The Warsaw team is researching various aspects of the functioning of the music of the past within the culture of Central Europe and Italy during the late Middle Ages and early modern era. The research focuses on religious music performed in Catholic, Utraquist and Lutheran communities, following its origins, preservation and the transformations which it underwent during the course of history. This research will expand the chronological range of investigations carried out by the Cambridge team, complement the research by Prague geographically (Silesia, southern Poland), and provide comparative material for the research carried out in Utrecht and Heidelberg/Zurich.
Paweł Gancarczyk concentrates his research on the tradition of polytextual motet, which reaches back to the thirteenth century and was cultivated in Central Europe, particularly in Bohemia, during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. This research refers to the examples of compositions by Petrus Wilhelmi de Grudencz (b. 1392), whose motets, based on earlier models, have been preserved mainly in later Utraquist manuscripts from the turn of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Its aim is to establish the origins of these works and to track their functioning in Central Europe. At the centre of Gancarczyk’s interests are the music sources which might provide the answer to the question: what were the reasons for such great longevity of these compositions, and how did they find their way into the repertory of the Bohemian Utraquists? He also traces the links between these motets and the local song repertory (‘cantiones’), as well as other polyphonic forms popular in Central Europe, such as ‘rotulum’ and ‘katschetum’, and poses questions regarding the significance of this repertory for the cultural identity of this region.
Antonio Chemotti’s research project addresses the musical culture of early modern Silesia. Always a borderland territory, Silesia was a meeting point for different ethnic groups, cultures, and confessions. Notwithstanding its multicultural and multiconfessional character, it developed a strong territorial and ideological cohesion. This peculiar situation influenced artistic practices, among them music. Chemotti focusses on the Lutheran hymnbook Ein Schlesich [!] singebüchlein, published in Wrocław in 1555. Curiously, the hymnbook avoids the usual ‘Lutheran’ hymn repertoire, and instead relies on a more peculiar and markedly retrospective repertoire. The characteristics of the hymnbook’s paratexts and content are representative of a specific Silesian ‘regionalism’ (intended as regional consciousness), and they mirror the theological debate within the Silesian evangelical church. Analysis of the polyphonic hymns will also serve to address the reasons behind the survival of ‘archaic’ repertoires (a common phenomenon also in other central European regions), the ways of their circulation beyond borders and confessions, and their role in shaping religious and regional identities.
Bartłomiej Gembicki deals with a very particular ‘tradition’ in the cultivation of polychoral music in Venice. That ‘tradition’ of Vespers psalms for two choirs (so-called ‘salmi brevi’) composed by chapel-masters of the St. Mark’s church, was probably initiated during the first half of the 16th century and lasted at least until the demise of the Republic of Venice. It endured thanks to the specific liturgical rules contained in the ceremonials of St Mark’s, which stipulated that psalms composed for two choirs be performed on strictly specified days of the liturgical year. Selected ‘salmi brevi’ will be subjected to comparative analysis aiming to explore the extent to which it can be proven (as some scholars have claimed) that successive chapel-masters, over the course of three centuries, might have referred to their predecessors, including such ‘mythical’ figures in the history of Venetian music as Adrian Willaert and Giovanni Gabrieli. Gembicki refers to different definitions of such notions as myth and tradition and also to the concept of the ‘myth of Venice’ described by historians of different specialisms. Gembicki is not interested merely in the potential significance of ‘salmi brevi’ for Venice and its inhabitants (if indeed such generalisations have any sense at all), but rather in the degree to which they might affect existing opinions regarding (not just Venetian) polychorality in general.
→ See also the Warsaw team’s website (in Polish).
Antonio Chemotti (Trento, 1987) studied at the Faculty of Musicology in Cremona (University of Pavia), where he graduated cum laude in 2013, having produced a critical edition of the Kyries in manuscript Trento 93. His master’s thesis was awarded a prize by the Soprintendenza per i beni librari della Provincia di Trento in 2013.
From 2013 to 2016 he held a position as wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. As member of the Munich Doctoral Program for Literature and the Arts MIMESIS (Elite Network of Bavaria) he worked on a doctoral dissertation that examined polyphonic music for the liturgy for the dead. He was also a visiting academic at The Queen’s College, University of Oxford (WS 2016) and temporary lecturer at the University of Regensburg (SS 2016).
- music in Early Modern Europe
- music and ritual
- death studies
Paweł Gancarczyk is Associate Professor in the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences, as well as Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly Muzyka and the series Ikonografia muzyczna. Studia i materiały [Musical iconography. Studies and materials]. His main areas of research are:
- the musical culture of Central Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries
- manuscript studies
- early music printing
Recently he published La musique et la révolution de l’imprimerie. Les mutations de la culture musicale au XVIe siècle (Lyon 2015; recipient of the 2016 Prix des Muses, France) and edited Ars musica and its context in medieval and early modern culture (Warsaw 2016).
Bartłomiej Gembicki graduated in musicology from the University of Warsaw (2012). His bachelor’s thesis included an analysis and description of the liturgical context of a doublechoir psalm Laudate pueri from Francesco Cavalli’s Salmi a otto voci (Venice, 1675). His master’s thesis was focused on an early baroque anthology of sacred monody – Ghirlanda sacra (Venice, 1625). His thesis consisted of the historical context of the print and the description of the source as well as its critical edition.
He twice was the beneficiary of the Erasmus Programme: at the Universities of Catania (2011-2012) and Padua (2014). He also participated in seminars on the 16th- and 17th- century Venetian music sources, organized by the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice (2014, 2016).
Since 2014 he works for the Institute of Art (Department of Musicology) at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, where he is preparing his PhD thesis under direction of Barbara Przybyszewska-Jarmińska. He is also an assistant editor in the editorial series Monumenta Musicae in Polonia, which is dedicated to critical editions of Polish musical sources.
He is the author of several reviews and articles on early baroque Italian music.