Gastvortrag David J. Rothenberg (Case Western Reserve University, USA)

22.05.2023 19:00

„After Marian Devotion: Commemoration of the Dead in Late Medieval Music and Culture“

Montag, 22. Mai 2023 – 19:00 Uhr – Institut für Musikwissenschaft, Hörsaal 1

The Virgin Mary dominated late medieval artistic and musical culture as an object of intercessory devotion. People prayed to Mary from private devotional books, contemplated visual images of her, and sang or endowed liturgical services in her honor so that she might intercede with Christ on their behalf. It was this devotional culture that produced the immense repertoire of Marian polyphony of the long fifteenth century, about which numerous scholars have written, including myself in The Flower of Paradise (2011) and elsewhere. But Marian devotion was intended primarily for the benefit of the living; the dead were no longer honored with intercessory devotion but with commemorative prayers and services addressed directly to Christ, most prominently the mass and office of the dead. Though not as large as its Marian counterpart, a substantial repertoire of mournful and commemorative music in honor of the dead emerged in the long fifteenth century, including the earliest Requiems, funerary motets, and déplorations. This lecture examines that repertoire within the context of late medieval liturgical and devotional culture in order to enumerate some of its salient musical characteristics and show how commemoration of the dead followed Marian devotion both temporally and functionally.