Notes 60.1 (2003) 269-272
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Breviarium notatum Strigoniense (saeculi XIII). Edited and introduced by Janka Szendrei. (Musicalia Danubiana, 17.) Budapest: Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Zenetudományi Intézet, 1998. [Introd. in Hung., Eng., p. 7-58; bibliography, p. 59-60; index of chants, p. 61-73; facsim. reprod. of the MS., 328 fols. ISBN 9-63707-465-1. €88.50.]
The city of Esztergom (Lat. Strigonium), on the Danube across from Slovakia, was from the eleventh century home to both Hungarian royalty and the see of the Hungarian primate. The music and ritual of the archdiocese of Esztergom, the oldest and most important of three medieval archdioceses in Hungary, is thus of great historical significance. Accordingly, the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences has made available in facsimile or transcription manuscript sources that are representative of this use: the notated (and disassembled) missal dating from before 1341 now mostly in Bratislava (Hung. Pozsony; Ger. Pressburg), Archív mesta [End Page 269] Bratislavy (Municipal Archives), MSS EC.Lad.3, EL.18, and other fragments (Missale notatum Strigoniense ante 1341 in Posonio, ed. Janka Szendrei and Richard Rybaric, Musicalia Danubiana, 1 [Budapest: Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Zenetudományi Intézet, 1982]); the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century two-volume gradual (Bakócz Gradual), Esztergom, Foszékesegyházi Könyvtár (Cathedral Library), MS I.1a-b (Graduale Strigoniense (s. XV/XVI), ed. Szendrei, Musicalia Danubiana, 12 [Budapest: Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Zenetudományi Intézet, 1990-93]); and the antiphonary of about 1360 (known as the Istanbul Antiphonal), Istanbul, Topkapi Sarayi Müzesi, MS Deissmann 42 for the use of Esztergom (The Istanbul Antiphonal: Facsimile Edition with Studies, ed. Szendrei [Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1999; 2d ed. as Musicalia Danubiana, 18, 2002], recently reviewed by me in Notes 59, no. 4 [June 2003]: 975-78). A considerable secondary literature on the Esztergom liturgy includes an index of the chants for the feasts of the Temporale (László Dobszay and Gábor Prószéky, Corpus antiphonalium officii-ecclesiarum centralis europae: A Preliminary Report [Budapest: Zenetudományi Intézet, 1988], 275-370); an edition of the antiphon melodies (Antiphonen, ed. Dobszay and Szendrei, Monumenta Monodica Medii Aevi, 5 [Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1999]; reviewed by Lance Brunner in Notes 59, no. 2 [December 2002]: 449-53); and several studies of its history, sources, and musical notation. Chants of the Esztergom use predominate in the many sound recordings by the Schola Hungarica (see, for example, the listing by Jerome F. Weber in A Gregorian Chant Discography, 2 vols., Discography Series, 20 [Utica, NY: J. F. Weber, 1990], 2:330-36). Few ecclesiastical centers elsewhere in Europe have received the same remarkable degree of scholarly attention.
To these publications we can now add the Breviarium notatum Strigoniense, a black-and-white facsimile in the series Musicalia Danubiana of the earliest notated manuscript of the Esztergom tradition and one of the earliest Hungarian breviaries—a large, thirteenth-century parchment choirbook breviary with musical notation for secular (nonmonastic) use, now located in the Strahovská knihovna (Strahov Abbey Library) of Prague with the shelf mark DE.I.7. With this publication, all of the music for the Mass and Office of the Esztergom use is now available except for the hymns, of which a few are transmitted in the Istanbul Antiphonal, and only four in this breviary.
This facsimile is of more than national importance, however, for as far as I know, it is the first to be published anywhere of a medieval breviary with musical notation. As such, it will prove useful for teaching as well as research, since notated breviaries are not accessible outside of research libraries and are rarely available on microfilm at reasonable cost, given their many folios. Moreover, many of the texts and chants in the Breviarium notatum Strigoniense were sung throughout Europe.
In the long introduction preceding the facsimile reproduction, presented in both Hungarian (pp. 7-38, with musical examples and a table of the manuscript's liturgical structure) and in English translation (pp. 39-58, with cross references to the...