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Publication Date

Spring 2013


The cultural and political climate of post-Tridentine Salzburg was transformed in 1587 with the election of prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Reitenau (1559–1617). This Italianate leader, due to his charisma and strong theological education at Rome's Collegium Germanicum, ushered in a new era of Catholic reform. In addition to reforming the regional Salzburg rite into the approved Roman rite, Wolf Dietrich desired to recreate the artistic environments of his Italian alma mater through the patronage of several musical collections.

Despite these dedications by composers whose works are representative of late sixteenth-century Italian styles, a closer examination of the surviving works in the Archiv der Erzdiözese Salzburg from this period — and evidence collected through the court's musical inventory — suggest that the musical reform to a more Italianate tradition was slower to accomplish compared to Wolf Dietrich's liturgical reforms. In fact, an analysis of Salzburg chorbuch W.b. XIV — a collection of eight Magnificats and two Marian antiphons dedicated to Wolf Dietrich in 1601 by Innsbruck composer Paul Sartorius (c. 1569–1609), and one of the earliest extant choir books in the Salzburg archive — illustrates that the musical climate of Salzburg retained regional traits, mainly psalm-tone formulae associated with Germanic Magnificat traditions, despite Wolf Dietrich's reforms.

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This document was originally published by National Collegiate Choral Organization in The Choral Scholar. Copyright restrictions may apply.

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