Arnolt Schlick July 18? He is grouped among the composers known as the Colorists. He was most probably born in Heidelberg and by established himself as court organist for the Electorate of the Palatinate. Highly regarded by his superiors and colleagues alike, Schlick played at important historical events, such as the election of Maximilian I as King of the Romans , and was widely sought after as organ consultant throughout his career. The last known references to him are from ; the circumstances of his death are unknown.
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It is customarily used in churches for the praise of God, to facilitate choral singing, and to refresh human spirits and vexations. It is produced with great and heavy outlay and expense, and certainly through ignorance it is easily wasted, ruined, and all the cost may be vainly expended. The book contains music for organ and lute, notated in old German tablature, with the treble voice on a staff and the lower parts in letters. There are ten organ pieces, opening and closing with cantus firmus liturgical works.
Treatments of vernacular songs are found between. Conrad Paumann cantus firmi in different patterns ascending stepwise, in thirds or fourths; descending in various intervals. The cantus firmus moves in uniform note values, while the organist creates figuration in much shorter notes above it; this style is related to Notre-Dame organum and was very different from the imitative polyphonic music cultivated by 15 th -century Franco-Flemish composers.
With his organ music, Schlick began to incorporate aspects of contemporary vocal style, its imitation and sequences, into the much older cantus firmus tradition. The other music in the Tabulaturen are song arrangements, where it is not always known whether Schlick composed the original polyphonic treatment or acted as the intabulator, adding figurations to a vocal model.
When deciding on an appropriate instrument for this music, I considered two main factors, the temperament and the timbres advocated by Schlick. It was not possible to use an historic organ because of the need for A-flat in the second Da Pacem setting. This is a very unusual stipulation for the time, and Schlick is the only 16 th -century organ composer to require a sustained Ab-C third in his notated repertoire.
For this reason, surviving 16 th -century organs could not accommodate this music without substantial retuning, a daunting prospect at best. The year before he published his music, Schlick published a handbook on organ building, his Spiegel der Orgelmacher und Organisten Mainz, Among the registers that he mentions in the Spiegel are the gemshorn, hintersatz low-pitched mixture with many ranks , zimbel high-pitched "schneiden" mixture , rauschpfeife after the fashion of a schalmei , zink, a three-holed flute, Schwegel a 3-holed flute played with one hand and used with tabor , and regals.
Given these tonal parameters and the need for a tempered tuning to accommodate the Da Pacem setting, I chose to present these fascinating works on the instrument over which I preside at Arizona State University, built by Paul Fritts in This beautiful organ contains the sounds mentioned by Schlick, as well as mutations that came to characterize the German organ in the 17 th century.
But if one has the pedal to help, taking two or three voices, and also four in the manual, this makes seven parts altogether, which is impossible on the manuals without the pedal.
Not only polyphony, but also many smaller songs cannot be played perfectly on the manuals, as is the case when parts go too far from each other, so that one voice must give way to another or be silent at times altogether because one cannot reach it with the hands.
And sometimes the voices come too close together, so that they coincide, as at a cadence. This may be done perfectly, and each part may better have its own tone and be heard, if the pedal and manual are used together.
Four voices are played by the pedals in Ascendo ad Patrem. Schlick knew about registering the pedal at 16' with the manual at 8' but advised against it on the grounds that the harmony would be inverted when the pedal line crossed above the manual. Steve went on to write the definitive study of Arnolt Schlick as his Ph.
Upon accepting my current position at ASU in , I was delighted to discover that he was working as an organist in nearby Tucson, Arizona. Just this past year, his church signed a contract with Paul Fritts for a new instrument, so I look forward to many more years of working together!
I am honored to have his insightful program notes grace this recording. The invention of music printing by Ottaviano Petrucci in was a major event, ushering in a new and powerful way of disseminating music to musicians and audiences. Before long, printed music appeared for solo instrumentalists as well. This was the first printed organ music. Schlick, born about , was organist at the Electoral court in Heidelberg.
