Tasto Solo Performs Conrad Paumann
Conrad Paumann was an organist, lutenist, and composer who lived in the 15th Century. Born blind, he spent his working life playing the organ in various positions at Nuremberg and Munich (both sustained his reputation as one of the foremost organists in Germany).
Although very few of his compositions survive, a concentration can be found in the Lochamer Liederbuch and Buxheimer Organbook, including my favorite, the tune Mit ganczem Willen.
I’ve heard the tune a number times in the past few years, recorded by excellent groups, and have programmed each of them on Harmonia.
- Guillaume Du Fay, Mille Bonjours!, Diabolus in Musica
- Das Lochamer Liederbuch, Ensemble Dulce Melos
- The Black Dragon, Cançonièr
The first two performances are played on keyboard while the third is an arrangement for recorder, lute, and harp.
Another great (and recent) performance is by the Spanish ensemble Tasto Solo (Guillermo Pérez, dir.), made up of medieval keyboards, harp, and hurdy-gurdy. Their debut recording, Meyster Ob Allen Meystern,is centered around Paumann and his devotees. It has a florid and extroverted interpretation of Mit ganczem Willen.
(Detail of Paumann’s tombstone, Frauenkirche, Munich, Germany)