Benedictus Appenzeller spent at least fifteen years in the service of Mary of Hungary, younger sister of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and regent of the Netherlands, at her court in Brussels. (Condé-sur-Escaut, where Josquin had spent his last years, is approximately fifty miles to the southwest.) Appenzeller’s version of Musae Jovis is relatively modest in scale, for only four voices and setting only the first twelve lines of text—thus concluding on a mournful note and omitting the references to Josquin’s admission to the ranks of the immortals. It employs the Phrygian modality, considered especially suitable for lamenting. Particularly effective moments are ‘ille occidit’ towards the end of the first section of music, with alternation of upper and lower voices, and several instances of emphatic homophony to underline important text phrases. The ‘pair imitation’ with which the two lower voices begin the piece, echoed by the two upper ones, was a technique favoured by Josquin.
from notes by Stephen Rice © 2012