Personalities | Leonin | Medieval Era | Classical
(La’-o-nan) fl. c. 1150–1201
Leonin is thought to have compiled the Magnus liber organi (‘Great Book of Organum’) – the collection of polyphony for Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris – and to have composed at least some of it. Although no music is directly ascribed to him, it is possible that some of the works in a new edition of the Magnus liber put together by Perotin (fl. c. 1200) were by Leonin. The theorist Anonymous IV, from whose writing both composers are known, said that Leonin was ‘the best worker with organum’, which may imply that he composed in other forms too. In any case, his achievement in compiling this extremely important collection cannot be overstated.
Magister Leoninus: Sacred Music from the 12th Century, Red Byrd, Capella Amsterdam (Hyperion)
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