Reviewed Elsewhere: Matteo Nanni, ed. Music and Culture in the Age of the Council of Basil.
Turnhout: Brepols, 2013. 358 pp. €80.00 (paper), ISBN 978-2-503-55041-1.
The historiography of the Council can and must now take into account that its view of the Basiliense, which has in any case been broadened substantially since the accounts by Meuthen and Helmrath to encompass not simply its theological and ecclesiological significance but approach it as an in every sense polyvalent historical phenomenon, now finds additional confirmation from the perspective of historical musicology too. That said, I am wary of the characterization of the council as a manifestation, indeed, a “hotbed” … of humanism … that pervades many of the contributions … At its core the synod was … like the Council of Constance still a medieval event “through and through” …
Especially as a musicological layperson, the reviewer has learnt a great deal and hopes for more [in the form of volumes on the Councils of Ferrara-Florence and Constance] … if possible again with a CD, which in this case has greatly impressed [the reviewer], not least, given the thoughtful introductory commentary in the volume’s appendix.