Oswald von Wolkenstein

Biography

Born: 1377; Schöneck in Pustertal, Germany   Died: August 2, 1445; Merano, Italy  
Oswald von Wolkenstein was a German composer whose music bridged the Medieval and Renaissance eras; the last of the poet-musician knights whose monophonic music explored the ideal of courtly love, he also wrote polyphonic music in more contemporary forms. As noble "von" indicates, Oswald was from a knightly family of the Villanders line. The surname "von Wolkenstein" comes from the name of their property of Wolkenstein in Groednertal, South Tyrol Read more (a mountainous Austrian province that was taken by Italy in World War II). As he was of high birth, there is some information available about his life; key events were written in family archives. Still, as is the norm with composers of the day, there are numerous gaps that can be filled in only imperfectly by extrapolation from his works. Oswald was a second son, which put him at a disadvantage, but also gave him freedom to pursue an adventurous life, and to enter the political sphere. He spent his youth as a page in service, which took him to various countries and gave him fluency in several languages. He became a diplomat for the league of Tyrolean nobles and for Emperor Sigismund and took part in several German councils.

His seat was Hauenstein castle near Bolzano, but in 1407 he inherited only part of Hauenstein itself, and spent the rest of his life in a property dispute with the other tenant, the family of Martin Jaeger. As a result of this dispute, and also because of political intrigues, he was imprisoned several times. Nevertheless, he fell in love with Anna Hausmann, the daughter of one of his adversaries in this dispute. He wrote several love poems to her, continuing even after his marriage to Margarete von Schwangau in 1417. He also wrote poems addressed to a "Barbara," but fortunately did not neglect to write love poetry addressed to his wife.

Oswald himself preserved a quantity of his own in two manuscripts designated "A" and "B." There is also a manuscript "C" that contains text but no music, and a few other sources. His songs are typically in AABB form, with arched, flowing melodic lines. There are some exceptions, such as Es komen neue mer gerant, which is a description of a military raid in northern Italy and is written in an almost parlando style, scoffing at the losers.

