Cantus Novi Thesauri Musici Liber Primus




Pietro GIOVANNELLI – Cantus Novi Thesauri Musici Liber Primus Quo Selectissime Planeque Novae, Nec Unquam In Lucem Editae Cantiones Sacrae (Quas Vulgo Moteta Vocant) Continentur Octo, Septem, Sex, Quinque; Ac Quatuor Vocum, A Prestantissimis Ac Huius Aetatis, Precipuis Symphoniacis Compositae, Quae In Sacra Ecclesia Catholica, Summis Solemnibusque; Festivitatibus, Canuntur, Ad Omnis Generis Instrumenta Musica, Accomodatae: Petri Ioannelli Bergomensis De Gandino, Summo Studio Ac Labore Collectae, Eiusque Expensis Impressae. Venetis, apud Antonium Gardanum, 1568. Full parchment with visible nerves, large letter G handwritten in gothic font on the front plate; 8 °, 24 cm; excellent and very fresh copy. Five title pages, one for each book, with minimal variations of titles, all in an architectural frame with the Imperial coat of arms of Maximilian II of Habsburg at the top and two lions at the bottom holding a rose with the motto Concorde Virtute et Naturae Miraculis del Gardano; hundreds of woodcut drop caps; dedication to the Emperor Maximilian II; portrait of Ferdinand I on pp. (8) and 405, coat of arms of Maximilian II on pp. (10) and 413, coat of arms of Ferdinand I on pp. (12) and 423, coat of arms of Charles Archduke of Austria on pages. (14) and 427 and the coat of arms of Pietro Giovannelli on p. 459, all by Donat Hubschmann (and not by Daniel Hopfer as reported in some bibliographies); musical notations on staff; indices. Very rare first edition of this sort of anthology of music at the time of the Habsburgs. It contains, among the many, compositions by Jacob Regnart, Jacobus Vaet, Matthias Zaphelius, Michel-Charles Des Buisson, Henri De La Corte. For some of these composers, the works reproduced in the cantus novi thesauri musici remain the only testimony of their works. This is one of the most sumptuous and pretentious works of a musical nature in the book production of the Renaissance, with a clear intention to commemorate the Habsburg court as well as the music itself. Let's begin the study starting from the physical description of the book. These are five books in a single volume, with a height of approx. 24 cm, an unusual format at the time for musical texts. Shelfmark a-ooo4 for pages (15) + 467 (real 466). Each book has its own title page, each of which differs only in the title of the book. This is enclosed in a very elegant woodcut architectural frame: at the base, a typographic mark by Gardano, a lion and a bear holding a flower and the motto Concordes virtute et naturae miracolis; on the sides two human figures, one male and one female, like columns; in the upper center the imperial coat of arms of Maximilian II and two winged figures with laurel wreaths. Dedication to the emperor himself, dated 10 August 1568; various portraits and woodcut coats of arms follow: Ferdinand I (c. A3r, repeated in gggr), coat of arms of Maximilian II (c. A4r, repeated in hhhr), coat of arms of Ferdinand I (c. Br, repeated in iii2r), vignette with nature dead (c. B2v), coat of arms of Charles Archduke of Austria (c. B2r, repeated in iii4r), insignia of Pietro Giovannelli (c. Nnn4r). In reference to these numerous woods, at least in a past auction sale, the author of the same was indicated in Daniel Hopfer. But this is a mistake. Now, the monogram that identifies each engraving is, yes, DH, but it is the monogram of Donat Hubschmann, as can be seen from many of his other compositions with the same monogram as his signature. Each book contains an index of the various musical compositions motets, to be precise as the last page. The entire volume, decorated with hundreds of talking drop caps, is articulated on the pentagram. About Pietro Giovannelli (Petrus Ioannellus Gergomensis de Gandino) news is scarce. It is known that he was born in Gandino di Bergamo in the sixteenth century and that he was a musician. There are those who identify him with a character of the same name, typographer and bookseller who practiced in Emilia Romagna, but there are no certainties. His name is remembered only by virtue of the compilation of this book. On Antonio Gardano instead we know something more. Part of an active family of Venetian printers (active from the mid-16th century to almost the entire 17th century), he is probably the most famous of his lineage. In addition to being a typographer he was also a musical composer and this certainly helped him in the innovations he brought to the printing of musical texts. In fact, he was able to combine notes and musical line through a single impression, when at the time for this operation it was customary to repeat the operation at least three times. Over the years, Gardano had specialized in the publication of numerous motets, those compositions for two and three voices of a sacred nature that will later compose the cantus.


apud Antonium Gardanum




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Francesco Magnani

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