new clues about a performance during the entry of emperor Charles V into the city of Augsburg. By linking these informations to the reports in the Augsburgian chronicles, we further can definethe place and occasion in question. The performance of the motet, which is preserved in the Munich choirbook Mus. ms. 10, during the imperial adventus provokes new questions concerning Senfl’s arrangement of this choirbook, the performing musicians and the political implications. This paper seeks to show the role of music within the adventus ceremonial at the 1530 diet.

From Pilgrim’s Song to Panegyric: An Eight-Voice Fuga by Ulrich Brätel; Katelijne Schiltz (Universität Regensburg)

An eight-voice fuga by the German composer Ulrich Brätel exists in two different versions. Originally, it seems to have been conceived as a pilgrim’s song with the text In Gottes Namen fahren wir. The date 19 May 1542 that is mentioned in the work’s unique source can be linked with a concrete historical event. On that day, a county council was held in the town of Zerbst under the direction of Prince-Elector Joachim II of Brandenburg to discuss the Turkish expansion. Some years later, the piece was reworked for another occasion: in 1548, it appears as a lavish broadside (with three concentric circles surrounded by hunting scenes), which Sigmund Salminger dedicated to the five sons of Raymund Fugger. But a couple of remarkable changes were made: not only was the text changed into Ecce quam bonum, but the music itself also underwent some reworking. It now starts as a four-voice fuga that is accompanied by four other voices, who—after having finished their line—gradually develop towards an eight-voice fuga. In my paper, I will investigate the reasons for these changes, discuss the intimate link between music, text and image in the broadside of 1548 and link its conception with the Diet of Augsburg in the same year.

Melchior Newsidler and the Organization of Music Groups in Late Renaissance Augsburg; Erich Tremmel (Universität Augsburg)

Melchior Newsidler (1531-1591), eldest son of the famous Hans Neusidler from Nuremberg, came to Augsburg in 1552, where he gained a leading position by the organisation of the so-called “Stille Musick”. This paper will present new material of Newsidler’s connections not only to the Augsburg nobility but also as a travelling lute virtuoso. Furthermore, the documents bring to light new information concerning the background of the Stadtpfeiferstreit (town musicians quarrel) in late 1555.

The Motetta, sex vocum, typis nondum uspiam excusa of Orlando di Lasso (1582) between Counter-Reformation and Reform-ation; Bernhold Schmid (Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften)

Lasso’s motet book Motetta sex vocum, typis nondum uspiam excusa was dedicated in 1582 to Jacob Fugger the younger, and was most likely presented at the diet held in Augsburg in the same year. Some of the motets in this collection show interesting links with Augsburg. Some of the pieces seem to be connected with the Jesuits. Two of the motets appear later in Adam Gumpelzhaimer’s score-books. We can, therefore, assume a quick circulation in the city.

Dedicatory Prefaces Addressed to the Fugger Family in 16th and early 17th Century Music Prints; Stefanie Bilmayer-Frank (Universität Augsburg)

The significance of the Fugger Family for 16th-century Augsburg and its cultural scene cannot be questioned: quite a few family members are important patrons for artists who depend on favour and support of a wealthy benefactor. Dedicatory prefaces are an essential part in patronage politics with benefit for both sides: The dedicatee is decorated by the reputation of being a benevolent patron of the arts while the author of the dedication takes advantage of the popularity and social network of the other. Yet there may exist more pragmatic reasons like expecting financial rewards.
The form, content and wording of dedicatory prefaces follow clearly defined conventions. The humble attitude expressed in the texts and their recurrent subject of the laus patroni have often been considered as meaningless rhetoric. That may also be a reason why musicology so far neglected preliminary epistles as a source for research. There are, however, good reasons to prove their relevance: In their nuances and creative modifications these courtesy phrases do indeed deliver instructive information concerning the relationship of author and addressee. The high level of humanistic education of their writers becomes visible in the citations and connotations of Greek and Roman authors in the texts. Numerous references to contemporary people and historic events make the dedications appear as interesting and authentic scientific sources containing hitherto unknown information.
The Fugger dedications offer a corpus of about 50 music prints. The list of composers ranges from Europe-wide operating and popular musicians like Giovanni Gabrieli, Orlando di Lasso or Philip de Monte to composers with a more regional background like Christian Erbach or Gregor Aichinger. Behind all convention the author’s motivation for the preface as well as the text’s style and form differs to some extent in every single case. This in turn raises the question of the relationship between the composer and his Fugger patron. The examination of these dedicatory texts reveals an insight to a dense social network of cultural life in early modern Augsburg.