BAROKOVÁ DUCHOVNÁ PIESEŇ AKO ŽIVÝ ODKAZ CYRILO-METODSKÉHO DEDIČSTVA
Religious songs of the Baroque period as a living message of the Cyrillo-Methodian heritage
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Cantus Catholici (1655) was the first printed Slovak Catholic hymn book. In the foreword, its compiler, the Jesuit Benedikt Szőllősi, refers to the Cyrillo-Methodian mission which proves the mission’s importance for the development of Slovak national identity. Even in the Baroque period, the authorization of the use of the Slavonic liturgy by Pope Adrian II was an accepted argument to support the creation of a “folk” hymn book. Ancient ancestry of religious songs, their popularity among people and their use in non-sacral space were emphasized. The compiler of the hymn book Cantus Catholici approached the selection and modification of songs in a specific way. The fact that the hymn book was addressed to the folk influenced the process of selecting songs which were well-known and popular (Christmas songs, Easter songs, songs for Lent, etc.). The songs had to be faithful to the creed and authentic in terms of their historicity and popularity among people on the territory of modern Slovakia. In his foreword, Benedikt Szőllősi highlights the idea of shared Slavic integrity and unity, and considering territorial and historical criteria, his selection gives strong preference to the Czech context. One of the sources of inspiration for Szőllősi’s work was an older hymn book Písně katolické [Catholic songs] (1622) compiled by Jiřík Hlohovský and published in Olomouc. Studied hymn books – Slovak Cantus Catholici and Czech Písně katolické [Catholic songs] – come from different national and cultural milieus.They both have shaped and added to the richness of European baroque cantional heritage. Their comparison shows that the Czech hymn book Písně katolické [Catholic songs] by Hlohovský was one of the main sources for the Slovak hymn book, although their interconnectedness was creative and original.
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