Choral Collection with Masses from the Josquin des Prez Period


This choir book with masses from the Low Countries and Burgundy—including a mass by Josquin des Prez (circa 1440−1521)—was made for the Count Palatine, later Elector Palatine, Ottheinrich. The contents are a selection from the repertoire of the Munich court music under its first great music director and reorganizer, Ludwig Senfl (circa 1486−1542 or 43), a pupil of Heinrich Isaak. On folio 1 are the arms of Ottheinrich; on folios 2 verso and 124 verso are initials with portraits of the count and his wife Susanna, a sister of Duke Wilhelm IV and Duke Ludwig X of Bavaria. Between folios 188 verso and 206 is engrossed a four-part requiem by Pierre de la Rue (circa 1460−1518). The first two pages, as with the openings of the other masses in this book, show rich figurative decoration with scenes from the Holy Scriptures and from history. In the lower margin an actual event is represented: the burial service for Susanna (who died in 1543), which her brother Wilhelm and his family attended. As elector, Ottheinrich later embraced the Protestant Reformation. Susanna, who remained a Catholic, was buried in Munich. It may be assumed that La Rue’s requiem was performed on that occasion.

Last updated: January 25, 2019