Manuscript of processional chants local to the Châteauneuf de Saint-Martin district of Tours, France. CHANT MANUSCRIPT - 18th Century - French.
Manuscript of processional chants local to the Châteauneuf de Saint-Martin district of Tours, France
Manuscript of processional chants local to the Châteauneuf de Saint-Martin district of Tours, France
Manuscript of processional chants local to the Châteauneuf de Saint-Martin district of Tours, France
Manuscript of processional chants local to the Châteauneuf de Saint-Martin district of Tours, France

Manuscript of processional chants local to the Châteauneuf de Saint-Martin district of Tours, France

Octavo (168 x 110 mm). Full dark pink velvet over vellum-backed dark brown leather, red edges. 100 leaves in total.

Several processionals bound in one, with dated inscriptions to three leaves:

Folio [26]v: "Ce livre apartient a M. Prudhome Prevost de Léree et chanoinne de l'Eglise St. Martin de Tours, 1729"
Folio [91]v: Ownership inscription dated 1788
Folio [99]v: Ownership inscription dated Aug. 31, 1729

Inscription on verso of leaf [77] refers to St. Martin of Tours with coat of arms in red.

In neumatic notation in black ink on 4-line staves rules in red, text in Latin in black, with initials and occasional text in red. Early, indistinct, annotation to front free endpaper.

Binding quite worn, with portions of cloth lacking; joints split; spine separated; lower portion of front free endpaper lacking, with minor offsetting of ink to verso. Slightly browned internally, heavier to first and final leaves; some minor soiling and signs of wear; small area of dampstaining to four pages resulting in slight loss or blurring of text and music; some signatures separated. In quite good condition overall.

"Like most liturgical books, this manuscript is divided into two sections for the Temporal and Sanctoral cycles of the liturgical year.

The Temporale, or Proper of Time, includes Christmas and Easter and those feasts that are calculated in relation to them (e.g. Advent begins four Sundays before December 25). The Temporale occupies folios 1-76. Folios 1-19 contain responsories and antiphons beginning with the Sundays of Advent and continuing to the fifth Sunday (“Passion Sunday”) of Lent. They are labelled either “ad processionem” or “sub corona,” the latter referring to the chandelier in the Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours. (See Yossi Maurey, Medieval Music, Legend, and the Cult of St Martin (New York: Cambridge, 2014), 170). Folios 19-24 provide chants for the Holy Week processions to stational churches around Châteauneuf, beginning with the relatively distant church of Saint-Jacques (also referred to as the almshouse or “elemosina”), followed by visits to Sainte-Croix and Notre-Dame de l'Écrignole (both in the northern “secular” section of the enclosed castrum novum), and then to Saint-Pierre Puellier in the center of Châteauneuf. Processional antiphons for the churches of Saint-Clément, Saint-Denis, Saint-Simple and several others follow. (For a complete description of the churches and sites mentioned in the manuscript, see Émile Mabille, “Notice sur les divisions territoriales et la topographie de la province de Touraine [4th article, 2nd part],” in Bibliothèque de l’École des Chartres (Paris: A. Franck, 1864), 5:321-366.)

Pagination begins on folio 27 beginning with the Arabic number 1. The numeration is continuous over several lacunae and changes of hand, but pagination turns to foliation at page 109, and the final leaves are either unnumbered or misnumbered. Folios 27-50 contain processional chants for Palm Sunday, including stational stops at the house of the Treasurer, where a choir of boys sang “Gloria laus et honor tibi” before travelling to various local churches. (A description of this local procession is found in the Rituale from Tours, Bibliothèque municipale de Tours, MS 180, dated c. 1700.)

The remaining chants in the Temporale include several votive processions for multiple special intentions (pro pluvia postulanda), good weather (pro serenitate temporis, misspelled in the manuscript “seneritate”), and times of war.

The Sanctorale, or Proper of Saints, comprises folios 77-99. This liturgical cycle complements the Proper of Time in the liturgical year and consists of fixed dates dedicated to particular saints, events, devotions, or doctrines (e.g. Nov. 11 is the feast day of St. Martin of Tours).

On the verso of folio 77 is a full-page rubric for the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (August 15) with a coat of arms consisting of a barry of ten argent and (hatched) gules framed by plumes and topped with a cross. The rest of this section includes processional chants for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, All Saints, St. Martin, prayers for peace, the intercession of the Virgin Mary, against pestilence, Ss. Andrew, Nicholas, John the Evangelist, Columba, Finding of the True Cross, and St. John the Baptist.

The last nine folios are out of liturgical order. They contain more chants for St. Martin and for All Souls. A single folio added at the back of the manuscript (folio 100) transmits a local version of the responsory “Summae trinitati simplici deo,” typically sung either on Trinity Sunday (part of the Temporal cycle) or All Saints (Nov. 1 in the Sanctoral cycle).

A large proportion of the chants contained in this manuscript are almost certainly local to Tours and are not found elsewhere (a comparable processional from Tours copied in 1697 survives as Tours, Bibliothèque municipale de Tours, MS 204, but it is not available digitally). Because of the variety of sources incorporated into this book, there are many lacunae and misordered pages. Nevertheless, that one of the hands responsible for copying large sections of this book follows another continuously on the same page (folio 93r) suggests that the original sources and their scribes worked within a common milieu.

Though several recent publications on civic religion, urban history, and the cult of St. Martin have examined processions in Tours during the 17th and 18th centuries, the existence of this manuscript has escaped notice and was not included in those studies. The Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours was entirely destroyed in the French Revolution. This composite liturgical book gives insight into the city’s religious landscape in the decades prior."

An interesting, and heretofore overlooked, source offering valuable insight into 18th century French liturgical practice.

We would like to thank Brother John Glasenapp of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad, Indiana, for his kind assistance in the cataloguing of this item.

Item #37511

Price: $1,800.00  other currencies