Memento Salutis Auctor
May 22, 2012 4:07 AM Subscribe
Just imagine: a few musicologists know that there are 320 18th century sonatas lying somewhere in a Dutch archive. Half of them are by great masters such as Vivaldi and Telemann. The other half consists of works written by lesser-known but nonetheless interesting composers. Yet no one performs them or even shows any interest in them. Three hundred and twenty sonatas! Unthinkable, improbable.
posted by mahershalal (23 comments total)
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The Leiden Choirbooks are a collection, not of 18th century sonatas but of 16th century polyphonic motets and masses. The six books were compiled between 1549 and 1565 for the College of the Seven Canonical Hours in the St. Peter's Church and feature pieces by composers such as Josquin des Prez, Clemens non Papa, Nicolas Gombert, and Jean Richafort.
Three years ago, the Dutch Egidius Quartet started a project to rescue them from oblivion
. Every year, the Egidius takes one of the books, records the most interesting pieces (sometimes with a larger ensemble) and performs them in the same church where some of them were last heard more than 400 years ago.
Here they are
performing a piece from the first book on Dutch television.