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The Musical Culture of Silesia before 1742

New Contexts – New Perspectives


Edited By Pawel Gancarczyk and Lenka Hlávková-Mrácková

The volume includes detailed studies concerning various aspects of the musical culture of Silesia from the fifteenth to mid-eighteenth centuries. The authors, who represent academic centres in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Holland, France and Great Britain, present new sources, as well as reinterpreting previously known facts and phenomena. What makes the approach here so original is that it takes into account the wider context of musical culture in Silesia, not limited to examining it exclusively in relation to the Polish, Czech or German cultures. Here we can see Silesia as one of the regions of Central Europe, and not merely as a western province of Poland, northern province of the Czech Kingdom, or eastern province of Prussia.


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Christian Thomas Leitmeir: Lutheran Propers for Wrocław/Breslau: the Cantus Choralis (1575) of Johannes Knöfel


Lutheran Propers for Wrocław/Breslau: the Cantus Choralis (1575) of Johannes Knöfel∗ Christian Thomas Leitmeir Prifysgol Bangor University Steering a professional career safely through the vicissitudes of life was as much a challenge in the 16th century as it is today. Musicians, whose aspirations went beyond employment as humble singer or instrumentalist, had to react swiftly and flexibly to the demands of an ever-changing market. Securing a lucrative and crisis- proof position was a rare privilege achieved by only a handful of masters (such as Orlando di Lasso or Philippe de Monte). As confessional and political circumstances were in constant danger of fluctuation, the majority of professional musicians were well advised to be always on the lookout for new patrons, and to leave behind a post before the star of their old patron was waning. Among Silesian composers of the 16th century, Johannes Knöfel was particularly drawn to playing for high stakes all throughout his professional life. His career therefore led him to pursue many different paths with varying degrees of success.1 When Knöfel was born around 15302 in Luba/Lauban,3 the Lusatian League (Oberlausitzer Sechsstädtebund / Zwizek Sze ciu Miast), to which the “onion- eaters” of Lauban belonged, was at the peak of its political and economic power. ∗ I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Lenka Hlávková-Mráková and Paweł Gancarczyk, the spiritus rectores of the conference, as well as Remigiusz Po piech and the staff of the Department of Musicology...

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