Reconstruction Workshop: A session at the conference Gaspar van Weerbeke: Works and Contexts
University of Salzburg, 29 June - 1 July 2017
Of the fifty-five songs in the incomplete set of partbooks FlorC Basevi 2442, three were attributed to “Gaspart”. As fully half of the surviving song or instrumental repertory with a potential attribution to Gaspar van Weerbeke, these partbooks may help answer questions concerning the composer’s engagement with vernacular genres. Because the bass partbook is missing, however, their utility is impaired. Only one of the three songs has any concordances: the remaining two survive with only three of their original four voices.
As a session at the conference Gaspar van Weerbeke: Works and Contexts, this workshop confronted some of the problems that modern scholars face when trying to reconstruct songs from c. 1500. Bon temps, for example, opens with different song melodies in the three higher voices: the bass probably also began with a quotation of a pre-existing melody. Que fait le cocu appears to start with an imitative tenor/bass duet not unlike the superius/altus duet which follows, but, as often happens with Gaspar, the imitation may not last very long. Finally, the partbooks themselves are not without error, and one mistake in Bon temps has been corrected in the transcription.
Participants in the workshop were requested to submit reconstructions of one or both songs two weeks in advance of the conference (i.e. by 16 June 2017). Aspects of these reconstructions were discussed during the workshop, and the conference consort was available to musically demonstrate some of the potential solutions. Both of these songs were published with reconstructed bass voices in the fifth volume of the Collected Works (Corpus mensurabilis musicae 106). Those who submitted reconstructions are mentioned in the acknowledgements, with all due credit given to those whose ideas formed the basis of the published solutions.