Prince-Archbishops and Local Liturgies in Late Seventeenth-Century Salzburg
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Situated within the Holy Roman Empire the Archbishopric of Salzburg occupied a unique geopolitical position in the seventeenth century. A prince-archbishop who assumed both sacred and secular power ruled the individual principality, which was sandwiched between two powerful political entities in the early modern era: Bavaria and the Habsburg hereditary lands. Building on the existing scholarship regarding the role of music and governance in the Holy Roman Empire (Saunders 1995, Weaver 2012, Fisher 2014) this poster presents a diachronic overview of music produced under a series of late seventeenth-century prince-archbishops. Tracking the shifting nature of Salzburg’s local sacred traditions under each ruler richly augments our understanding of regional Catholic history, which begs for further exploration (Monson 2002, Ditchfield 1995, Ducreux 2011). Composers Heinrich Biber and Andreas Hofer served Salzburg prince-archbishops Guidobald von Thun (r. 1654–1668), Maximilian Gandolf von Kuenburg (r. 1668–1687) and Johann Ernst von Thun (r. 1687–1709) and left behind a robust repertory of sacred music that reflects local traditions. These compositions are each associated with a particular Catholic feast yet set non-liturgical texts: richly centonized amalgamations of prose, poetry, scripture, and hymn verses. The inventive repertoire cultivated by each patron, therefore, reflects the religious values of each individual prince archbishop, which were inherently political according to his position as both a sacred and secular ruler. These musical sources grant insight into each leader’s approach to negotiating the region’s unique capacity as an individual principality that was a constituent component of both the Holy Roman Empire and the Universal Catholic Church.