Sacred music in Český Krumlov circa 1600
A concert marking the 25th anniversary of inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List - Sacred music in Český Krumlov circa 1600
DYŠKANTI České Budějovice
Michaela Korychová, Jana Masopustová (soprano); Ludmila Dvořáková, Lucie Kolářová, Anna Voříšková (contralto); Martin Horyna, Vít Podroužek, Jiří Tröstl (tenor); Jan Marek, Vladimír Jantač (bass).
artistic director Martin Horyna
Vespers in Český Krumlov at the time of the last Rožmberks
Christoph Demantius (1567–1643)
- Deus in adjutorium meum intende
Anonym (kolem 1560, Jacob Vaet?)
- Veni, creator spiritus
Cristobal Morales (1500–1553)
- Magnificat primi toni
Christoph Hecyrus (1520–1593)
- Non peccat memorans
Clemens non Papa (1. pol. 16. stol.)
- Deus, qui nos patrem
Orlando di Lasso (1532–1594)
Selectissimae cantiones (1579)
- Cantantibus organis
- Dilige solitudinem
- Domine, quando veneris
- Quasi cedrus exaltata sum
- Anna, mihi dilecta
What kind of music was Petr Vok of Rožmberk fond of?
Claude Goudimel (1520–1572)
- Thou art my portion, O LORD, Psalm 119
- Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD, Psalm 128
Anonym (ca 1590)
- Our Father, who art in heaven (morning song)
Anonym (ca 1590)
- Hail Mary, full of grace (morning song)
Anonym (ca 1590)
- At the beginning of the Holy Church
Claudio Merulo (1533–1604)
- O Rex gentium
Jacob Handl (1550–1591)
- Ecce, quomodo moritur justus
- Misit Herodes rex
Pandolfo Zallamella (1551–1590)
- Adorna thalamum
- Ingrediente Domino
Since its formation in 1982, the Czech vocal ensemble Dyškanti has been joined by numerous early-music enthusiasts, for some of whom it has served as the springboard for an illustrious professional career. Currently made up of 8 – 12 singers and historical instrument players, the ensemble mainly focuses on Czech sacred Renaissance music, yet it also embraces medieval and Baroque music. Its repertoire has been mainly compiled by Martin Horyna, a music historian, editor of early Czech music, theorist and teacher at the South Bohemia University, with the bulk of it based on his exploration of the sources of Czech music dating from the 14th to 17th centuries. The ensemble has given modern-time premieres of many such pieces. In 2014 and 2015, Dyškanti made a series of recordings for Czech Radio, which have been regularly broadcast on the Vltava station within the Liturgical Year in the Music of the 15th and 16th Centuries cycle, written by the ensemble’s artistic director, Martin Horyna. To date, Dyškanti has recorded two CDs: Prachatický kancionál z roku 1610 (The 1610 Prachatice Hymnbook, 2013), and V naději Boží mistři Hus Jan a Jeroným (Masters Jan Hus and Jeroným in the Hope of God, 2016). This year, the ensemble will complete the CD titled Karel IV. a hudba lucemburského věku (Charles IV and the Music of the Luxemburg Era). Similarly to the album dedicated to Czech reformers, it will feature newly discovered works, including reconstructions of partially surviving pieces, with the booklet containing ample historical information and pictures.
Music linked with Český Krumlov at the time of the last members of the Rožmberk family has been performed by Dyškanti ever since its foundation. Previously unknown and unperformed compositions can still be found in this extensive repertoire.
Dating from around 1600 are three voluminous manuscripts, whose texts were used for singing at the Saint Vitus Church. At the time, two institutions were in charge of church singing: a literary brotherhood, whose members were educated citizens, and a school choir, made up of teachers and pupils. The latter’s duties included everyday singing at morning masses and afternoon prayers. They were also invited to perform at funerals, weddings, the town council’s sessions and various social events. One of the manuscripts contains polyphonic arrangements of psalms, hymns and the Magnificat, which were intended for festival vespers. Samples of this repertoire will form the first part of the concert. The occasional composer Kryštof Hecyrus was born in Český Krumlov and spent most of his life in the nearby city of České Budějovice. In 1561, his collection of pieces for four voices Veteres ac piae cantiones was published in Nuremberg.
The most popular composer in Europe in the second half of the 16th century was Orlando di Lasso, who served as Kapellmeister at the Bavarian court in Munich. His works too are included in the mentioned manuscripts and, as evidenced by the later inventory, the choir of the Saint Vitus Church possessed a posthumous print of his motets Magnum opus musicum, dating from 1604. The Rožmberk family owned numerous prints of his pieces, including the 1579 Selectissimae cantiones.
Pursuant to the date of publication, the sheet music was most likely purchased for the Rožmberk library during the time of Vilém of Rožmberk (1535–1592), yet the major part of the music materials enlisted in the library’s inventory were only procured at the time of the last of the Rožmberks, Petr Vok (1539–1611). Most of them are works of the international repertoire (Claudio Merulo, Pandolfo Zallamella), as well as pieces written by Rudolfine Prague composers (Jacob Handl). Since Petr Vok converted from Catholicism to Protestantism, joining the Unity of the Brethren, it was probably upon his initiative that his court began buying music written for the Protestant liturgy. Conspicuous in this respect is the large quantity of editions of the Genevan Psalter, a collection of psalms created under the supervision of John Calvin, which was translated into the majority of European languages and used by all the Reformed churches all over the world, and was perhaps the most frequently published book at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries. The psalms were translated into Czech by the priest Jiřík Strejc (1587). The Rožmberk library also housed an edition with Claude Goudimel’s arrangements for four voices. Psalm 128 was prescribed for weddings, and it cannot be ruled our that it was also sung at Petr Vok’s nuptials. Furthermore, the Rožmberk library maintained several hymnbooks with polyphonic arrangements of Czech sacred songs, with their repertoire possibly akin to the music known from other sources, such as the hymnbooks of Prachatice and Miletín.
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