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Phase 2: The Hunt for the King
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If the results list has too few matches. It also contains over a hundred and fifty music prints, totalling approximately two to three thousand additional compositions.
The proportion of music in the collection composed and produced in Sweden is remarkably small. A rough estimate suggests that it runs to some hundred and fifty works, making up less than a tenth of the works preserved in manuscript in the collection. A reason behind this relative scarcity 1 Kjellberg, Kungliga musiker i Sverige under stormaktstiden.
They were consequently obliged to acquire music by other persons, who were mainly composers active outside Sweden. This situation to some extent accounts for the unique character of the collection. At this point, one important thing needs to be emphasized. It was never assembled for the specific purpose of collecting. In preparation for its donation to Uppsala University this material was packed into two chests in the simple state in which the material happened to be preserved at that point.
One might argue that the musicalia mutated into an actual collection when they were donated to Uppsala University. At that point, artefacts became transformed from things into semaphores, to borrow the terminology of Krzysztof Pomian. Pomian defines things as objects that are useful, can be handled, consumed, undergo modification and be gradually worn out. He contrasts these with semaphores, which he defines as objects that are of no practical utility, are put on display, can neither be consumed nor modified and never wear out. This was in constant flux on account of not only new acquisitions but also, presumably, losses.
Material was weeded out or given away; outworn parts were discarded and sometimes replaced; presumably, some material simply disappeared by accident. There are no hints that he reorganized or sorted the material in the process. It is an unsorted stock of musical performance material from a northern European court, almost untouched by collectors or librarians.
It contains the sheets of music actually placed on music stands by the court musicians sheets that often bear traces of different performance occasions or of reworkings and rearrangements of the music. This makes the material invaluable for our understanding of everyday musical practices at an early modern European court. Snyder and Erik Kjellberg already in the s.
After some preparatory work the digitization project proper started in , with a grant from the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences. The version published online in covered close to ninety per cent of the manuscript collection.
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Subsequently, it has gradually been added to and refined, and this process of refining is due to continue indefinitely. The catalogue is conceived as a dynamic resource that is constantly being updated in step with new research findings. In a new grant was secured from the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences towards inclusion of the important sub-collection of French stage music.
This work of demarcation and reconstruction, as well as dating and identifying provenance, has fallen to several scholars since the time of Lindberg s first catalogue in the s. Wollny has made some important discoveries, especially concerning material of German provenance. Schildt has produced ground-breaking work on the demarcation of the collection with regard to both manuscripts and prints, and in the refinement of knowledge about the provenance of different source groups.
In the following sections I will try to summarize the most important finds of the last five to ten years of research. The present survey will of necessity be superficial, presenting a broad outline and synthesis. In many cases, these categories interact: the foreign manuscripts were used for performance but were often supplemented by new parts or scores copied in Stockholm. Hence there are often at least two different representations of the same music: one set of parts and one tablature score.
The tablatures were most likely used for performance. As we shall see, this opens up unique possibilities for tracing the routes of acquisition of the music. A substantial portion of the locally produced manuscripts have been copied from printed collections. Just as in the case of the foreign manuscripts, the prints serving as copy texts are in several cases preserved within the collection or else in the collection of the German Church. But it is to some extent also relevant for important cultural centres such as Paris and Rome.
With regard to the manuscripts acquired from outside Sweden, the so-called foreign manuscripts, it has been possible to identify some particularly important groups. The Roman Manuscripts and Prints To begin with, there is a group of Italian manuscripts and prints brought to Sweden by an Italian ensemble employed at Queen Christina s court between and This ensemble was recruited mainly in Rome, with Vincenzo Albrici as its maestro di cappella.
It numbered over twenty members, including no fewer than six castrato singers. Among this material we find several motets by Giacomo Carissimi transmitted exclusively in manuscripts, some of which are unica. In addition to these manuscripts, there are a few music prints from Rome that most likely were similarly brought to Sweden by the same Italian musicians, including Francesco Foggia s Concentus ecclesiastici of , 20 and three of Florido de Silvestri s anthologies.
