COPIES AND ELABORATIONS OF COMPOSITIONS BY MARCIN MIELCZEWSKI AND OTHER MUSICIANS OF THE POLISH VASAS IN THE SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY MUSICAL COLLECTION OF THE CHURCH OF ST MARIA MAGDALENA IN WROCLAW
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Since the 1990s research is being carried out on a collection of Silesian manuscripts from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (known as the Emil Bohn collection) now held at 'Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz zu Berlin', and at 'Stadtbibliothek zu Breslau' prior to the Second World War. As a result of this research, Greta Konradt has identified the ‘hand' of Michael Büttner, a cantor at the Wroclaw church of St Maria Magdalena, and Barbara Wiermann has identified within the Bohn collection a corpus of manuscripts collected by Büttner to serve the needs of that Lutheran church. This included, among others, copies of compositions by musicians who had ties with Poland - Franciszek Lilius, Marco Scacchi and Marcin Mielczewski (I ascribe to the latter nearly 40 works by the monogrammist M.M.). The copying of the works of these composers, as well as many other manuscripts in the collection, involved not only Büttner. The biggest share of the work was carried out by an unidentified scribe, who might have been Bernhard Beier, an organist who worked with Büttner for over 20 years. Michael Büttner introduced changes into the copied works. Their aim was to enlarge the number of parts in a composition, to enable a spatial distribution of the choirs during performance, to make the compositions conform to local liturgical practice (particularly alternation), and to adapt to the requirements of the Lutheran church works originally produced for the Roman Catholic community. The manner and extent of the changes can be judged by comparing the manuscript and printed versions in the case of compositions copied from old prints which once belonged to the library of the church of St Maria Magdalena (now held at Wroclaw University Library). The presence of analogous changes in the compositions by Lilius, Scacchi and Mielczewski, which are preserved almost uniquely in this collection, can be regarded as certain in some cases, and as highly probable in others.
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