Simon Praunstein: Litaniae & Hymni

The compositions of Simon Praunstein (ca. 1571–1624), preserved to our times in only one source, the so-called Schwedler Codex (PL-Wu, RM 5893), comprise eleven litanies, three hymns, and two settings of the song Ave hierarchia. These pieces reflect the characteristic features of the culture in which he lived and worked, including elements emblematic of the cultural aspects of the Catholic reform in early modern Europe and of the Jesuit music traditions. Praunstein’s litany settings employed this technique and fulfilled the fundamental criteria for Catholic church music. The text was to be clearly presented, the melodies and harmonies – lucid, simple, and moderate.