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Track(s) taken from CDA67959

Musae Jovis

author of text
In Josquinum a prato, Musicorum principem, Monodia

Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: August 2010
Kloster Pernegg, Waldviertel, Austria
Produced by Colin Mason
Engineered by Markus Wallner
Release date: August 2012
Total duration: 5 minutes 46 seconds

Cover artwork: The Dead Christ (c1480-1490) by Andrea Mantegna (c1431-1506)
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan / Alinari / Bridgeman Art Library, London

Other recordings available for download

The King's Singers


'Not only do the performances here range from genuine tenderness … to majestic splendour, but the balance is perfect and the melodic lines are absolutely clear, so that every detail of Richafort's remarkable contrapuntal writing can be heard … the other works on the disc are given similarly wonderful performances … Cinquecento's imploring rendition of the masterpiece that is Miserere mei, Deus is surely perfect in the way it balances a profound understanding, and projection, of its intricate counterpoint with its vast melodic sweep … if I could nominate this recording as 'Outstanding' twice over, I would do, for I have run out of superlatives. It is, quite simply, sublime' (International Record Review)

'Cinquecento's sound has a magic of its own' (Gramophone)

'Cinquecento give a more finely blended and balanced performance than I have yet heard from them, with spacious legato lines, breadth of vision and appreciation of the architecture and majestic solemnity of Richafort's 6-part polyphony, framed by gorgeous works by Josquin, his probable master. Vividly sung and recorded' (Choir & Organ)

'Musically inspired by Josquin, this is a majestic, expansive requiem … the shades of mourning are illuminated by moments of light and serenity—glimpses of a sublime hereafter. Cinquecento captures the work's meditative quality to profound effect, the all-male vocal ensemble creating an aptly plangent sonority and a tone of high seriousness … the group can also produce all the opulence and bloom of a much larger ensemble. Throughout, the singing is exquisitely controlled: arching polyphonic lines are beautifully shaped, textural contrasts subtly enhanced, never over-dramatised, and the voices—silken and effortless—seem to be suspended in amber' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Stephen Rice’s authoritative booklet notes are a valuable resource when it comes to placing the music in its historical context and delving further into the complexities of its creation, but the expressive warmth and sonority of Cinquecento’s voices, superbly recorded, are the source to which you will want to return for more and more. Superbly unified, the dynamic shading which brings forth leading voice lines and gently points to significant harmonic shifts are done so naturally that the music seems to enter your soul through some kind of osmosis rather than something so banal as mere listening' (MusicWeb International)
The poem Musae Jovis, by Gerard Avidius, adopts a standard neo-Latin approach to the theme of death, contrasting earthly lament at the loss of the composer with the rejoicing in the heavens at his recruitment to the celestial choirs. The fact that this is couched in terms of Roman rather than Christian theology does not appear to have upset contemporary sensibilities.

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

Le poème Musae Jovis de Gérard Avidius, dans une approche néolatine standard du thème de la mort, oppose à la déploration, ici-bas, de la perte du compositeur la réjouissance, aux cieux, de son admission dans les chœurs célestes. Que la formulation retenue fût celle de la théologie romaine et non chrétienne ne paraît pas avoir, alors, heurté les sensibilités.

Benedictus Appenzeller passa au moins quinze ans au service de Marie de Hongrie, sœur cadette de l’empereur du Saint-Empire romain Charles Quint et régente des Pays-Bas, dont la cour était à Bruxelles. (Condé-sur-Escaut, où Josquin avait passé ses dernières années, est à quelque quatre-vingts kilomètres au sud-ouest.) Il donna de Musae Jovis une version d’envergure relativement modeste, juste à quatre voix qui, mettant en musique les seuls douze premiers vers du texte, se termine sur une note affligée et élude toute allusion à l’admission de Josquin parmi les rangs des immortels. Il utilise d’ailleurs la modalité phrygienne, jugée des mieux appropriées à la déploration. Les moments particulièrement impressionnants sont «ille occidit», vers la fin de la première section musicale (avec une alternance des voix supérieures et inférieures), et plusieurs occurrences d’homophonie emphatique venant souligner d’importantes phrases du texte. L’«imitation gemellée»—les deux voix inférieures ouvrent l’œuvre, et les deux voix supérieures leur font écho—était une technique chère à Josquin.

extrait des notes rédigées par Stephen Rice © 2012
Français: Hypérion

Das Gedicht Musae Jovis von Gerard Avidius bedient sich einer standardmäßigen neolateinischen Annäherung an das Thema Tod, wobei die irdische Klage über den Verlust des Komponisten dem himmlischen Jubel über seinen Beitritt zu den himmlischen Chören gegenübergestellt wird. Die Tatsache, dass dies nicht in der Sprache der christlichen Theologie, sondern eher der römischen Mythologie ausgedrückt wird, scheint die Zeitgenossen nicht weiter verstört zu haben.

Benedictus Appenzeller war mindestens 15 Jahre lang im Dienst von Maria von Ungarn, der jüngeren Schwester Karls V. (HRR) sowie Statthalterin der habsburgischen Niederlande, an ihrem Hof in Brüssel. (Condé-sur-Escaut, wo Josquin seine letzten Lebensjahre verbrachte, liegt etwa 80 Kilometer südwestlich davon entfernt.) Appenzellers Version von Musae Jovis ist mit einer vierstimmigen Anlage und Vertonung von nur den ersten 12 Textzeilen recht bescheiden gesetzt—es endet damit klagend und lässt die Hinweise auf Josquins Zutritt in die Reihen der Unsterblichen aus. Es wird hier der phrygische Modus verwendet, der als besonders geeignet für Klagen galt. Sehr wirkungsvolle Momente sind „ille occidit“ gegen Ende des ersten Abschnitts, wo die hohen und tiefen Stimmen miteinander alternieren, und mehrere Passagen mit Homophonie, die wichtige Textstellen unterstreichen. Die „Paar-Imitation“ mit der die beiden Unterstimmen das Werk beginnen und die dann von den Oberstimmen wiedergegeben werden, war eine bevorzugte Technik Josquins.

aus dem Begleittext von Stephen Rice © 2012
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

Other albums featuring this work

Richafort: Requiem
Studio Master: SIGCD326Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
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