12 Unicats from the Leuven Chansonnier (15th Century)
The Leuven Chansonnier
In 2015 a manuscript with 50 polyphonic pieces of the Franko-Flemish vocal polyphony was found in private ownership. While compared with other sources, 38 of them has been identified as already known compositions of masters such as Gilles Binchois, Johannes Ockeghem, and Antoine Busnoys. Only the 12 pieces presented here were previously unknown. Within the CMME (Computerized mensural music editing) Projekt , a edition of the entire Leuven chansonnier was presented by the Goldberg-Foundation and its founder (Clemens Goldberg). Following Dr. Goldberg's suggestion and based in on the CMME-Edition presented by the Goldberg Foundation, klassik-resampled, tried to produce in this interpretation experiment (as far as I know for the first time) recordings of these 12 hitherto unknown pieces from the Leuven manuscript with digital means and publish thoses recordings them online.
references for the instrumentation in contemporary paintings
The digital interpretation experiment on instrumentation
The texture of the chansonnier itself does not provide any specific information on a suitable or intended instrumentation. The musikhistoric classification of the well-known pieces and their composers, as well as testimonies of contemporary painting (see above), allow us to conceive different constellations of the performance. The fact that among the fifty pieces of the chansonnier there are also individual pieces with spiritual content (1v-2r "Ave regina Coelum" by Frye or an anonymous pilgrim member "Pelerin alant a saint James") suggests that the boundaries of secular and spiritual Music practices could at least have been permeable. Wherever conceivable, this project reflects the closeness of individual pieces to the clerical choirs, even with corresponding "experimentally" versions for choirs.
Despite all conceivable limitations, the technology used by Klassik- resampled allows to produce for all pieces recordings in quite different instrumentation with historical original instruments. In the interpretation experiment presented here, all previously anonymous 12 unicates are presented in 4 to 7 different instrumentatioon variants, each of which seems suitable for itself to test other facets of the music in its conceivable historic environment. I would be glad if this would perhaps stimulate some interested performers and help to develop their own conceptions of the music and how it might be performed.
texts and text intelligibility
The technical possibilities used here, especially with regard to the articulation and interpretive representation of the sung text remain clearly behind the possibilities of a good performer. Here it is only possible to reflect the basic features of the speech sound. This makes it very unwise to present a complete "performance" of the sung text with all available verses. A "performance" would surely take account of what has to be dispensed with in this experiment. Here the texts entered in the sheet music are only used for the sound shaping of the digital song. The entire available texts according to the edition of the Goldberg Foundation therefore added separately to each piece for reading.