The Texts

Olaf Raitzig studied old and modern Romance languages so as to be able to understand historical treatises, but above all he wanted to be able to understand the texts of these early compositions.

When preparing the pieces for his singers, he distributed the syllables of the text under the notes following his personal musical understanding. This included phonetic transcriptions to warrant pronouncing the foreign vowels and consonants as closely to the original as possible.

The estate also contains numerous scores without text underlay; the reason for this is probably that for years the motets were arranged exclusively for instruments. In some pieces the text was added after Olaf Raitzig’s death, but many will remain without text underlay. Every score that is published on the homepage will therefore contain a reference to the source of the texts.

Concerning the texts in general Olaf Raitzig had a wish that he considered so important that he intended to place it in front of every motet:

“Because of their high proportion of closed syllables, the Latin texts of the ars nova motets make these difficult to sing. In the course of time they should all be replaced by new song texts in every living language of the world.”

weltkugel raitzig