The Manuscript Tradition of Orlando di Lasso's Works

Orlando di Lasso (ca. 1532 -1594) is one of the most important musicians of the sixteenth century. A prolific composer, his works were published a lot even during his lifetime. These editions, numbering over 470 between 1555 and 1687, have long been known to musicologists. But are there also any extant autograph manuscripts by Orlando di Lasso? What is the situation regarding manuscripts by the Munich Court kapellmeister?

Together with the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften and the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, the project Orlando di Lasso: Complete Works has created a database to explore exactly these questions: Orlando di Lasso – Seine Werke in handschriftlicher Überlieferung. It provides an overview of the manuscript sources and opens up an array of research possibilities.

The look and feel of the database will be familiar to anyone who uses the RISM online catalog. You will find a simple search and an advanced search, where you can enter up to four terms. In the results list, you can narrow down the sources using filters on the left.

Currently, there are over 830 sources in the database. One example is a collection of two masses from around 1870 located in Altötting, Germany. For each source, the location, library, shelfmark, RISM library siglum, date, and type of source are displayed. Some records include information about previous owners and copyists. Secondary and other bibliographical sources and linked when appropriate, particularly the RISM online catalog. Individual works within manuscript anthologies are listed with LV catalog numbers.

Since documenting these sources takes into consideration copies up through the nineteenth century, the reception history of Orlando di Lasso's works can be impressively reconstructed. This database represents an important research tool.

See also Bernhold Schmid, "Orlando di Lasso. Seine Werke in handschriftlicher Überlieferung. Eine Datenbank." Bibliotheksmagazin: Mitteilungen aus den Staatsbibliotheken in Berlin und München 11, no. 1 (2016): 40-42. Link to PDF.

Image: Orlando di Lasso, Att känna dig vår Gud, copy in the hand of Johan Helmich Roman (after 1759), Musik- och teaterbiblioteket, Stockholm (S-Skma) Ro 95, RISM ID no. 190020485.



Catégorie : Electronic resources

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