Die Osterspiele aus dem Kloster Wienhausen
Zusammen mit dr. Tanja Mattern, Germanistik, Universität Düsseldorf
Beginn: Januar 2014
Wienhausen belongs to the group of Lüneburg convents that, in the decades between the reform movement of the 15th century and the introduction of the Lutheran reformation, developed a lively activity in the field of manuscript. Together with other small objects, two little (note)books with dramatized versions of the Easter story came to light when the floorboards of the nuns‘ choir were lifted in 1953 (Wienhausen, Klosterarchiv, ms. 36 and ms.80). Ms. 36, a fragment of an Easter play in a mixture of Latin and Low German, has attracted enduring scholarly interest. By contrast, ms. 80 containing a Latin Easter ceremonial which must also have been composed at the turn of the 14th to the 15th century is less well known. It is a rare stroke of luck that two Easter celebrations from a northern German monastery have been preserved. The documents are obviously independent of each other and hence demonstrate not only the particular status of this celebration but also the coexistence of different text traditions. Ms. 80 is completely provided with music notation, in ms. 36, the Latin-German play, only the Latin parts show music notation.
Having no indications from the manuscripts themselves, the Wienhausen plays often have been situated in a more devotional context than in a liturgical one. But in fact it is unclear when and where and by whom the booklets have been used. This project aims to investigate the role of liturgical drama in late medieval [German] convents, the relationship between liturgy, drama and language and the function of music and music notation within this context.