Hypotheses Regarding the Number and Contents of Philip Nikolai’s Musical Works (Part 2)

This study continues to reveal connections between the rest of Philipp Nicolai’s alleged “songs”, that are not found accompanied by notation, and possible music that the author may have intended for his texts. The first of two “polemic“ poems are examined: the so-called Klagelied der Christlichen Kirchen zu Gott über die Calvinianer und Rottengeister (“A sad song of the Christian churches about the Calvinists and the spirits of division”). The other polemic “song” of Nicolai is named So wünsch ich nun eine gute Nacht (“Thus I wish a good night [to the world]”) and will appear in a future publication. Probably written during Nicolai’s voluntary exile at Unna during a plague outbreak, the common denominator of these two poems is the complaining and politicized tone, at times nearing desperation of the evil opposing true Christian world, the corruption and abusiveness of Nicolai’s enemies. Biblical and folklore metaphores are employed to convey a vivid picture of the calamous situation as perceived by the author.
The method of finding relevant melodies relies on common words, phrases, and in the case of Klagelied, the whole first stanza of the text being used in another song, to which the melody is known. Further research, however, reveals several melodies. Because these melodies are set to both sacred and vernacular lyrics, the article sets the theoretical model of Prof. Stoyan Djudjev and his analysis of variants and relashionships in folk music. Then, the name of J. S. Bach and his intended choral by the name of Mag ich unglück nicht widerstahn is mentioned, posing the question of a choice of cantus firmus. At that point, a brief discussion is required, dealing with the matter of differentiating between Martin Luther and Johann Walter’s hymnals and imitative such, called Enheridions. The authoress of Mag ich, Queen Maria, is presented, together with theories around her song creation. From that point on, this study examines available documents, offering different song melodies, composers, and versions of the materials found. Finally, in an attempt to analyze the collected data, a table is comprised, visually delineating the following: 1. Geographical location of where the composers and melodies were active (using symbols on a map of Central Europe). 2. A timeline (approximate years). 3. A note about the relationship between text and melody in terms of a successful (or less so) fusion, aiming to further illuminate any proof of music belonging to the poetry.

Keywords: Klagelied, Maria Queen of Hungary, Mag ich Unglück nicht widerstahn, [Hans] Newsidler, [Hans] Judenkünig, [Ludwig] Senfl