Warsaw team


The Warsaw team will examine the question of enduring cultivation of some compositional practices from Italy using the example of the lauda and of poly-choral psalm settings in Venice, linking them with their Central European reception as testified by sources preserved, for example, in Silesia. This research will expand the chronological range of investigations carried out by Cambridge in 13th-century France into 14th-16th century Italy, complement the research by Prague geographically (Silesia, southern and central Poland), and provide comparative material for the research carried out in Utrecht, Prague and Heidelberg.

Paweł Gancarczyk will research the reception of sophisticated, mensurally notated ars nova repertory in Central Europe. Genres such as polytextual and isorhythmic motets, the caccia and formes fixes songs—cultivated during the 13th and 14th centuries primarily in France, the Low Countries and Italy—were adopted and transformed in 15th-century Central Europe (i.e. Bohemia, Silesia, Austria, southern and central Poland) in accordance with local needs and customs (for example, associated with Latin devotional texts).

The University of Prague, modelled on Paris, likely played a key role in this transfer; from c. 1370 Prague was also a centre for copying theoretical treatises devoted to mensural music. A body of such writings from the 15th century (Austria, Silesia, Bohemia, Mazovia) has been preserved, as well as a number of musical compositions in sources from Bohemia, Silesia and southern Poland which may provide examples of the musical forms to which these writings refer (e.g., mutetus, cacetum, i.e., older forms imported from France and Italy).

Some of this music of the distant past was still being performed in the second quarter of the 16th century, penetrating the repertory of Utraquist literary brotherhoods, when other regions of Europe had long abandoned such ‘old-fashioned’ pieces. In this way a repertory with roots in the 13th and 14th centuries became a significant component of the musical identity of Central Europe in a later period; besides Utraquist centres, the most important sites where it was nurtured were universities (Prague, Cracow, Vienna, Leipzig) and Latin schools.

In the 15th and early 16th centuries, the Italian lauda also became an important element of the Central European musical tradition. A number of manuscripts containing ambitious polyphonic repertory also house Latin-texted compositions with simple poetic structure and conservative musical features which have clear connections to the Italian lauda of the 14th and 15th centuries. This thematic complex will be systematically studied by Antonio Chemotti.

The polyphonic lauda and its functions in Italy in the 15th century will need to be reexamined as a basis for the study of its reception north of the Alps and its functions within a new social and cultural environment (e.g., in Poland, Silesia, Saxony). The work on the (relatively) simple lauda will complement investigations undertaken by Paweł Gancarczyk on the complex and erudite caccia: it will also link to research conducted in Prague, in terms of the Central European appropriation of older music and, in view of the lauda’s devotional functions, offer comparison to the topics studied in Utrecht concerning the role of music associated with a ‘better’ past by adherents of the ‘devotio moderna’.

Bartłomiej Gembicki undertakes a study juxtaposing Italian musical practice of the mid-16th century to the end of the ancien régime with Central European
appropriations of Italian music of the same period: music composed for Vespers at St Mark’s in Venice will provide the central material. The codification of the Venetian liturgy in the mid-16th century was accompanied by the establishment of specific principles for composing and performing poly-choral psalms, and these were adhered to until the fall of the Republic in 1797.

The aim of Bartłomiej Gembicki’s research will be to determine the significance of this tradition in the context of Venetian political-religious propaganda, which intensified during the period of the Council of Trent, and favoured the preservation of certain customs and musical practices of the past considered an important element of local identity.

The findings and research models established by the other teams in relation to ‘their’ traditions of 16th-century church music will be of great importance; this applies in particular to the other ‘recent’ groups studied by the consortium, i.e., the Amsterdam Beguines (Hascher-Burger in Utrecht) and Lutheran practices in northern Germany (Heidelberg team).

→ See also the Warsaw team’s website (in Polish).

Team members

Antonio Chemotti

antonio_chemotti_800x800Antonio 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).
Research interests:

  • music in Early Modern Europe
  • music and ritual
  • intertextuality
  • death studies

pawel_gancarczyk_800x800Paweł Gancarczyk

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).

→ View his list of publications on www.ispan.pl

Bartłomiej Gembicki

bartlomiej_gembicki_800x800Bartłomiej 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.

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