Image The St Emmeram Codex

The St Emmeram Codex

French, German and English vocal music for 4 to 6-voices from the middle of the 15th century, combined with excerpts from the Buxheim Organ Book, recorded on the presumably oldest organ of the world...

The Codex Saint Emmeram is a huge collection of important and popular European compositions (255 works in total) mainly from France, Germany and England, amassed in the middle of the 15th century by Hermann Pötzlinger, a cloister teacher in Regensburg. He was preserved in the Saint Emmeram Abbey in Regensburg, where it has it's name from. Today the collection is kept in the Bavarian State Library and has recently been printed as a facsimile.

The Regensburger Vocal Ensemble Stimmwerck with the countertenor Franz Vizthum, the tenors Klaus Wenk and Gerhard Hölzle as well as the bass Marcus Schmidl has taken care of this collection and has recorded 22 pieces. For the pieces with 5 or 6 voices the singers Christoph Hartkopf and Edzard Burchards joined the group. Academically this production was accompanied by the British musicologists Ian Rumbold and Peter Wright. The recordings took place in the fabulous acoustics of the abbey church of Windberg-Bogen (near Straubing). Besides, the Dutch organist and harpsichordist Léon Berben (already very well introduced with Aeolus) plays the excerpts from the Buxheimer organ book (compositions which also appear in the St Emmeram Codex!) on the Gothic organ in the St Andreas church in Ostönnen (near Soest) which is considered as one of the oldest, maybe even as the oldest preserved organ of the world.

The Codex Saint Emmeram shows the big stylistic variety of the European music from the late Middle Age and gives interesting ideas on the performance practise at that time. Pötzlinger sometimes also attaches liturgical texts to several pieces of secular origin (Kontrafakta). The 36 pages booklet contains all song texts in several translations.

A miraculous musical trip in the late Middle Age and an amazing sound document which comes along of course as an SACD for the lovers of Surround sound.