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Reviewed by:
  • Flores Jessaei (1606); Florum Jessaeorum, and: Flosculus vernalis, and: Harmonia concertans
  • Alexander J. Fisher
Daniel Lagkhner. Flores Jessaei (1606); Florum Jessaeorum (1607). Transcription and revision by Jože Sivec. Ljubljana: Slovenska akademija znanosti in umetnosti, Znanstvenoraziskovalni center SAZU, Muzikološki inštitut, 1998. (Monumenta artis musicae Sloveniae, 34.) [Introd., editorial notes in Slov., Eng., p. ix–xvi; facsims., p. xvii–xx; score, p. 1–56. ISMN M-709004-00-3. €23.]
Gabrijel Plavec [Gabriel Plautzius]. Flosculus vernalis (1621). Transcription and revision by Tomaž Faganel. Ljubljana: Slovenska akademija znanosti in umetnosti, Znanstvenoraziskovalni center SAZU, Muzikološki inštitut, 1997. (Monumenta artis musicae Sloveniae, 33.) [Introd., editorial notes in Slov., Eng., p. ix–xix; facsims., p. xx–xxiii; score, p. 1–317. ISMN M-709004-03-4. €102.50.]
Isaac Posch. Harmonia concertans (1623). Transcription and revision by Metoda Kokole. Ljubljana: Slovenska akademija znanosti in umetnosti, Znanstvenoraziskovalni center SAZU, Muzikološki inštitut, 1998. (Monumenta artis musicae Sloveniae, 35.) [Editorial notes, texts of compositions with translations in Slov., Eng., p. ix–xlii; facsims., p. xliii–xlvi; score, p. 1–162. ISMN M-709004-04-1. €52.]

Since 1983, the Slovenian Academy of Arts and Sciences has made available a valuable cross-section of early modern musical repertory from Slovenia in its series Monumenta artis musicae Sloveniae. The bulk of the existing volumes are devoted to a complete edition of the works of Jacobus Handl (Gallus, 1550–1591), a leading composer of Latin sacred music in the Hapsburg lands of the late sixteenth century and one whose works enjoyed a wide circulation in manuscript, individual editions, and anthologies (see reviews in Notes by John Kmetz, vol. 52, no. 3 [March 1996]: 1017–20, and Stephen Rose, vol. 58, no. 1 [September 2001]: 183–86). With the publication of these editions we are beginning to come to terms with a significant repertory that historians have long neglected, a consequence, perhaps, of its very suitability for a wide range of potential consumers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Central and eastern European composers' espousal of an international style of polyphonic composition—embracing neither the chorale-based explorations of Protestant Germany nor the most virtuosic, affective aspects of modern Italian music—and their retention of the Latin language have made it difficult to identify this music with any single, national tradition, highly disadvantageous in the age of nationalistic Denkmäler. Furthermore, the lack of a single, dominating musical personality (the prominence of Handl aside) robs the narrative of an organizing principle. Yet the Hapsburg lands produced and nourished a large number of talented composers whose music, if not as [End Page 478] immediately arresting as that of Orlando di Lasso or Heinrich Schütz, is extremely well crafted and worthy of attention by scholars and performers.

Of the three collections reviewed here, the music of the Flores Jessaei (Nuremberg: Paul Kauffmann, 1606) and Florum Jessaeorum (Nuremberg: Paul Kauffmann, 1607) by Daniel Lagkhner (Lackner) is the earliest and, not surprisingly, the most retrospective in character. Born in Styria, Lagkhner (after 1550–after 1607) seems to have spent most of his career attached to the Protestant grammar school in Loosdorf, Lower Austria, for which the music of the two publications discussed here was most likely intended. Little is known about the composer's whereabouts after 1607, but he may have left Loosdorf in the wake of Hapsburg re-Catholicization efforts. Lagkhner had already gained some renown through his Soboles musica, published in Nuremberg in 1602 by Abraham Wagenmann, which exhibited a distinctively Venetian handling of vocal groups. Joze Sivec, who edited that collection as volume 2 of the same series in 1983 (second edition, 1995), has turned now to Lagkhner's more modest sacred compositions for domestic and pedagogical contexts. The Flores Jessaei, set mainly to psalm verses, are scored invariably for three voices in a higher register (with cleffing of C1, C2 or C3, and C4) and reveal the influence of the Italian villanella (which Lagkhner acknowledges in his dedication) in their sectional, repeated forms, lively rhythms, and tendency toward homophony. Yet the legacy of the contrapuntal tricinium, long at home in Protestant schools like Lagkhner's, is frequently evident in opening points of imitation...


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