Unknown: My Sorrow Is



The Austrian composer, organist, and teacher Paul Hofhaimer (1459-1537) was a great master of German song composition and one of the few Germanic organists widely known throughout Europe.

The father, brothers, son, and nephews of Paul Hofhaimer were all organists in Salzburg and Innsbruck. He received instruction from his father and from Jacob von Graz. Hofhaimer’s first important position, that of chamber organist to Archduke Sigismund of Tirol at Innsbruck, was in 1480. He received an appointment for life, and in 1489, upon receipt of an offer from the Hungarian court, he was promoted to the position of director of the court chapel at Innsbruck. During the 1480s he met the composers Heinrich Isaac and Arnolt Schlick and fashioned a reputation as a teacher.

In 1490 the emperor Maximilian I took over the musical establishment. Apparently well satisfied with Hofhaimer’s services, he ennobled the composer in 1515. During this period Hofhaimer apparently spent some time at other locations. He may have been at the court of the elector Frederick the Wise at Torgau with Isaac and Schlick.

Hofhaimer probably wrote most of his best songs between 1490 and 1510. The German song of this period was generally based on a familiar melody, such as a folk song or court song, which was kept largely unchanged in the tenor. The other parts wove contrapuntally around it. Unlike the songs written in the dominating Franco-Flemish style of the period, the German songs were in closed sections (often in the Bar form—AAB) rather than in continuous polyphony. With Hofhaimer’s generation, progress was made toward equality of parts and strong interpart relation through the use of imitation. There is some melodic preeminence of the soprano part.

At Maximilian’s death in 1519 Hofhaimer accepted the post of organist at the Cathedral of Salzburg and held it until at least 1524. He remained a resident of the city until his death. He became interested in the quantitative setting of Latin verse and began setting the Odes of Horace in this manner. After his death Ludwig Senfl completed these settings and published them as Harmoniae poeticae (1539). Only these pieces enjoyed any popularity after Hofhaimer’s death.

Although Hofhaimer enjoyed a considerable reputation as an organist and teacher of organists, little of his organ music has survived. This may be due in part to a tradition of improvisation of organ music. Although his pupils have not been definitely identified, his doctrines were apparently widespread among German organ composers of the early 16th century, and elements of the style may have reached Italy. In music of this generation, ornamentation idiomatic to the instrument was applied to the melody, but not so copiously as to obscure the basically sound proportions of the piece. This restraint, which probably characterized Hofhaimer’s music, generally disappeared later in the century under a welter of ornamentation.

Hofhaimer Facts:

♦ Little is known of his early years and musical education: he may have studied with the priest/musician Erasmus Lapicida, but sixteenth century Swiss scholar Joachim Vadian made the claim Hofhaimer was largely self-taught, while scholar-poet Konrad Celtis asserted he learned his keyboard skills at the Court of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick.

♦ was easily among the finest organists of his day, some of his contemporaries claiming he had no keyboard rivals.

♦ In 1969, in commemoration of the 450th anniversary of the death of Emperor Maximilian, the city of Innsbruck established the “Paul Hofhaimer Prize” for the interpretation of classic organ masterpieces. An international invitation for entry is hereby announced for the sixteenth competition which will take place from the 30th of August – 5th of September 2013. More below….

♦ There is a future Hofhaimer Festival!! …


May 25-29, 2016

The Paul Hofhaimer days in Radstadt, for years a tip for music lovers, offers 2016 an outstanding program. Old friends and exciting new discoveries bring life to the “Old City in the mountains.”
The festival 2015 is entitled “unheard” – some musical highlights:

  • Paulus Oratorio for choir, soli und orchestra
    from F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
  • Leonhard Roczek artist in residenz
  • The Minetti Quartett
  • Federspiel
  • Trio Lepschi
  • Philharmony Salzburg directed by Elisabeth Fuchs

The “Paul Hofhaimer Prize” will be awarded as the “Paul

Hofhaimer Plaque” of the city of
Innsbruck together with a certificate and the sum of € 5000,-.

Two further prizes of  € 3500,- and € 2000,- each with a certificate will also be awarded.

The competition for the “Paul Hofhaimer Prize” is a contest of interpretation. To determine
the winners, two eliminative or qualifying rounds and a final are required.
For the first qualifying round each participant is obligated to play the following mandatory pieces on the Pirchner Organ in the St’George’s Chapel of the State Parliament.

