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Stephani [Stephan, Stephanus], Clemenslocked

  • Hans Haase

(b Buchau [now Bochov], nr Carlsbad [now Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia], c probably 1530; d Eger [now Cheb, Czechoslovakia], mid-Feb 1592). Bohemian music editor, poet, printer, bookseller and ?composer. He may have attended the Lateinschule at Eger or the one at Joachimsthal (now Jáchymov). In 1554, according to his own testimony, he was a student at Leipzig. From April 1558 for about a year he was Kantor at the Lateinschule at Eger. In 1561 he applied again for this post but was refused. Between 1559 and 1567 he seems to have travelled about a good deal – he is known to have visited Budweis (now Ceské Budějovice), whose choir he praised highly, Ossegg, Prague and Nuremberg – and he also had several private pupils. Title-pages of his prints indicate that from at least 1567 until 1569 he was again living at Eger. In 1569–70 he probably stayed for some time at Nuremberg. From 1571 to 1574 he worked as a bookseller at Schlaggenwald, Bohemia, and from 1574 until his death he lived at Eger, where he was permitted to engage in bookselling only at public markets and where he also for some time owned a printing press. He was a difficult, quarrelsome man, who was unable to obtain a settled professional position and even spent some time in prison. J. Goldammer, Rektor at Eger, wrote in 1584 of his ‘poisonous, blasphemous tongue’, and the Eger town council forbade performances of his play Alexander because it contained libellous verses about Goldammer. He knew well Johann Hagius and Jobst vom Brandt. He died penniless and left many debts.

Stephani was once known chiefly as a dramatic poet in the Hans Sachs tradition, but his numerous other activities, especially as a humanist scholar and music editor, deserve recognition. In his various literary and scholarly publications he strove for the improvement of national education and the moral uplift of his fellow men on the basis of his Protestant faith. He may well have had much to do with the cultural flowering at Eger between about 1565 and 1585 and may have been responsible for the appointment in 1570 of Hagius – another contentious figure – as town preacher. The bulk of his publications appeared between 1567 and 1572–3, several of them in a single year, 1568. In his music anthologies, international composers rub shoulders with little-known men of mainly local interest, such as Melchior Bischoff, Christophorus Cervius, Wolfgang Ottho Egranus, Valentin Rab, Josephus Schlegel and Andreas Schwartz (Francus). Despite the obviously conservative view of music found in his remarkable preface to Brandt’s Geistliche Psalmen (1572–3), he by no means published only the works of long-dead composers such as Isaac, Josquin, La Rue and Stoltzer or of somewhat more recent composers, of the generation of Crecquillon, Ducis, Gombert, Heugel, Morales, Senfl, Vaet, Johann Walter (i) and Willaert, but also – especially in the highly original, somewhat enigmatic Beati omnes collection (1569) – the works of younger composers such as Joachim a Burck, David Köler, Lassus, Jacob Meiland and Nikolaus Selnecker. Except for a single motet, Brandt’s sacred music is known entirely from Stephani’s edition of it of 1572–3. His rapturous praise of Brandt is no less remarkable than the fact that he published Walter’s St Matthew Passion as his own work. Whether he himself was also a composer, as Quoika and Frank – unlike Eitner and Riess – tended to assume, cannot yet be decided, but the music in Eine geistliche Action in particular may be by him.


published in Nuremberg unless otherwise stated


Suavissimae et incundissimae harmoniae, 4, 5, 8vv (1567¹)

Cantiones triginta selectissimae, 5–8, 12, 24, 36vv (1568¹)

Liber secundus suavissimarum et iucundissimarum harmoniarum, 4, 5vv (15688)

Schöner ausserlessner deutscher Psalm, und anderer künstlicher Moteten und geistlichen Lieder XX, 4vv (1568¹¹)

Beati omnes

psalmus CXXVIII Davidis, modis septendecim concinnatus, 4–6vv (1569¹)

J. Hagius

Kurze ausserlesene Symbola Maximiliani secundi romischen Keysers, 4vv (1569)

J. Walter (i)

Passio secundum Matthaeum, 4vv (1570)

J. vom Brandt

Der erste Theil geistlicher Psalmen und teutscher Kyrchengeseng, 4–9vv, insts (incl. trbns) (Eger, 1572–3)


  • Eine geistliche Action auss Ludovici Bero[aldi] Dialogo (prologue and 5 acts) (1568) [incl. canon, 4vv, 1 other vocal work, 3vv]


  • MGGI (H. Haase)
  • A. Hauffen: ‘Klemens Stephani’, Sudetendeutsche Lebensbilder, ed. E. Gierach, 1 (Reichenberg, 1926), 106–9
  • K. Riess: Musikgeschichte der Stadt Eger im 16. Jahrhundert (Brno, 1935)
  • H. Albrecht: ‘Die deutschen Psalmen und Kirchengesänge des Jobst vom Brandt’, AMf, 7 (1942), 218–28
  • E. Frank: Clemens Stephani (Brno, 1944)
  • R. Quoika: Die Musik der Deutschen in Böhmen und Mähren (Berlin, 1956), 46
  • H. Haase: Jobst vom Brandt (1517–1570): ein Beitrag zur Musikgeschichte Deutschlands im 2. Drittel des 16. Jahrhunderts (Kassel, 1967)
J.G. Walther: Musicalisches Lexicon, oder Musicalische Bibliothec
Archiv für Musikforschung
R. Eitner: Biographisch-bibliographisches Quellen-Lexikon