An Attempt to Reconstruct the Original Lyrics of the Concerto Mutetta super Nicolai Solemnia by Franciszek Lilius

Marek Bebak

Abstrakt

Franciszek Lilius was one of the most prominent composers of the 17th century Poland, a pedagogue and a choirmaster of Kraków’s Cathedral between 1630 and 1657. The majority of the sources containing his compositions was created after the composer’s death. Many of them are incomplete. Owing to these two facts, we do not know the original version of compositions mentioned by Lilius. One of the examples is the concerto Mutetta super Nicolai Solemnia preserved in Staatsbibliothek in Berlin as a German contrafactum with the text “Kompt lasst uns betrachten”. The composition may have been performed during servicesat the Protestant church of St. Mary Magdalene in Wrocław. The text probably was modified and adapted to Evangelical requirements in this place. However, originally the work must have been intended to be performed in the Catholic church during the feast of St. Nicholas (the 6th of December), as is suggested not only by its original name—Mutetta super Nicolai Solemnia, but also by the pre-compositional material used in it. This material comprises, on the one hand, the one-voice hymn Nicolai solemnia preserved in e.g. the cantional of Stanisław Serafin Jagodyński from 1639 and the cantional of Literary Archconfraternity in Warsaw from 1668, and on the other hand—its four-voice setting preserved in the Sandomierz and Wawel sources.
If the copyist had not written original Latin title in his manuscript, we would not know what kind of Latin text was previously used by composer. Only this information made it possible to recreate original, missing catholic version of the concerto. The main issue of the article is an attempt to reconstruct the original lyrics of the concerto Mutetta super Nicolai Solemnia and to analyze different problems connected with it.
 

Słowa kluczowe: Sacred music, contrafactum, reconstruction, Franciszek Lilius, Wrocław
References

 

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