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 Oswald von Wolkenstein

Oswald von Wolkenstein

Birth
Provincia di Bolzano, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
Death 2 Aug 1445 (aged 67–68)
Merano, Provincia di Bolzano, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
Burial Bressanone, Provincia di Bolzano, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
Memorial ID 21640702 · View Source
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Composer, Poet, Diplomat. An important transitional figure between the Medieval and Renaissance periods of German music. The son of a Tyrolean nobleman, he was born in Pustertal and raised in the castle of Trotburg. He lost his right eye in a childhood accident, allegedly while playing a prank. As a teenager he became a soldier of fortune and fought in such far-off places as the Holy Land and Asia, experiences that later inspired many of his lyrics. From 1413 to 1432 Wolkenstein was a diplomat in the service of King (later Emperor) Sigismund; in this capacity he may have been the man who persuaded Czech religious reformer Jan Hus to attend the Catholic Council of Constance, which led to Hus's execution as a heretic in 1415. At home he feuded with neighboring nobles and was imprisoned twice for illegally seizing their lands. In his retirement he donated large sums to the Neustift Monastery near Brixen, where he was buried. Although Wolkenstein wrote music and poetry on an amateur basis, he was mindful enough of posterity to have them preserved in handsome illuminated manuscripts. About 130 of his secular songs survive. His autobiographical lyrics about adventure, love, sex, and religion are coarse and boastful, but expressed with surprisingly sophisticated melodies. The early songs were created in the solo "meistersinger" tradition; after 1425 they make increasing use of two and three-part counterpoint. Wolkenstein was the first notable German composer to adapt the Flemish polyphonic style and the first to use French notation, which in time became standard practice in Europe. In this way he almost single-handedly opened Germany's musical borders to outside influences and had an inestimable impact on his country's art.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 18 Sep 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 21640702
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Oswald von Wolkenstein (1377–2 Aug 1445), Find A Grave Memorial no. 21640702, citing Neustift Monastery, Bressanone, Provincia di Bolzano, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy ; Maintained by Find A Grave .