Franz Xaver Murschhauser   Toccata undecimi Toni pro Pedali   
  aus: Prototypon Longo-Breve Organicum   
  Musikverlag Coppenrath (S. 63 ff)   
Alessandro Poglietti   Ricercar secundi toni   
  Die Orgel, Reihe II, Heft Nr. 5   
  Verlag Kistner und Siegel   
Johann Sebastian Bach   Allein Gott in der Höh’ sei Ehr BWV 675   
  Fughetta super: In dich hab’ ich gehoffet, Herr BWV 712   
Peter Planyavsky   Partita sopra Cantio Oenipontana   
  aus: Nuovi Fiori Musicali   
  Doblinger 02470   

The jury selects the participants who will then advance to the second stage of the elimination-competition, which will be played on the Renaissance organ in the Silver Chapel in the Imperial Church. The following mandatory pieces are prescribed:

Girolamo Frescobaldi   Capriccio XII sopra l’aria di Ruggiero   
  Girolamo Frescobaldi Opere Complete IV   
  Edizioni Suvini Zerboni, Seite 78 ff.   
  (Beim Wettbewerbsspiel muss diese Ausgabe verwendet und aus der Partitur mit 4 Systemen gespielt werden.)   
Girolamo Frescobaldi   Toccata Quarta Per l’organo da sonarsi alla levatione   
  aus: Il secondo libro di Toccate…   
Claudio Merulo   Toccata terza Duodecimo detto VI°. Tuono   
  aus: Toccate d’Intavolatura … il secondo libro   
  Edition S.P.E.S. Studio Per Edizioni Scelte   
  (Beim Wettbewerbsspiel muss aus dieser Faksimileausgabe gespielt werden.)   
Giovanni Paolo Cima                   La Scabrosa, canzon 15   
  La Novella, canzon 16 (di Andrea Cima)   
  CEKM 20   

The jury then determines the competitors who have qualified for the final competition, which will be played on the Ebert-Organ of the Innsbruck Court Church. The following obligatory pieces are to be played:

Paul Hofhaimer  Salve Regina   
  Edition: Denkmäler der Musik in Salzburg 15/II   
  Edition Strube München   
Hans Leo Hassler  Canzon (in F)   
  Edition: Hans Leo Hassler. Sämtliche Werke XIII. Orgelwerke I, Teil I, Seite 136 ff.    
  Breitkopf & Härtel   
John Bull  In Nomine (in a)   
  Musica Britannica XIV 28 Seite 86ff.   
Anfertigung einer Intavolierung   eines Tenorliedes im Stil der Schüler Paul Hofhaimers.   
  (Das Lied wird den Finalisten unmittelbar nach der Auslosung für die Finalrunde gegeben)   

Nota bene: The critical analysis of the source material of the respective musical texts will be considered in the assessment of the candidates.
Each competitor is free to choose the sequence in which he will play the prescribed pieces.
The jury will select the prize winners from among the finalists. To conclude the competition, the winners will present a festive concert during which the presentation ceremony will take place.

Radstadt, Austria (Hofhaimer’s Birthplace)


 Please Read on about this fascinating organist and consummate man…

The definitive work on Hofhaimer is in German. In English, Hofhaimer’s music and that of his contemporaries are discussed in Gustave Reese, Music in the Renaissance (1954; rev. ed. 1959).






More Of Hofhaimer’s Exquisite Pieces:

The Message


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SEND home my long stray’d eyes to me,
Which, O ! too long have dwelt on thee ;
Yet since there they have learn’d such ill,
       Such forced fashions,
       And false passions,
              That they be
              Made by thee
Fit for no good sight, keep them still.

Send home my harmless heart again,
Which no unworthy thought could stain ;
Which if it be taught by thine
       To make jestings
       Of protestings,
              And break both
              Word and oath,
Keep it, for then ’tis none of mine.

Yet send me back my heart and eyes,
That I may know, and see thy lies,
And may laugh and joy, when thou
       Art in anguish
       And dost languish
              For some one
              That will none,
Or prove as false as thou art now.

~ JD

Confined Love

  SOME man unworthy to be possessor  
Of old or new love, himself being false or weak,  
  Thought his pain and shame would be lesser,  
If on womankind he might his anger wreak;  
    And thence a law did grow,  
    One might but one man know;  
    But are other creatures so?  
  Are sun, moon, or stars by law forbidden  
To smile where they list, or lend away their light?  
  Are birds divorced or are they chidden  
If they leave their mate, or lie abroad a night?  
    Beasts do no jointures lose  
    Though they new lovers choose;  
    But we are made worse than those.  
  Whoe’er rigg’d fair ships  to lie in harbours,  
And not to seek lands,  or not to deal with all?  
  Or built  fair houses, set trees, and arbours,  
Only to lock up, or else to let them fall?  
    Good is not good, unless  
    A thousand it possess,        
    But doth waste with greediness.

~ JD



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I had ambition once. Like Solomon

I asked for wisdom, deeming wisdom fair,

And with much pains a little knowledge won

Of Nature’s cruelty and Man’s despair,

And mostly learned how vain such learnings were.