Oswald's poetry often drew on events he himself experienced or witnessed. The unusual fit between text and musical line in his music inspired a description of him as the "creator of the individual lied," which is ahistorical. Nor was he, as has sometimes been said, a Meistersinger, the German counterpart to the French troubador or trouvère. His music includes not only monophonic songs but also polyphony in three or four parts. Towards the end of his life he composed religious music in simple textures. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 30 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Piffarissimo: Instrumental Music At The Council Of Constance 1414-1418
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72631 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Guglielmo Ebreo da Pesaro,  Philippe De Vitry,  Guillaume Dufay,  Anonymous  ... 
    Conductor:  Katharina Bäuml
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella de la Torre
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  • 2.
    Music for Lute / Walter Gerwig
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 002027202 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Luis de Milan,  Diego Ortiz,  Hans Neusidler,  Santino da Parma Garsi  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Gerwig,  Bernhard Michaelis,  August Wenzinger,  Eduard Müller  ... 
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  • 3.
    Yo M'enamori D'un Aire: Medieval Songs & Dances
    Label: Emec (Editorial De Musica Espanola)   Catalog: 90 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Oswald von Wolkenstein,  Traditional,  Guillaume d'Amiens,  Troubadour Anonymous  ... 
    Conductor:  Janno Pokk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Reval's Troubadours
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  • 4.
    Mysterium Mariae - Marienlieder Des Spatmittelaltes
    Label: Christophorus   Catalog: 182 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Oswald von Wolkenstein,  Anonymous,  Monk of Salzburg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Augsburg Early Music Ensemble
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  • 5.
    Label: Christophorus   Catalog: 1842 Release Date: 03/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Oswald von Wolkenstein,  Michel Beheim,  Erasmus Lapicida,  Arnolt Schlick  ... 
    Performer:  Johannes Vogt,  Armin Gottstein,  Russ Hodge,  Petra Manz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Ciarlatani
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  • 6.
    A Wind Blows From The East: Four German Medieval Tales / Drew Minter
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9372 Release Date: 12/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Neidhart von Reuenthal,  Wolfram Von Eschenbach,  Oswald von Wolkenstein,  Hans Sachs
    Performer:  Drew Minter
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  • 7.
    Label: Talanton   Catalog: 900040 Release Date: 09/16/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Francesco Landini,  Guillaume de Machaut,  Jehan Robert  ... 
    Performer:  Rainer Böhm,  Petra Priess,  Maria Kopcke,  Hans-Jurgen Burggaller  ... 
    Conductor:  Rainer Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Alta Musica
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  • 8.
    Label: Raum Klang   Catalog: 29017 Release Date: 09/16/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Oswald von Wolkenstein,  Ensemble Unicorn
    Performer:  Hermann Oswald,  Markus Forster,  Gernot Heinrich,  Agnes Boll
    Conductor:  Michael Posch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Unicorn
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  • 9.
    The Voice, Vol. 2 / Andreas Scholl
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908458 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Oswald von Wolkenstein,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Andreas Scholl,  Marcel Ponseele,  Markus Märkl,  Hélène Guilmette  ... 
    Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe,  Ottavio Dantone,  Crawford Young
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ghent Collegium Vocale Orchestra,  Accademia Bizantina Orchestra,  Shield of Harmony
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  • 10.
    Spatmittelalterliche Marienklage (Laments Of Mary In The Late Middle Ages)
    Label: Christophorus   Catalog: 160 Release Date: 05/24/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Oswald von Wolkenstein,  Monk of Salzburg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Augsburg Early Music Ensemble
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  • 11.
    Label: Alba   Catalog: 292 Release Date: 05/10/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hans Sachs,  Oswald von Wolkenstein,  Walther von der Vogelweide,  Wizlâv III von Rügen  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oliphant (Early Music)
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  • 12.
    Amor Vincit Omnia / Regina Kabis, Ensemble A Chantar
    Label: Christophorus   Catalog: 77349 Release Date: 05/09/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  de Dia, Beatriz, Comtessa,  Marc Lewon,  Martin Codax,  Oswald von Wolkenstein  ... 
    Performer:  Regina Kabis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble A Chantar
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  • 13.
    O Fortuna: Gluck Und Ungluck In Lidern Und Texten Des Mittelalters
    Label: Ars Musici   Catalog: 232240 Release Date: 08/31/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Oswald von Wolkenstein,  Walther von der Vogelweide,  Moniot d'Arras
    Performer:  Reinhard Mayr,  Markus Schikora
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Freiburger Spielleyt
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  • 14.
    Bestiarium: Animals In The Music Of The Middle Ages
    Label: Nuova Era   Catalog: 232908 Release Date: 04/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Jehan Vaillant,  Oswald von Wolkenstein,  Jacopo da Bologna  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Reverdie
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  • 15.
    Wolkenstein: Songs Of Myself / Andreas Scholl, Shield Of Harmony
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 902051 Release Date: 04/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Oswald von Wolkenstein,  Henry Purcell,  Gilles Binchois
    Performer:  Andreas Scholl
    Conductor:  Crawford Young
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Shield of Harmony
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  • 16.
    Hildegard, Perotin, Wolkenstein 1000-1400 / Sequentia, Deller Consort
    Label: Deutsche Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 77600 Release Date: 01/28/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Folquet de Marseille,  Philippe De Vitry,  Anonymous,  Alfons X (El Sabio)  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sequentia,  Schola Cantorum Basiliensis,  Deller Consort
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  • 17.
    A Chantar - Song Of Women In The Middle Ages / Estampie
    Label: Christophorus   Catalog: 77290 Release Date: 06/30/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Walther von der Vogelweide,  Anonymous,  Oswald von Wolkenstein,  Martin Codax  ... 
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  • 18.
    Wolkenstein: Knight And Minnesinger / Augsburg Early Music Ensemble
    Label: Christophorus   Catalog: 77304 Release Date: 05/26/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Oswald von Wolkenstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Augsburg Early Music Ensemble
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  • 19.
    Insula Feminarum - Resonances Medievales / La Reverdie
    Label: Arcana   Catalog: 311 Release Date: 05/21/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni di Firenze,  Donato Da Firenze,  Anonymous,  Johannes Cuvelier  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
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  • 20.
    Nox Lux - France & Angleterre 1200-1300 / La Reverdie
    Label: Arcana   Catalog: 307 Release Date: 05/21/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Guillaume Dufay,  Oswald von Wolkenstein,  Anonymous,  Elisabeth de Mircovich  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
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  • 21.
    Speculum Amoris - Lyrique De L'amour Medieval / La Reverdie
    Label: Arcana   Catalog: 336 Release Date: 05/21/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Oswald von Wolkenstein,  Richard Neville,  Magister Piero  ... 
    Performer:  Paolo Zerbinatti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
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  • 22.
    A Laurel For Landini / Lawrence-King, Gothic Voices
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2151 Release Date: 11/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Niccolò da Perugia,  Francesco Landini,  Oswald von Wolkenstein
    Performer:  Andrew Lawrence-King
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothic Voices
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  • 23.
    Label: Raum Klang   Catalog: 593013 Release Date: 06/13/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Guillaume de Machaut,  Neidhart von Reuenthal,  Anonymous,  Heinrich von Morungen  ... 
    Performer:  Veit Heller,  Sebastian Pank,  Robert Weinkauf,  Susanne Ansorg  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ioculatores
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  • 24.
    Romaria / Dowland Project
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 001050602 Release Date: 03/18/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hans Neusidler,  Orlando de Lassus,  Firminus Caron,  Josquin Des Préz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dowland Project
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  • 25.
    Hosanna In Excelsis - Machaut, Dufay, Etc / Les Menestrels
    Label: K & K Verlagsanstalt   Catalog: 95 Release Date: 04/25/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Recorded Sound,  Anonymous,  St. Augustine,  Gherardello da Firenze  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Menestrels
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