At this time the organ was evolving into an instrument capable of providing a wide variety of tone colors through the refinement of stop mechanisms and the invention of new stops, especially colorful reeds. In the mid th century much organ music was based on a cantus firmus to which one or more parts were added. The added parts typically bore little or no relation to one another and proceeded in notes of equal length. The great master of this mid 15th-century style was Conrad Paumann, whose Fundamentum offers practice in improvising on cantus firmi that move in various ways: repeated notes, movement by step, movement by third, and so on.
The organ works of Schlick that are not based on cantus firmi are structured in similar ways to the vocal polyphony of his day: by points of imitation, cadences, and changes in texture.
Not recorded are the eight settings of Gaude dei genitrix that Schlick sent to the Bishop of Trent along with Ascendo ad patrem. Interesting and impressive though the Gaude settings are, they are contrapuntal demonstrations rather than organ compositions and could not have been played on the organ Schlick described in his Spiegel der Orgelmacher. The Marian antiphon Salve regina was known throughout Renaissance Europe and was set for organ by Paumann, Hofhaimer, and others, as well as by Schlick.
Many churches held evening devotional services at which this antiphon was sung. Schlick may have played the organ for this service, performing a version of the same Salve regina that he would publish the following year.
The antiphon consists of nine verses of varying length. Organ settings of the chant melody usually set only the odd-numbered verses, leaving the rest to be chanted in alternation with the organ verses. A vigorous four-part opening verse presents the chant melody in the tenor. The other parts, each in turn, present a wide-ranging countermelody rising and then falling through a twelfth.
As the verse progresses, its energy increases as the countermelody is both fragmented and presented in quicker notes. In this verse, rather than inventing a countermelody for imitative treatment, Schlick treats the chant melody itself in imitation.
The full melody appears in the bass as a cantus firmus, while the remaining three voices enter with the opening notes of the chant melody before breaking into independent motivic interplay. In the longest verse of the Salve, the chant melody appears in the highest part while two lower voices first foreshadow the chant melody, then exchange melodic ideas in quicker rhythm.
Toward the end of the verse, the highest voice leaves the cantus firmus to join in the motivic play. The cantus firmus appears in the alto in very long notes, making what would otherwise be the shortest verse comparable in length to the others. The bass begins by rising through the entire length of the pedal keyboard; then the tenor enters, also in the pedal, while the discantus plays a flowing melody above the rest.
In the Spiegel , Schlick had described playing two or three parts in the pedal. This verse illustrates his double-pedal technique. In the final Salve verse, Schlick places the chant melody in the bass while the upper voices chase each other in short motives treated imitatively, giving the verse an active, decisive character well suited to its position at the close of a large, multi-verse work.
Hans Kotter, a pupil of Paul Hofhaimer, wrote two Salve regina settings for organ, though only the first verse survives of one. The Salve verse heard here, copied between and , is in three voices, with the chant melody in the middle voice. The retention of the Dutch title of this May song suggests that it is an intabulation of a Dutch vocal model.
Like Maria zart , another devotional song in the vernacular, Hoe losteleck presents the complete melody, often ornamented, in the top voice. Not all Renaissance organ music was sacred. These two pieces are intabulations, or arrangements for organ, of secular songs by Paul Hofhaimer, who besides his fame as an organist was one of the leading composers of German polyphonic song at the turn of the 16 th century.
The songs, originally in four parts, follow the usual pattern in presenting a memorable melody in the tenor, a tuneful discantus and bass, and an extremely active alto part. The intabulations omit the alto and add figuration to the discantus, making it more prominent than the tenor. The title Benedictus suggests a connection with the Mass. The organ sometimes sounded in place of the choir in portions of the Mass, and this piece as printed by Schlick could easily be an ornamented arrangement of a vocal original.
But no vocal model for it has been discovered, and the composer may well have been Schlick himself. The piece begins with imitation in all three voices and ends with an ostinato figure in the bass that drives the piece to an energetic close. Lively figuration punctuates the voices accompanying the long notes of the Benedictus.
