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Hyperion Records

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Livre du Cueur d'Amours Espris (Cod. 2597, fol. 15r).
Austrian National Library Picture Archive
Track(s) taken from CDGIM206
Salle Church, Norfolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Steve C Smith & Peter Phillips
Engineered by Mike Clements & Mike Hatch
Release date: November 1989
Total duration: 33 minutes 0 seconds

Missa L'homme armé sexti toni
composer
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

Other recordings available for download
The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips (conductor)
Josquin’s Mass Sexti toni (‘in the sixth mode’) is so called because he has transposed the melody to make its final note F (as opposed to the more normal G), giving it a major-key tonality. This element of transposition is one of the features borrowed from Super voces musicales, though there, it was turned into a constructional principle. The idea of stating the melody in retrograde has also been transferred from the other Mass, though instead of giving the direct and retrograde forms in consecutive statements as he did before, here in the third Agnus Dei Josquin states them both at the same time. These form the lowest two parts in a movement where the number of voice-parts has been increased from four to six, and the upper voices are in two paired canons at the unison. While this shows exceptional compositional virtuosity, the actual sound in this final Agnus Dei is most unfamiliar, suggesting, if anything, the methods of such modern minimalist composers as Philip Glass.

The remainder of the setting seems more relaxed though, in fact, Josquin can be heard to be constantly trying out new speeds, new rhythms and new scorings for the L’homme armé tune, now complete, now with a few notes used as the basis for an ostinato pattern or a canon. The wide overall range of the four voice-parts brings to the writing the kind of sonority which is associated with Palestrina, and Josquin constantly uses this to imaginative effect, nowhere more memorably than at ‘Et resurrexit’ in the Credo. For showing all these different aspects of his extraordinary technique, this Mass must rank as one of the most accomplished productions of a composer long held to be the greatest writer of his time.

from notes by Peter Phillips © 1989


Other albums featuring this work
'Renaissance Radio' (CDGIM212)
Renaissance Radio
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