Certainly the Pater noster / Ave Maria
occupied a place very close to Josquin’s heart: this was the motet that, in his will, he asked to be performed posthumously before his house during all general church processions. Its heartfelt rendering of the two most fundamental Christian prayers respectively to God and the Virgin Mary, the prime intercessor, leaves no doubt of the acute awareness of its composer – admired and emulated by so many during his life and far beyond it - that he, like all of us, would end as dust. With the sublime intensity of its setting, and particularly of its unforgettable closing invocations, we are left with an abiding sense of Josquin’s mortality, and perhaps also of our own, ringing in our ears.
from notes by Andrew Kirkman © 2001