Recreating the sounding past
Dutch musicologist Jaap van Benthem spent a few days in Prague to supervise a recording of music by the 15th-century Flemish composer Johannes Tourout with Czech singers Barbora Kabátková, Hana Blažíková, Tomáš Lajtkep, Ondřej Holub and Jaromír Nosek.
On 9 May Jaap also gave a seminar entitled Recreating the sounding past for students of musicology from Charles University. Jaap shared his lifelong experience with reading musical sources, critical editing, and collaborating with early-music performers.
Music by Johannes Tourout is preserved in the Utraquist collection known as Codex Speciálník (Prague, ca. 1485-1500). It was copied there by the same scribe as much older music. The recordings of Tourout’s music based on the critical edition of his works prepared by van Benthem are a significant contribution to disseminating research about the musical world of the Bohemian Utraquists, and to grasping the Utraquists’ understanding of past and present in the musical culture of their time.