Academic journal article Notes

Les Organa À Deux Voix Du Manuscrit De Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, Cod. Guelf. 1099 Hemst

Academic journal article Notes

Les Organa À Deux Voix Du Manuscrit De Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, Cod. Guelf. 1099 Hemst

Article excerpt

CRITICAL EDITIONS

Les organa à deux voix du manuscrit de Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, Cod. Guelf. 1099 Hemst. Édition établie par Thomas B. Payne. (Le Magnus liber organi de Notre-Dame de Paris, 6a-b.) (Musica gallica.) Les Remparts, Monaco: Editions de L'Oiseau-Lyre, c1996. [Vol. 6a: frontispiece (fol. 47r [color]); gen. pref. (Edward H. Roesner), acknowledgments, introd. (the MS and its repertory; the concordant sources; the interpretation of rhythm; the edition) in Fr., Eng., p. xiii-xcvii; Office organa, p. 1-149. ISBN 2-87855-006-4. Vol. 6b: Mass organa, p. 151-256; processional organum, p. 257-61; Benedicamus Domino, p. 263-75; appendix: plainchants, p. 277-331; apparatus criticus (vol. 6a-b), p. 333-402. Cloth; acid-free paper. ISBN 2-87855-007-2; ISBN 2-87855-000-5 (set). euro579.]

It is difficult to fashion an equitable review of the edition under consideration here, and indeed of the entire series of which it is a part. The subject of late-twelfth-century polyphony is contentious, requiring that one enter a veritable mine-field strewn with conflicting theories and interpretations, each stoutly maintained by knowledgeable adherents. Under these circumstances, the satisfaction or irritation that reviewers of this repertory experience will depend greatly on their prior judgments on the subject. I am unable to achieve complete neutrality and cannot write as an unconcerned bystander. The reader having been forewarned, I begin by stating that, apart from certain quibbles, I consider Thomas Payne's edition of the two-voice organa from the manuscript Helmstedt 1099 of the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel (commonly known by the siglum W^sub 2^) to be an excellent and thoughtful contribution to our knowledge of Notre Dame polyphony. Moreover, the edition is ably abetted by the high tradition of bookmaking that we have come to expect of the Editions de L'Oiseau-Lyre. The two handsome volumes are printed on paper of the highest quality, with ample margins and generous use of space. The one unfortunate production error, the misspelling of Herzog as "Hertzog" on the title pages of both volumes and the caption for the frontispiece to volume 6a, is addressed in a corrigenda to the edition issued in April 1997. Even though the volumes are costly, they are indispensable to any music library with a research function. Individual scholars in the field will have to struggle to balance desirability versus price.

Although W^sub 2^ was made readily available to interested scholars by means of an excellent facsimile edition prepared by Luther Dittmer more than forty years ago (Facsimile Reproduction of the Manuscript Wolfenbüttel 1099 (1206), Publications of Mediaeval Musical Manuscripts, 2 [Brooklyn: Institute of Mediaeval Music, 1960]), this source nevertheless remains less well known than its two complementary manuscripts: Herzog August Bibliothek, Helmstedt 677 (W^sub 1^) and Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Pluteo 29.1 (F), each also available in facsimile (W^sub 1^: An Old St. Andrews Music Book (Cod. Helmst. 628) Published in Facsimile, ed. J. H. Baxter, St. Andrews University Publications, 30 [London: Published for St. Andrews University by H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1931; reprint, New York: AMS Press, 1973]; Die mittelalterliche Musikhandschrift W1: Vollständige Reproduktion des "Notre Dame"-Manuskripts der Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel Cod. Guelf. 628 Helmst., ed. Martin Staehelin, Wolfenbütteler Mittelalter-Studien, 9 [Wiesbaden: O. Harrassowiu, 1995]. F: Antiphonarium, seu, Magnus liber organi de gradali et anti-phonario: Color Microfiche Edition of the Manuscript, Firenze, Biblioteca medicea laurenziana, Pluteus 29.1, introd. by Edward H. Roesner, Codices Illuminati Medii Aevi, 45 [Munich: H. Lengenfelder, 1996]; Facsimile Reproduction of the Manuscript Firenze, Biblioleca mediceo-laurenziana, Pluteo 29, I, ed. Luther Dittmer, 2 vols., Publications of Mediaeval Musical Manuscripts, 10-11 [Brooklyn: Institute of Mediaeval Music, 1966-67]). …

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