Musical Delicacies

— Early Music Concert Series —


Frisch auff – Music from Codex Jacobides

Previously unpublished music from Prague in the time of Rudolf II.

Friday 23 July 2021 19:00 — St. Christopher’s Church, Seehalde 12, 88149 Nonnenhorn, Germany.  (Wheelchair accessible)

Aegidius Sadeler (1570–1629), view of Prague (1606).
Stone alias “Charles” Bridge — Old Town Bridge Tower.


Anonymus Paduana Hispanica   (CJ fol. 20v)
Stephan Laurentius Jacobides Præambulum Stephani Laurentij Jacobidis   (CJ fol. 1r)
Michael Praetorius (1571 — 1621) Bransle simple de Novelle   (CJ fol. 5v–6r,  Terpsichore nr. 2:4)
Bransle gay   (CJ fol. 6v,  Terpsichore nr. 2:5)
Anonymus Courante   (CJ fol. 8v)
Anonymus Frisch auff mein liebes Tochterlein   (CJ fol. 33v)
Francesco da Milano (1497 — 1543) Fantasia   (CJ fol. 2v)
Philippe Verdelot (ca. 1480 — ca. 1540) Perche la piu acerba   (CJ fol. 28r–28v)
Jacquet de Berchem (ca. 1505 — ca. 1567) Ossoxaissi dona   (O s’io potessi donna)   (CJ fol. 26v–27r)
Anonymus Ich ging ein mal spatziren   (CJ fol. 3v)
Anonymus Fantasia   (CJ fol. 26r)
Cœlestium   (CJ fol. 25v)
Jesu tu nobis influas   (CJ fol. 25r)
Anonymus Entraj di Lag   (Entrée de Luth)   (CJ fol. 11r)
maybe Matthäus Reymann (ca. 1565 — after 1625)
Galliarda   (CJ fol. 24v, Reymann fol. O6r, Dlugorai fol. VI.19r & VI.23r)
Anonymus Die Soldaten sindt aller Ehren werdt   (CJ fol. 35v)
Saltarella   (CJ fol. 20r)
Tantz herr: von Teltz   (CJ fol. 34r, Fugger fol. 34v)
Anonymus Sarabanda Maris   (CJ fol. 11v, Torino fol. 11v)
Jean Planson (ca. 1559 — after 1611) La Rousée de joly mois de may   (Airs fol. 38r,  CJ fol. 7v)
Anonymus Paßamezo, Saltarela   (CJ fol. 13v)
Salterela   (CJ fol. 16v)

Sources used

CJ Codex Jacobides, Národní muzeum, České muzeum hudby, Prague, Manuscript XIII B 237.
Dlugorai Dlugorai ms., Leipziger Stadtbibliothek, Musikbibliothek, Leipzig, Manuscript II.6.15.
Fugger Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Musiksammlung, Vienna, Mus. Hs. 18821.
Torino Biblioteca nazionale universitaria, Turin, Manuscript Riserva musica IV, 23/2 (ca. 1620).
Airs Jehan Planson, Airs mis en musique (a quatre parties), Paris (Adrian le Roy & la vefue R. Ballard) 1593.
Reymann Matthäus Reymann, Noctes musicæ, studio et industriâ, Heidelberg (Gotthard Vögelin) 1598.
Terpsichore Michael Prætorius, Terpsichore, Musarum Aeoniarum Quinta, Wolfenbüttel (Fürstliche Druckerey) 1612.

About the project

The concert is part of the project “Codex Jacobides — previously unpublished music from Prague in the time of Rudolf II”.

