LEONI, Leone. [with] BURGH, Cornelius.


LEONI, Leone. [with] BURGH, Cornelius. Sacri Flores binis, ternis et quaternis vocibus…Cantus [with] Hortus Marianus...Cantus

Antwerp, apud Petrum Phalesium, apud Haeredes Petri Phalesii, 1619, 1630


FIRST EDITION of second. 2 vols, small 4to. pp. (ii) 26; (iv) 28 (iv). Roman letter, musical notation. T-ps within typographical borders, with woodcut printer’s device, printed oval centrepiece with interlacing ribbons and tendrils to last of second work, decorated white-on-black initials and ornaments. Mostly light browning, I: light water stain to upper outer corner of first few ll., light marginal see-through from adhesive of original binding at end, II: light marginal spotting to a few ll. Good copies, in C18 marbled wrappers, rubbed.

Two very scarce Italian music scores, printed in Flanders. Petrus Phalesius the Younger (1545-1629) was the second of a family of Flemish music printers and booksellers. They contributed to the diffusion of Italian music in the Netherlands, publishing scores by major authors like Monteverdi and Frescobaldi. Very near the status of ephemeral publications, they are here in remarkable condition. Leone Leoni (1560-1627) was ‘maestro di cappella’ at Vicenza Cathedral, and the author of madrigals, motets for antiphonal choirs, and sundry liturgical music. The collection ‘Sacri Flores’ was first published as ‘Sacri Fiori’ in Venice in 1606. It features 8 motets for two voices, 7 for three, and 6 for four (bassi, alti, canti, tenores, and trombones), with a score devised to be easy for organists. ‘The technique of writing for small groups of voices quickly became a major compositional tool which spread throughout Europe […] Their earliest examples [which Leoni reprises] effectively reduced the number of lines in music still conceived contrapuntally, and used the organ to complete the harmony’ (‘Cambridge History’, 308). The second work was inspired by this tradition. Cornelius Burgh (1590-1639) was a German jurist. In 1616-18, organist at the Benedictine monastery of Mönchengladbach, and later at the parish church of St Lambertus in Erkelenz. Inspired by the style of Monteverdi, he composed mostly liturgical music. ‘Hortus Marianus’ is a collection of 25 sacred concerts, each in four parts, only using Marian texts. In four voices, the pieces were adapted ‘for all kinds of singers and instruments’, and all include bass, single or double. The early owner in this case was most probably a woman as ‘cantus’ corresponds, more or less, to the modern soprano.

I: No copies recorded in the US; only three copies recorded in the UK (BL, Manchester and Oxford).Cat. of Printed Music Pre-1801 at Christ Church, Oxford, p.38.II: No copies recorded in the US; only three recorded in the UK (BL, Manchester and Oxford).Cat. of Printed Music Pre-1801 at Christ Church, Oxford, p.9. The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Music (2014).
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