15th-c. Franco-Flemish Chansonnier

Leuven Chansonnier
  General Editors: David J. Burn & Bart Demuyt
[study by David J. Burn ; Nederlandse vertaling: Ignace Bossuyt]

  [Louvain, Alamire Foundation]

Leuven Chansonnier, facsimile & commentary
opening fols. 1r-2r

Leuven Library of Music in Facsimile, 1. Antwerp, 2017. 8.5 x 12 cm, 2 vols, 190 pp + commentary

What a story! In 2014, a small Brussels auction-house sold a lot containing a statue, an illuminated initial, and a songbook, to a private art-dealer. The songbook was brought to the Alamire Foundation/KU Leuven Musicology Research Group for further examination. The book, it turned out, was a previously unknown late 15th-c. chansonnier, complete and in its original cloth binding. The rediscovery of such a source in unaltered form is extremely rare, it's been almost a century since the last such discovery. The manuscript was acquired through the Léon Courtin—Marcelle Bouché Fund, administered by the Belgian King Baudouin Foundation. The songbook was subsequently loaned long-term to the Alamire Foundation. Like several other similar chansonniers, this codex has been named after the location where it is preserved. The “Leuven Chansonnier” is a unique witness from the 15th century. What makes this manuscript so special? This very small and yet substantial book, penned more than 500 years ago, is in astonishingly good condition. It contains 50 compositions representing the very best of Franco-Flemish polyphony (by composers including Ockeghem, Binchois, and Busnois). It contains 12 previously unknown songs, thus offering a new perspective on the polyphony of the Low Countries. The present publication offers a full color reproduction of the MS accompanied by a scholarly commentary in Eng/Dut. $75

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