Hyperion Records

Nymphes, nappés / Circumdederunt me
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The ‘Circumdederunt’ plainsong was at one time thought of as ‘a favourite cantus firmus of Josquin’s’ (Gustave Reese, Music in the Renaissance), due to its being used in three compositions attributed to him. Two of these—like so many works—have now been convincingly removed from the Josquin canon, leaving only Nymphes, nappés as an authentic work incorporating this melody. Richafort’s debt to Josquin becomes clear from the seventeenth breve onwards, where the cantus firmus enters, followed three breves later—just as in the Requiem—by its accompanying voice at the upper fifth. Indeed John Milsom, who demonstrated the inauthenticity of the other two pieces, pointed out that Richafort quotes not only the canonic cantus firmus, but also several bars of polyphony from Nymphes, nappés in the Introit and Kyrie of the Requiem. Its counterpoint is highly suitable for such treatment, being full of the static harmony, twisting melodic lines, and falling third intervals which are characteristic of Josquin’s style in mournful pieces of this type.

from notes by Stephen Rice © 2012

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