Project: Codex Jacobides — previously unpublished music from Prague in the time of Rudolf II
Fr 14.08.2020
Frisch auff
St. John’s Church,
Nieblum, Föhr (DE)
Sa 15.08.2020
Frisch auff
St. Lawrence Church,
Johann-Adolf-Str., Tönning (DE)
15 €
We 19.08.2020
Frisch auff
Kunín château,
Kunín 1 (CZ)
We 21.10.2020
Frisch auff
Janáček Academy (JAMU)
Komenského nám. 6, Brno
Th 22.10.2020
Frisch auff
Institute of Archaeology,
Mikulčice-Trapíkov 736 (CZ)
Fr 23.10.2020
Gala concert
Codex Jacobides
Czech Museum of Music,
Karmelitská 2/4, Prague
Th 29.10.2020
On-line concert
Frisch auff
Institute of Archaeology,
Mikulčice-Trapíkov 736 (CZ)
Fr 23.07.2021
Frisch auff
St. Christopher’s Church,
Nonnenhorn (DE)

About the programme

The beginnings of European instrumental music are inseparably linked with the lute, which particularly in the 16th and 17th centuries became the most widespread and most popular instrument played in the homes of wealthy citizens and the nobility. The references to the lute in the Bohemian Lands date as far back as the 14th century.

The lute tablature fragment CZ-Pnm XIII B 237 is one of the most significant Czech documents of late renaissance literature for the lute. It is evident that the scribe tried to divide the manuscript into sections, each comprising a certain type of repertoire. For example, the following sections stand out: preludes, fantasies, passamezzos, arrangements of Regnart’s villanelles and of Italian vocal compositions, French and Italian dance songs, intavolations of Latin sacred compositions, courantes, etc.

We do not know any details about Štěpán Vavřinec Jacobides, the author of the only known non-anonymous Czech composition for the lute (Præambulum, fol. 1r). He may be identical to a certain Štěpán Jacobides Záhořanský, who is mentioned among the pupils of the school belonging to the Church of Saint Henry in Prague and who in 1622 dedicated some poems to two Prague burgers. His compositional activity would presumably fall in the same time period.

Emperor Rudolf II (1552–1612),
King of Bohemia 1575–1611.

Another hint for the dating is provided by the numbering of the intabulations of the villanelles by Jacob Regnart. Their first part, which appeared in print in 1576, contained only 22 compositions. In the tablature, however, the song Jungfraw, ewre wanckelmut (fol. 32r) is mentioned as number 27, which corresponds to its position in the full edition (Teutsche Lieder mit dreyen Stimmen) which was first published in 1583, then in 1584, 1587, 1593 and 1611. In his capacity as Kapellmeister to Emperor Rudolf II, Regnart stayed in Prague twice: from 1579, where the full edition did not exist yet, and from 1595 until his death in 1599.

Folio 32r: Chce mi se wdatiLib mich als ich dich
(click to enlarge image).

The tablature contains an significant, unique arrangement of Regnart’s song Chce mi se wdatiLib mich als ich dich (Fol. 32r), which Jiří Tichota called attention to already in 1967. One may assume that some of the other songs preserved here anonymously likewise stem from this author. This assumption is supported not only by musical similarities, but also by the fact that they are placed next to Regnart’s other compositions. Some songs invite to real detective research; for example, the Czech incipit to Regnart’s otherwise completely unknown composition Chce mi se wdati is not a translation of the German Lib mich als ich dich, pointing to the existence of a Czech text (Chce mi se wdati was classified as a “national” by the song collectors of the Czech National Revival!).

Some compositions of the fragment are written for a 10-course lute. Instruments of this kind were not widely used until after 1600. The manuscript originated in the first two or three decades of the 17th century; Czech sentences and the names of the compositions indicate that the scribe and user of the collection was Czech.

Repertoire-wise, the manuscript ranks beyond doubt among the student lute books, a specific category of musical memorabilia of the 16th and early 17th century. Three out of four of the other manuscripts that are preserved in Czechia and comprise lute music notated in German tablature appear to originate from the same environment.

A prominent place is always given to contemporary dances; their multifaceted range testify to the lively cultural contacts and the important position that Prague held in Central Europe. Besides widely popular Italian, French, Spanish and English dances together with dance arrangements of German and French songs, we also find numerous Polish and Hungarian pieces. Their presence documents, among other things, the attention that Hungary attracted as the place where the struggle for existence was taking place, against the Turkish expansion.

