A-LIb 529, Fragment 40

[The cataloguing project Musikalische Quellen (9.-15. Jahrhundert) in der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek (Musical Sources (9th-15th Century) in the Austrian National Library), conducted by Alexander Rausch and Robert Klugseder at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, has made the Linz Fragments available online in high-resolution images. All links to the source including a preliminary inventory by Reinhard Strohm go to the homepage of this project. The image rights lie with Robert Klugseder who took the photos.]

Christ ist erstanden(?)

Linz Fragment 40 is listed in the preliminary inventory among one of those pages, which contains yet unidentified, textless chansons. The following edition shows that the corrections that were added in the tenor line by the scribe are essential for the functioning of the composition—the places are marked here with asterisks. It is clear from the counterpoint that the composition was meant to be a four voice setting, the bassus having been cut off by the cropping of the page.

While I was editing and arranging the fragmented parts into a score the surviving counterpoint seemed very familiar and reminded me of a well-known melody. The final hint came with Reinhard Strohm’s identification of a “Christ ist erstanden” version on the other side of the same folio (Linz Fragment 39): It turns out that the surviving voices of the composition on Fragment 40 would (with some slight adjustments) support a slow-moving “Christ ist erstanden” melody in the top line. Such a cantus firmus would also link up nicely with the surviving parts of this voice. Since I could not find “Christ ist erstanden” on Fragment 39, I strongly suspect that Strohm’s identification of the piece from 1984 refers to what is now Fragment 40 with the c.f. in the cantus.

Fragment 40 - surviving notation (possibly a "Christ ist erstanden" version, c.f. in the cantus)

Fragment 40—surviving notation (possibly a “Christ ist erstanden” version with the c.f. in the cantus)

Marc Lewon

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