They were the result of extraordinary circumstances: Queen Christina s ambitions for her Stockholm court in terms of art and letters, but also, and more importantly, her already well-advanced plans to abdicate, convert to Catholicism and move to Rome. The connection to Danzig is confirmed by the use of papers from the Danzig paper mill of Nathanael Propstly, with its characteristic watermark in the shape of a fish, and by paper displaying that city s coat of arms. Further, there is music by, among others, David Pohle, J. Wollny s hypothesis that the manuscripts derive from a smaller, secondogeniture court is based on the fact that some minor composers from those centres, such as Heinrich Groh and Christoph Kreichel, are likewise represented.
As in the case of the Danzig manuscripts, the intermediary for these manuscripts is not yet identified, but it may have been a musician or any other person travelling across Europe.
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Peter Wollny was later able to identify their origin. This man was born in Breslau but studied in Leipzig for a few years around In Leipzig he acquired music by composers active the mysterious Befastru, is identified. In Breslau he had already acquired a small collection of works by musicians in Vienna, who included Antonio Bertali and Johann Helmich Schmelzer. Following his studies in Leipzig, Johann von Assig und Siegersdorff embarked on a journey through northern Europe, and in the first years of the s he made an appearance in Sweden as a valet de chambre Kammerjunker or Hofjunker of the Lord High Chancellor of Sweden, Count Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie, and his consort Maria Euphrosyne.
In his father died, and he returned to his native city of Breslau.
He could have purchased them or else received them as a gift. About a 33 Ibid. The main part consists of two large tablature books, Vmhs 79 and In addition to the tablatures, there are also a number of partbooks with the same provenance. This group contains altogether around one hundred and fifty compositions. The more precise origin of these manuscripts is yet to be clarified, but several features point to the city of Hamburg.
The manuscript parts comprise mainly parties de remplissage, the complementary middle parts omitted in the prints, and some of these are unica, or at least sources earlier in date than their counterparts preserved in France. The Swedish manuscripts represent additional performance parts, but also evidence many instances of adaptation for local court entertainments such as masquerades and ballets.
The prompt arrival of this material in Stockholm was made possible by close contacts with the French court. Moreover, the court entertainments just mentioned were staged by the Swedish court architect Nichodemus Tessin the younger, who was exceptionally well connected in Paris and Versailles and made several sojourns there in the late s and s.
Miscellaneous Manuscripts of Foreign Origin In addition to the nine groups of manuscripts described above, there are some smaller sets of manuscripts of a more accidental character. It is not clear how and where they were acquired. The locally produced copies are often complementary in nature: either a tablature score has been intabulated from an imported set of parts, or parts have been prepared from an imported tablature score.
The first case is the more common. In addition to these two larger groups, there are also a number of manuscripts produced locally in Sweden by composers active there. This group is estimated to total over two hundred and fifty compositions. For these manuscripts, there must have been an original available at some point in time.
This raises the question: from which sources were these manuscripts copied? When this enigma has been solved, it will be possible to account for the provenance of almost the entire collection. Some preliminary assumptions may be made regarding this mysterious group of manuscripts. Both possibilities seem to point to relatively accessible locations. Moreover, it is clear from papers, hands and explicit dates that this material was produced not on a single occasion or within a narrow time-frame but with some regularity over a period of more than twenty years.
At the same time, the repertoire in these manuscripts is fairly homogeneous, possibly suggesting a common origin. The attentive reader will have noticed that this repertoire is remarkably similar to the one represented by the North-West German complex of manuscripts discussed above. This suggests that the origin of these Swedish sources without originals in the collection, or at least a large part of them, could be the same as that of the enigmatic North-West German manuscripts.
It would account for over four hundred, perhaps even close to five hundred, compositions in manuscript. Although this is still a very tentative assumption, there is much that points to the city of Hamburg. However, this material awaits further study. Today, as we have seen, it is actually possible to answer these questions, at least regarding the major parts of the collection. To conclude, I would like to present some general observations on this case study in musical transfer. A first observation is that the transmission of music depended mainly on personal contacts, either direct or indirect, within relatively small and closed networks.
Institutionalized networks such as established trade routes were not of importance; nor were cultural, economic or dynastic networks of contact at a more official level. The exception is possibly published music, at least portions of which we may assume were purchased from book dealers or agents in, for instance, Amsterdam or Hamburg. We can also notice that much of the manuscript music seems to have been received or obtained in the form of packages constituting small sub-collections on a single, specific occasion, rather than via a steady stream of individual items.