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. 



Musik und Liturgie im Amsterdamer Beginenhof um 1600


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Liturgische Musik im Gebetbuch der Äbtissin Odilia von Ahlden (1522)


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Die Osterspiele aus dem Kloster Wienhausen


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