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Dum vastos Adriae fluctus

author of text

Perhaps the most extraordinary tribute to Josquin, and one that is rarely performed today, is Dum vastos Adriae fluctus by the French composer, and yet another pupil of Josquin, Jacquet of Mantua (or Jacques Colebault, 1483-1559). Jacquet was in later life active in Italy, and enjoyed the patronage of Ercole Cardinal Gonzaga (1505–63), Bishop of Mantua and papal legate to Charles V. The composer was in Mantua intermittently between 1527 and 1559, and there is some circumstantial evidence to suggest that he might have been the ‘Master Jacquet’ who was employed at Magdalen College, Oxford, as Informator choristarum (Instructor of the Choristers, though a position regularly occupied by composers) at various times in the 1530s. Certainly Jacquet’s famous Aspice Domine is one of only two foreign works preserved in the so-called Peterhouse Partbooks, thought to have been compiled from the repertory of Magdalen College as it stood in the early 1540s. Little is known of his later movements, but Jacquet died in Mantua on 2 October 1559.

Dum vastos never made it into the composer’s collected works, published in the 1970s and ‘80s, though it appears in a set of partbooks published in Venice in 1554 by the Scotto Press (Motetti del Laberinto, a cinque voci libro quarto) and has been especially prepared for this recording. In the first part of this tribute motet Jacquet places himself at the edge of a tempestuous Adriatic Sea, the waters unsettled and churning as he recalls the virtues of his deceased master; here the polyphony is dense and offers a haunting feeling of the ebb and flow of rough waters. In the second part, Jacquet sings, as if to the sea, ‘artful verses with a antique sound’. It begins ‘Let us recount, ye Muses, Josquin’s ancient loves’. Here Jacquet pays homage by embedding sections of five of Josquin’s most popular works into the polyphony: Praeter rerum seriem, Stabat mater, Inviolata integra et casta es, Salve regina and Miserere mei Deus. The work ends in triple time, ‘the rustling reeds repeating everything’ as if assessing Jacquet’s musical discourse, and the waters then ‘nod approval’ and become still, as so beautifully expressed in the final cadence.

from notes by David Skinner © 2013


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


Track 4 on SIGCD326 [7'52] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD326 track 4

Recording date
12 September 2012
Recording venue
St George's Church, Chesterton, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Adrian Hunter
Recording engineer
Adrian Hunter
Hyperion usage
  1. Richafort: Requiem (SIGCD326)
    Disc 1 Track 4
    Release date: March 2013
    Download only
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