Andrew Clements
The Guardian
April 2013

Josquin Des Prez, the most influential composer in the Flemish school of the early sixteenth century, died in 1521. Over the following decade, a whole generation of composers, many of them former pupils, wrote memorial works, often quoting material and techniques from Josquin's own music. The King's Singers' disc of those tributes centres on perhaps the most substantial of them: the Requiem in Memoriam Josquin Desprez composed by Jean Richafort (c1480-1550). Richafort, who worked at both the French court and in Bruges, may well have been a Josquin pupil, too, and his requiem, which borrows themes and devices from the older man's chansons, was one of the most successful of its time. But some of the shorter pieces grouped around it by composers who are very little known today contain the most striking music here, especially Hieronymus Vinders' seven-part O Mors Inevitabilis and Jacquet of Mantua's densely polyphonic Dum Vastos Adriae Fluctus. All the King's Singers' performances are admirably manicured—perhaps just a little too much so at times, when a bit more gutsiness would have been welcome.