Then in my grief I turned to happiness,

And woman’s love awhile was all my care,

And I achieved some sorrow and some bliss,

Till love rebelled. Then the mad lust of power

Became my dream, to rule my fellow–men;

And I too lorded it my little hour,

And wrought for weal or woe with sword and pen,

And wounded many, some, alas, my friends.

Now I ask silence. My ambition ends.




Midday Respite

John Francis Dooley
Wipe the sleep from your eyes
And embrace the light
You have slept now
For a thousand years
Beneath starless nights
And now it’s time for you
To renounce the old ways
And see a new dawn rise

In former days
Masks were raised
When the god came down
From off of the mountain
And the sacrifice was made
For he knew the day of wrath
Was fast approaching
Just like yesterday before the war

John Francis Dooley
The scapegoat has run
All our sins are disowned
And now it’s time for you
To take off your mask
And cross the Rubicon

If you and I were one
Within the eyes of our designs
It would still not change
The fact of our leaving
For tonight we must leave
With the first gentle breeze
For the Isles Of Ken
We are assailing

Just like Ulysses
On an open sea
On an odyssey
Of self discovery



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Want: You will not inherit what you ultimately cannot form


All Rights Reserved © mmartel∞

To those whom falsely believe their want will equal their gain.

To those whom falsely profess to be, whence they are not.

To those whom falsely rely on others weaknesses, to pass as their own strengths.

To those whom want, all of which they cannot ever create

You will never get… what you cannot give.

Your false world will become you

and you will eternily roam and rot,

in the untruth you have designed.

You are your very own destruction.

You will always be left of want,

because you…are not.


You will never inherit, that which you ultimately cannot form.



All Rights Reserved © mmartel∞

Fear Inlandish: Piece VIII

“Many are the strange chances of the world and help oft shall come from the hands of the weak when the Wise falter.”

it is a superficial view (which presumably has never seen a person in despair, not even one’s own self) when it is said of a man in despair, “He is consuming himself.” For precisely this it is he despairs of, and to his torment it is precisely this he cannot do, since by despair fire has entered into something that cannot burn, or cannot burn up, that is, into the self.

So to despair over something is not yet properly despair. It is the beginning, or it is as when the physician says of a sickness that it has not yet declared itself.

To despair over oneself, in despair to will to be rid of oneself, is the formula for all despair, and hence the second form of despair (in despair at willing to be oneself) can be followed back to the first (in despair at not willing to be oneself), just as in the foregoing we resolved the first into the second.

A despairing man wants despairingly to be himself.

But if he despairingly wants to be himself, he will not want to get rid of himself.

Yes, so it seems; but if one inspects more closely, one perceives that after all the contradiction is the same. That self which he despairingly wills to be is a self which he is not (for to will to be that self which one truly is, is indeed the opposite of despair); what he really wills is to tear his self away from the Power which constituted it.

But notwithstanding all his despair, this he is unable to do, notwithstanding all the efforts of despair, that Power is the stronger, and it compels him to be the self he does not will to be.

But for all that he wills to be rid of himself, to be rid of the self which he is, in order to be the self he himself has chanced to chose. To be self as he wills to be would be his delight (though in another sense it would be equally in despair), but to be compelled to be self as he does not will to be is his torment, namely, that he cannot get rid of himself.

Socrates proved the immortality of the soul from the fact that the sickness of the soul (sin) does not consume it as sickness of the body consumes the body.

So also we can demonstrate the eternal in man from the fact that despair cannot consume his self, that this precisely is the torment of contradiction in despair.

If there were nothing eternal in a man, he could not despair; but if despair could consume his self, there would still be no despair.

Thus it is that despair, this sickness in the self, is the sickness unto death. The despairing man is mortally ill. In an entirely different sense than can appropriately be said of any disease, we may say that the sickness has attacked the noblest part and yet the man cannot die.

Death is not the last phase of the sickness, but death is continually the last.

To be delivered from this sickness by death is an impossibility, for the sickness and its torment . . . and death consist in not being able to die.

This is the situation in despair. And however thoroughly it eludes the attention of the despairer, and however thoroughly the despairer may succeed (as in the case of that kind of despair which is characterized by unawareness of being in despair) in losing himself entirely, and losing himself in such a way that it is not noticed in the least —

eternity nevertheless will make it manifest that his situation was despair, and it will so nail him to himself that the torment nevertheless remains that he cannot get rid of himself, and it becomes manifest that he was deluded in thinking that he succeeded.

And thus it is eternity must act, because to have a self, to be a self, is the greatest concession made to man, but at the same time it is eternity’s demand upon him.


More to Come in Piece IX…