Ein Kreuzlied? Walthers von der Vogelweide Palästinalied

  • Henry Hope


Modern readers generally consider Walther von der Vogelweide’s Palästinalied as crusading propaganda. In support of this understanding, scholars have pointed to the song’s melody: they argue that Walther deliberately borrowed the melody of Jaufre Rudel’s Lanquan li jorn for his song (contrafacture) because of the shared concern for the distant Holy Land that is expressed in the two texts. Following the work of Elmar Willemsen and Michael Stolz, the present article reconsiders the presentation of the Palästinalied in two of its medieval sources: the Codex Buranus (D-Mbs Clm 4660/a) and the Hausbuch of Michael de Leone (D-Mu 2° Cod. ms. 731). The study of the Palästinalied in the context of its written transmission shows that contemporary readers (in the Codex Buranus) and those who continued to value it in Würzburg about a century later (in the Hausbuch) did not place Walther’s song alongside other crusading songs. Instead, these manuscripts suggest that their scribes/readers/patrons read the Palästinalied as the expression of new-found personal worth (‘werdekeit’) that may result from spiritual metanoia (conversion of life). If the song can indeed be understood in such a soteriological context, Ursula Aarburg’s erstwhile suggestion that Walther may have modelled his melody on the Marian antiphon Ave regina celorum deserves fresh consideration.
Henry Hope, Ein Kreuzlied? Walthers von der Vogelweide Palästinalied, Musik in Bayern Musik in Bayern, Band 84 (Jahrgang 2019), München 2019, S. 9 - 31. https://doi.org/10.15463/gfbm-mib-2019-254.
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