THE LINKS BETWEEN THE STRAHOV CODEX AND AUSTRIA AND THE IMPERIAL COURT OF FREDERICK III
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One of the most interesting research tasks relating to the Strahov codex (dated 1467-1470) is establishing its provenance. Until now the areas considered likely included eastern Silesia or the Bohemian-Silesian borderland (Plamenac, Snow), Moravia, particularly Olomutz and, more recently, the Catholic part of southern Bohemia (Cerny, Mrácková). In this paper the author discusses the links between the Strahov codex and Austria and the imperial court of Frederick III, which throw some light on the manuscript's provenance. Evidence for the existence of such links is provided by the following facts: 1) repertory and codicological kinship with the Trent codices, which has often been referred to in the literature; 2) repertory kinship with the older part of the Leopold codex (dated 1466-1470) - at various points in the Strahov codex one finds six of the works from the fascicle II of the Leopold codex; 3) the presence of 11 works by Johannes Touront who, according to a previously overlooked document, was chaplain to the court of Frederick III. Until this time we had no biographical data relating to Johannes Touront. However, a document dated 3rd July 1460 concerning this composer is preserved at the Vatican. The document tells us that: 1) Touront was chaplain to Emperor Frederick III in 1460; 2) he received a prebend at the Church of Our Lady in Antwerp; 3) he was a cleric of the Tournai diocese. The form of his surname used in the document ('Tourout') leads to supposition that he came from Thourout (now Torhout) in eastern Flanders (Tournai diocese). The new source gives us a reason why Touront's works were so popular in Central Europe, and its date coincides exactly with the date of the first records of his compositions in manuscripts Trent 89, Trent 88 and Schedelsches Liederbuch. It seems probable that the composer remained in this region for a while after 1460, as a number of his new works appeared around 1470 in the Strahov codex and in the Buxheimer Orgelbuch. The document also allows one to hypothesise that Touront might have had some closer connections with Antwerp at the time when Johannes Pullois was active there, particularly as, at an earlier time, a Johannes van Tourhout (d. 1438) was a singer in Antwerp. Perhaps he may have been a relation of our Touront (vel Tourout).
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