Kassel, Wilhelm Wessel for Duke Moritz 1604-1603.
Two parts. 4to. [ii], , [2 blank], , , [2 blank]p. PRINTED MUSIC, main and divisional titles in fleuron frames.
Contemporary calf (neatly rebacked preserving the original spine), outer blind-ruled frames enclosing a gilt floral roll, corner fleurons, blind-stamped 6 VOX with the GILT ARMS OF THE LANGRAVE MORITZ OF HESSE below (front) and THE ARMS OF HIS WIFE JULIANE OF NASSAU-DILLENBERG (rear), all edges gilt, evidence of four leather ties.
OTTO, Georg. 1550-1618.
Opus Musicum Novum, Continens Textus Evangelicos, Dierum Festorum, Dominicarum Et Feriarum…Liber Primus. Motetarum Octo Vocum Sexta Vox. [-Liber Secundus Continens Motetas Dierum Dominicalium, Per Totum Annum…Sexta Vox]. Kassel, Wilhelm Wessel for Duke Moritz 1604. Two parts. 4to. [ii], , [2 blank]p. and [ii], , [2 blank]p. PRINTED MUSIC, main and divisional titles in fleuron frames.
Ad I-II: First Editions, music composed by the Landgrave’s Chapel Master, his lead singer and valet and by Landgrave Moritz himself, bound for Moritz with his arms on the front panel and those of his wife on the rear. The volume was intended for court musicians or for presentation to a visiting singer, instrumentalist or dignitary. These are the most important printed works by Geuck and Otto (a slender addition to each collection appeared later). No portion of either is held by an American library.
Ad I: Geuck set his patron’s tetrastich paraphrases of the Gospels to music as motets. The first part is for feast days and the second for each Sunday of the year. Geuck began service as a boy chorister with Moritz’s father, was schooled alongside Moritz by Georg Otto, the Chapel Master and was a star performer among the court musicians. Moritz so esteemed his companion that he made his valet. Geuck’s untimely death determined the Landgrave to complete his friend’s works and see them into print. Of these seventy-one motets, Geuck composed fifty-two and Moritz nineteen: Otto edited the whole for publication.
¶RISM A/I/3 G 1745 & G 1746); New Grove2 9: 790 & 17: 122-3; Moser, Die mehrstimmige Vertonung des Evangeliums. I: Geschichtliche Darstellung 32; Zulauf, Beiträge zur Geschichte der landgräflich-hessischen Hofkapelle zu Cassel bis auf die Zeit Moritz des Gelehrten 31-2; VD17 75:708634Q & 75:708731X.
Ad II: With the support of the Landgrave, Otto created the Kassel School of music, conservative in style and attentive to declamation. Again based on Gospel readings, the first suite of motets is for feast days and the second for Sundays to make sixty-five compositions in all. Brought to Kassel by Moritz in 1597, Wilhelm Wessel was the first to print in the city. In good condition, signature of Margaret Thomas (“Margreat Thomas”), subsequently in the library of the Barons Harlech.
¶RISM A/I/3 O 276 & O 277; New Grove2 18: 805-6; Moser 32; Zulauf 29-31; VD17 75:708721R & 75:708722Y.