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Oswald of Wolkenstein: Manuscript A
Vienna, Austrian National Library, Cod. Vindob. 2777, around 1425

CODICES SELECTI, Vol. LIX

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Oswald von Wolkenstein´s songbook was compiled during his lifetime and presumably at his command. Carefully written and attractively illuminated, the manuscript has been well preserved; and its lines and colors have remained intact despite six centuries and equally clear and bright in this facsimile. To be sure, the portrait of the author has suffered the ravages of time; therefore this edition also reproduces a later, yet satisfactory, reconstructed copy.

The poetic texts and musical scores are preceded by a detailed and technical history and description of the manuscript by the editor, Francesco Delbono, who has performed his task with truely `Teutonic´ thoroughness, scrutinizing the folios painstakingly and noting every peculiarity of the protective cover, binding, format, parchment, ink, initials, script, catalogue numbers, marginal notes, etc. From these and other bits of evidence he has been able to adduce an acceptable history of Ms. A.

Now that Ms. B is no longer considered merely a corrected and expanded copy of Ms. A, but a compilation of the same separate texts, it is evident that any further textual study must take Ms. A. into account; and therefore the ardent confraternity of Oswaldianers should welcome this handsome addition to the Codices Selecti, as should all students of late-medieval music.

   
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