As its title indicates, Primi toni is in the first or Dorian mode, transposed to G. The piece does not make use of imitation and does not appear to be based on a cantus firmus. It may have served as a prelude, though it does not resemble the Praeludia of other Renaissance keyboard composers, which typically alternate chords with rapid passage work. Instead it offers transparent, non-imitative polyphony, with frequent use of parallel tenths and a clear harmonic focus. This set of three short pieces shows the artistry of the leading German organist of the generation before Schlick.
Conrad Paumann, born in Nuremberg about , was affiliated with the Bavarian ducal court; his tombstone may still be seen in the Frauenkirche in Munich. Jacob Obrecht wrote a Mass on the melody, Ludwig Senfl arranged the tune for four voices, and Schlick himself arranged still another polyphonic setting of it for voice and lute. Each of the three voices is in its own distinct range, giving the piece a clear and transparent texture. Leonhard Kleber c.
Kleber compiled a large tablature book which includes his own setting of Maria zart. The cantus firmus is in the pedal. It begins with a long duet between the tenor and discantus parts before the bass enters.
Schlick published three settings of Da pacem, the antiphon for peace, in his Tabulaturen. The first, in three voices, presents the cantus firmus in the highest part.
The lower two voices begin by foreshadowing the chant melody, then exchange short melodic ideas in quicker note values. Toward the close, when the discantus has reached the end of the chant, it too breaks into quicker notes, joining in the interplay with the other voices. The second Da pacem setting, in four voices, gives the cantus firmus to the tenor in long notes while the other three voices present independent material.
Sometimes one hears brief snatches of imitation, but more striking is the florid, rhythmically nuanced melody in the discantus. The highly unusual chord on A-flat about three-quarters of the way through this setting illustrates a unique feature of the tuning system, similar to meantone, that Schlick had advocated in the Spiegel : Schlick required a consonant A-flat, sacrificing G-sharp in the process.
The third Da pacem setting is in four voices, with the chant melody in the bass. Though the setting is enlivened by points of imitation, there are few rests. The full texture and powerful sense of forward movement seem to call for full organ.
This creates a blurring of the two notes that accentuates the melody. Following his explanations of performance practice, Buchner includes organ settings based on chant for use in alternatim. The Agnus dei settings recorded here are for the feast of Epiphany. Both are manualiter pieces in four parts, exploiting alternation between the two lowest and the two highest voices in the manner of Josquin. In or , almost a decade after publishing his Tabulaturen , Arnolt Schlick sent a gift of two compositions to Bernhard Cles, the bishop of Trent.
The compositions Schlick sent to Bishop Cles are a group of eight settings of the Marian sequence Gaude dei genitrix and two settings of the antiphon Ascendo ad patrem. The Gaude settings, notated in two parts with verbal instructions for doubling one or both parts at various intervals, are a masterpiece of contrapuntal art, but they are not organ music. The cantus firmus is placed in the second tenor part, though few listeners will be able to distinguish it among the other nine.
The four voices given to the pedal are carefully constructed to be playable with the toe and heel of each foot.
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It is customarily used in churches for the praise of God, to facilitate choral singing, and to refresh human spirits and vexations. It is produced with great and heavy outlay and expense, and certainly through ignorance it is easily wasted, ruined, and all the cost may be vainly expended. The book contains music for organ and lute, notated in old German tablature, with the treble voice on a staff and the lower parts in letters. There are ten organ pieces, opening and closing with cantus firmus liturgical works. Treatments of vernacular songs are found between.
It is customarily used in churches for the praise of God, to facilitate choral singing, and to refresh human spirits and vexations. It is produced with great and heavy outlay and expense, and certainly through ignorance it is easily wasted, ruined, and all the cost may be vainly expended. The book contains music for organ and lute, notated in old German tablature, with the treble voice on a staff and the lower parts in letters. There are 10 organ pieces, opening and closing with cantus firmus liturgical works. Treatments of vernacular songs are found between. Conrad Paumann cantus firmi in different patterns ascending stepwise, in thirds or fourths; descending in various intervals. The cantus firmus moves in uniform note values, while the organist creates figuration in much shorter notes above it; this style is related to Notre-Dame organum and was very different from the imitative polyphonic music cultivated by 15 th -century Franco-Flemish composers.