The Clausholm Music Fragmentsby Henrik Glahn; Søren Sørensen

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  • The Clausholm Music Fragments by Henrik Glahn; Sren SrensenReview by: Albert SeayNotes, Second Series, Vol. 32, No. 2 (Dec., 1975), pp. 378-379Published by: Music Library AssociationStable URL: .Accessed: 16/06/2014 03:08

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  • Geiringer's editing careful and accurate, but it is also creative: the additions of occasional bars that are missing (in the wind parts, for instance, when Haydn turned a page) are done with great skill and impeccable

    taste (typical example: I, p. 79, final m., wind parts reconstructed).


    The Clausholm Music Fragments. Ed. by Henrik Glahn and S0ren S0rensen. Copenhagen: Wilhelm Hansen, 1974. [Notes, facsims., etc., in Eng., Dan., 90 p.; reconstructed music, pp. 93-210; paper, krlO8.70]

    Among the landmarks and monuments of Denmark is Clausholm Castle, onetime residence of the important family of Re- ventlow. In 1964, the organ in the castle's chapel was ordered dismantled by the cas- tle's present owner, Henrik Berner, for purposes of restoration. In the process, it was found that pages from various books and seventeenth-century manuscripts had been used to seal segments of the bellows and wind-chest; this had been done in the course of an earlier restoration and repair before the organ's installation in Clausholm between 1699 and 1708. Some 220 frag- ments were recovered and, after much trouble, were combined into twenty-one units of some size; there were a few frag- ments left that could not be integrated into these units. It is all this material which is the concern of the editors.

    The research done by Glahn and S0ren- sen is exhaustive and thorough. The open- ing section of the study covers the back- ground of Clausholm Castle, the organ and its history, a description of the manuscripts and a list of their musical contents by incipits, all with many photographs. A dis- cussion of the music follows, broken down into three headings, music for keyboard, for instruments and for voices, the latter all sacred. The final section gives sixteen complete compositions reconstructed by the editors, ranging from six Magnificats for organ by Jacob Praetorius to an eight-voice setting of "Jauchzet dem Herren." All of these are printed for the first time.

    The editors rightly remark that the Clau- sholm fragments give a very clear picture of Danish musical culture in the first half of the seventeenth century, particularly at the time of the reign of Christian IV. The fragments not only include works written in Denmark by musicians in the employ of various chapels, but also copies of pieces by composers in the main from North Germany, then the dominant influence in

    Denmark. The composers whose works have been identified include Melchior Schildt, Jacob Praetorius, Heinrich Scheidemann, Johann Rudoph Radeck, Heinrich Schutz and Johann Hermann Schein. The remarks on these works and the relationships of their composers to the Danish scene leave no stone unturned. Glahn and S0rensen have, in drawing on the shape of the music, additionally tried to reconstruct the liturgical use of much of the music, thus casting light on how music was fitted into the service at that time.

    As a whole, the volume is a magnificent piece of research, leaving one in amazement and awe at the meticulous exploration of every element inherent in the basic materi- als of the study. The description of the results of fitting together the fragments gives no real conception of the immense amount of time and labor that must have been spent in the process of reconstruction. And this was only the beginning. The added exploration of the implications of what had been done to that point is equally as pain- staking and meticulous, from the discus- sions of the identified composers and their connections with Denmark to the recon- struction of the sixteen works at the end.

    The volume not only sheds much light on Danish musical life in the early 1600s, but also stands as an example of scholarship in its finest form; it should be examined by any who want to know how it should be done. Not everyone will face the difficul- ties conquered by Glahn and S0rensen, to be sure, but it is revealing to see superb technique in action in so many varied areas of musicological research. The text is given in both Danish and English, and the translation by John Bergsagel makes it that much clearer for the non-Danish reader by its excellence. Many libraries may wonder and debate over its purchase, for it is a peripheral study in some ways, if nothing but the subject treated is consid-


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  • ered. This viewpoint, however, loses sight of the volume's usefulness as an example of outstanding application of method. In this sense, The Clausholm Music Fragments

    is indeed a distinguished contribution, to be made available to all graduate students and perhaps even to many of their profes- sors.

    Giovanni Priuli: Sacrorum concentuum, pars prima (1618). Ed. by Albert Biales (Concentus musicus, 2.) Koln: Arno Volk Verlag, 1973. [Notes, facsims., 9 p.; score, 262 p.; critical notes, pp. 263-66; cloth, no price given]

    Although certain isolated compositions by Giovanni Priuli (d. 1629) have been available in the past, Albert Biales's edition of the Sacrorum Concentuum pars prima (Venice: Magni, 1618) is the first large collection of Priuli's music to become avail- able. Priuli's life is not known in detail; the most important facet is that he was a part of the orchestra in Graz under Arch- duke Ferdinand in 1604, and was elevated to Kapellmeister in 1614-15. When the Archduke became Emperor Ferdinand II of Austria in 1619, Priuli was still Kapell- meister and retained the position until his death ten years later. His overall output includes both secular and sacred music, three volumes of madrigals and monodies as well as masses and motets. His music is typical of the Austrian court and its taste in the decade around the beginning of the Thirty Years' War.

    The Sacrorum Concentuum pars prima is a collection of motets, sonatas and canzones for five to eight parts, all with continuo. There are 36 items in all, 19 of them polychoral works, for divided choirs in the Venetian manner. Twelve compositions are instrumental pieces for unspecified ensem- bles, four canzones for six voices; one, for seven; and five, for eight; the other two works are sonatas for eight voices. In gen- eral, the vocal works are in the imitative style of the previous century, with a certain severity that does not reflect the kind of chromatic novelties that had already swept the madrigal. The instrumental pieces rely heavily on echo effects and alternations of blocks of sounds from one group to the other, with contrasts of imitative sections. Biales has discussed all these characteristics and others in his article, "Giovanni Priuli's Sacrorum Concentuum pars prima (1618)," (Analecta Musicologica 12 [1973]: 97-108).

    The edition itself is beautifully presented and Biales gives all the pertinent informa-

    tion, background, source, performance suggestions, and editorial procedures. From the editorial observations, it is evident that the original publication was not a very careful job, for there are too many small errors here and there that require emenda- tion. The continuo is not a true one, for it has more the character of a basso sequente, nearly always doubling the lowest voice of the ensemble and with few figures. This sequente has not been realized, a blank staff being left for the performer to enter his own; in view of the large number of parts and their nature, there is not much possi- bility for too ornate an elaboration. Because of these restrictions, there is no valid reason Biales could not have at least given a simple solution, just to save the performer's time; as it now stands, it will take a fair amount of labor just to reduce the upper voices to a playable format, something that should have been done by the editor as a service, in view of the omission of editorially added figures and the paucity of original ones. In transcribing the instrumental pieces, Biale has taken the logical procedure of not using the transposing treble clef now found in most vocal transcriptions as an equivalent for alto and tenor clefs of the originals. Rather, alto and tenor clefs are kept, certainly more appropriate and practical. Nevertheless, is there any real reason to use alto or tenor clef in the continuo line? Why not write these passages in either treble or bass clefs? Ledger lines would be easier to read and would avoid an unnecessary anachronism; besides, or- ganists would have one less hurdle to sur- mount.

    On the whole,