In honor of St. Valentine’s Day this Friday, the CCM Library and the UC Archives and Rare Books Library present an item from the Rare Books Collection, Le Chansonnier Cordiforme, or Chansonnier de Jean de Montchenu.
The original manuscript dates from the 1470s and is owned by the Bibliothèque de France (Ms. Occ. Rothschild 2973). The UC Libraries’ copy is a facsimile of the original, bound in red velvet and created by Vicent García Editores of Valencia, Spain in 2007.
Le Chansonnier Cordiforme is perhaps the most beautiful of all surviving music manuscripts. Its first owner was the French nobleman Jean de Montchenu (d. 1497), who commissioned the work. It was compiled during the 1470s and contains 43 songs from the preceding thirty years by Guillaume Dufay, Gilles de Binchois, Johannes Ockeghem, Antoine Busnoys and other contemporary composers.
The entire manuscript was performed by the Consort of Musicke in 1980, the recordings of which are held in the CCM Library.
You can learn more about this remarkable manuscript by visiting LiBlog, the blog of the University of Cincinnati Libraries!