Intavolations – adaptations of vocal music for the lute – were very popular. Besides the already mentioned arrangements of Regnart’s villanelles, this manuscript contains examples of Italian madrigals (Jacquet de Berchem, Philippe Verdelot), arrangements of French and German songs, as well as an adaptation of a three-part setting of a sacred Latin text (Jesu tu nobis influas – Cœlestium), where the transcribing amateur demonstrates his lack of understanding of mensural notation and ignorance of the principles of musica ficta. One piece for two lutes has also been preserved.

This fragment is the sole tablature of Bohemian origin for the Renaissance lute that shows evidence of an interest in serious, artistic forms of music. Apart from Jacobides’ Præambulum, there are three surviving preludes which, beyond doubt, already belong to the modern French school, and a a masterly fantasy by Francesco da Milano; their inclusion in this manuscript proves that quite demanding and artful music had its admirers and devotees among the Prague lutenists.

(This text is based on Jiří Tichota’s preface to the edition of Codex Jacobides.)


Marta Kratochvílová

Marta Kratochvílová — Jan Čižmář.

Marta Kratochvílová studied flute at the Conservatory in Pardubice and then at the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno. Subsequently, she completed studies in France at the Conservatoire National de Région de Strasbourg, where she specialized on baroque and renaissance traverse flute with Jean-François Alizon and Nancy Hadden, and on chamber music with Martin Gester and Patrick Blanc. She attended masterclasses and workshops by prominent figures such as Paul McCreesh, Barthold Kuijken, Jan Latham-Koenig and Sir Neville Marriner. In France she performed in the ensembles Le Parlement de Musique, Le Masque, Bohemia Duo and NotaBene. At renaissance workshops (Ferrara, Munich, Stuttgart, Basel) she performed regularly with the Consort of traverso players from Strasbourg.

She performs regularly throughout Europe, primarily in chamber projects with her artistic partners, including artists such as Christophe Coin, Jan Čižmář, Karel Fleischlinger, Joel Frederiksen, Marc Hervieux, Martin Jakubíček, Petr Kolař, Ján Krigovský, Martyna Pastuszka, Emmanuel Soulhat, Marcin Świątkiewicz, Marc Vonau, and the ensembles {oh!} Orkiestra Historyczna or Plaisirs de Musique, of which she is a founding member. She is also the artistic leader of the renaissance flute consort Tourdion.

As a teacher with many years of experience she is invited to presentations and masterclasses throughout Europe; she teaches also privately baroque and renaissance traverso playing and historical interpretation.

CD: Codex Jacobides, Praga circa 1600.

Jan Čižmář

Jan Čižmář is a versatile performer focusing on historical plucked instruments. He performs regularly in Europe, Asia and the USA with ensembles such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Capella Cracoviensis and {oh!} Orkiestra Historyczna, and under conductors such as Frans Brüggen, Christopher Hogwood, Giovanni Antonini, Yannick Nézet–Séguin and Christina Pluhar. He appears also as soloist with of baroque and renaissance repertoire, and is the artistic leader of the ensemble Plaisirs de Musique.

After graduating in guitar and musicology in his native city Brno he studied at the Royal College of Music in London, where he began playing the lute in the class of Jakob Lindberg. He continued his studies at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague with the teachers Nigel North, Joachim Held, Mike Fentross and Christina Pluhar. He was the founder and editor of the Czech guitar magazine Kytara and contributes regularly to other musical periodicals. He is also intensely involved with publishing and research activities in the field of early music.

Jan Čižmář taught lute and related instruments at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice in Poland and at the Academy of Ancient Music of the Masaryk University in Brno; currently he is teaching at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (JAMU) in Brno. He regularly gives courses and masterclasses in Europe and overseas.

He appears on some dozens of CDs; his first solo CD was released in 2020 (Supraphon), dedicated to the music of Codex Jacobides.

Thank you

The project “Codex Jacobides — previously unpublished music from Prague in the time of Rudolf II” is realized with financial support from the Czech-German Fund for the Future, the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and the Statutory City of Brno.

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