242G Abbot  Berno Augiensis (of Reichenau). (987-1048)

Libellus de officio Missæ, quem edidit Rhomæ

[Argentorati] : [In aedibus Schurerianis], 1511       $ 7,500

Quarto  8 X 5 ½  inches A-B8,C6 .


This copy is bound in modern vellum backed boards. This copy is large and clean and beautifully rubricated throughout. There is an ownership signature and date of

“5 October 1511”

The intro auction by Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples (under his latinized name  Jacobus Faber  ) who was s a precursor of the Protestant movement in France. Faber  Berno was appointed the Abbot of Reichenau (an Island in Lake Constance) by Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor,(son of Duke Henry II (the Quarrelsome) in 1008 and he continued there as about for 40 years. He worked on the reformation of the Gregorian chant. He compiled a tonarius, dealing with the organisation of the church chants into ‘tones’ – eight modes of the Gregorian chant.IMG_0011

Following the reforms initiated under Abbot Immo, who imposed the Benedictine rule at Reichenau, Berno’s enlightened guidance the abbey reached its peak as a centre of learning, with a productive scriptorium, as a centre of Bendictine monasticism and eleventh-century liturgical and musical reforms in the German churches.  He enriched the library of his abbey by collecting old works, by manuscripts made by his monks, and by new works which were written by him and the learned inmates of the monastery. Under his guidance the school at Reichenau revived its old fame, and students flocked to it from great distances. At the Church At Reichenau he erected the tall western tower and transept that stand today on the island site of Reichenau-Mittelzell.[UNESCO World Heritage Site #218] One of his most famous students was Hermann of Reichenau, who transmitted Arabic mathematics and astronomy to central Europe.

IMG_0009Politically the abbot cleaved to his patrons HenryII and to Henry III, duke of Bavaria and eventually Holy Roman Emperor, and wrote many letters and missives to the Hungarian kings Saint Stephen I of Hungary and Peter Orseolo of Hungary, containing various historical information about the Hungarian kingdom of that time useful for the historian.

VD 16 B 2051; Muller, Bibl. Strasbourgeoise II, S. 179;Adams B-754.

Blanchard, D. P. “Notes Sur Les Oeuvres Attribuées à Bernon De Reichenau.” Revue Bénédictine 29 (1912): 98-107.

The Critical Nexus: Tone-System, Mode, and Notation in Early Medieval Music By Charles M. Atkinson.



cf”Berno of Reichenau.New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 12 Oct. 2018

  1. Hartmut Möller, “Zur Reichenauer Offiziumstradition der Jahrtausendwende” Studia Musicologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 29.1/4 (1987), pp. 35-61.