top of page

GIOVANNELLI Pietro – Cantus Novi Thesauri Musici - 1568



GIOVANNELLI Pietro – Cantus Novi Thesauri Musici Liber Primus Quo Selectissime Planeque Novae, Nec Unquam In Lucem Editae Cantiones Sacrae (Quas Vulgo Moteta Vocant) Continentur Octo, Septem, Sex, Quinque; Ac Quatuor Vocum, A Prestantissimis Ac Huius Aetatis, Precipuis Symphoniacis Compositae, Quae In Sacra Ecclesia Catholica, Summis Solemnibusque; Festivitatibus, Canuntur, Ad Omnis Generis Instrumenta Musica, Accomodatae: Petri Ioannelli Bergomensis De Gandino, Summo Studio Ac Labore Collectae, Eiusque Expensis Impressae. Venetis, apud Antonium Gardanum, 1568. Full parchment with raised bands, large letter G handwritten in gothic font on the front board; octavo, 24 cm; excellent and very fresh copy. Five title pages, one for each book, with minimal variations of titles, all in an architectural frame with the Imperial coat of arms of Maximilian II of Habsburg at the top and at the bottom two lions holding up a rose with the Gardano’s motto Concorde Virtute et Naturae Miraculis; hundreds of woodcut drop caps; dedication to the Emperor Maximilian II; portrait of Ferdinand I on pp. (8) and 405, coat of arms of Maximilian II on pp. (10) and 413, coat of arms of Ferdinand I on pp. (12) and 423, coat of arms of Charles Archduke of Austria on pp. (14) and 427 and the coat of arms of Pietro Giovannelli on p. 459, all by Donat Hubschmann (and not by Daniel Hopfer as reported in some bibliographies); musical notations on staff; indices. Very rare first edition of this sort of anthology of music at the time of the Habsburgs. It contains, among the many, compositions by Jacob Regnart, Jacobus Vaet, Matthias Zaphelius, Michel-Charles des Buisson, Henri de la Corte. For some of these composers, the works reproduced in the cantus novi thesauri musici remain the only testimony of their works. This is one of the most sumptuous and pretentious works of a musical nature in the book production of the Renaissance, with a clear intention to commemorate the Habsburg court as well as the music itself. These are five books in a single volume, with a height of approx. 24 cm, an unusual format at the time for musical texts. Signature a-ooo4 for pages (15) + 467 (real 466). Each book has its own title page, each of which differs only in the title of the book. This is enclosed in a very elegant woodcut architectural frame: at the base, a typographic mark by Gardano, a lion and a bear holding a flower and the motto Concordes virtute et naturae miracolis; on the sides two human figures, one male and one female, like columns; in the center at the top imperial coat of arms of Maximilian II and two winged figures with laurel wreaths. Dedication to the emperor himself, dated 10 August 1568; various portraits and woodcut coats of arms follow: Ferdinand I (c. A3r, repeated in gggr), coat of arms of Maximilian II (c. A4r, repeated in hhhr), coat of arms of Ferdinand I (c. Br, repeated in iii2r), vignette with nature dead (c. B2v), coat of arms of Charles Archduke of Austria (c. B2r, repeated in iii4r), insignia of Pietro Giovannelli (c. Nnn4r). In reference to these numerous woodcuts, at least in a past auction sales, the author of the same was indicated in Daniel Hopfer. But this is a mistake. Now, the monogram that identifies each engraving is, yes, DH, but it is the monogram of Donat Hubschmann, as can be seen from numerous other compositions by him with the same monogram as their signature. Each book contains an index of the various musical compositions motets, to be precise as the last page. The entire volume, decorated with hundreds of talking drop caps, is articulated on the staff. There is scarce news about Pietro Giovannelli (Petrus Ioannellus Gergomensis de Gandino). It is known that he was born in Gandino di Bergamo in the sixteenth century and that he was a musician. There are those who identify him with a character of the same name, typographer and bookseller who practiced in Emilia Romagna, but there are no certainties. His name is only remembered by virtue of the compilation of this book. On Antonio Gardano instead we know something more. Part of an active family of Venetian printers (active from the mid-sixteenth century to almost the entire seventeenth century), he is probably the most famous of his lineage. In addition to being a typographer, he was also a musical composer and this certainly helped him in the innovations he brought to the printing of musical texts. In fact, he was able to combine notes and musical line through a single impression, when at the time for this operation it was customary to repeat the operation at least three times. Over the years Gardano had specialized in the publication of numerous motets, those compositions for two and three voices of a sacred nature that will later compose the cantus. The latter saw the light, as mentioned, in 1568, that is a year before Antonio died and his business passed to his children, continuing to maintain a leading role in musical typography. The Cantus is made up of 257 motets, for a minimum of two and a maximum of eight voices. The composers of the works contained in this book are: Andrea Gabrielli, Georg Prenner, Jacobus Vaet, André Pevernage, Alexander Utendal, Giaches de Wert, Orlando di Lasso, Joaquin Desprès, Philippe Due, Jean Guyot, Jacobus Regnart, Matthias Zapfelius, Johannes Deslins , Michael Buissons, Michael Deiss, Simon de Roy, Joannes Chainée, Stephan Mahu, Franciscus Mergot, Antonio Galli, Wilhelmus Formellis, Adam de Ponte, Jacob van Brouck, Gregorius Trehou, Petrus Speillier, Antoine de la Court, Henry de la Court, Joannes Lois, Christiaan Jansz Hollander, Lambert de Sayve and Johannes de Cleve. For some of these authors, the pieces shown in the Cantus represent the only surviving written testimony of their compositions. Of particular interest, among the many, is the composition of Regnart in praise of Alfonso Este (in Laudem illustrissimi principis Alphonsi Estensis Ferrarie Ducis, p. 443, lll4r) and that of Henry de la Court in memory of Pietro Piovannelli himself (in memoriam Petri Ioannelli huius operis collectoris, page 460 ooov). The whole work is intrinsically a celebration of the music itself, even before the illustrious and sacred characters to whom the compositions are addressed. Likewise, it is an almost memorial volume, a testimony and a tribute that Giovanelli wanted to address to that Habsburg court where, it is assumed, he found asylum. One volume, five books that transmit very strong emotions, both for the care and typographic composition, and for the historical, cultural and musical legacy it bears witness to.

More items from

Libreria Belriguardo - Italian Rare Books

bottom of page