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Josquin Desprez

Josquin Desprez

Born: 1450 Died: 1521

Josquin Des Prez was one of the most influential and widely regarded composers in the history of Western music, so famous that he is known merely by his first name. Josquin was apparently born in the Duchy of Burgundy, in modern Belgium. He spent a large portion of his middle years in various Italian cities as a highly sought master of music, and then retired to Conde (in Northeast France) late in his life. Josquin's extended sojourns in Italy allowed him not only to spread the Northern polyphonic style there, but to pick up some of the Southern vitality noticeable in many of his secular works. However, his extended works are always marked by a subtlety and serenity characteristic of the Franco-Flemish school.

Josquin's surviving musical output is very large, comprising masses, motets, and secular songs in both French and Italian. His style is marked by the technique of pervasive imitation, in which different vocal lines share material in a subtle interlocking manner. Most of his compositions are for four voices, though larger textures are not uncommon. Typically, Josquin utilizes pair-wise imitation between voices - such that the texture is divided into pairs of voices which interchange material in canon. This technique deliberately eschews the longer lines of the previous generation to concentrate on shorter motifs which lend themselves to various combinations of melody and harmony. This technique was to have direct consequence for the later Renaissance, and for the Baroque and Classical periods as well. His influential contrapuntal experimentation and structural refinement lead many people to consider Josquin the greatest composer in the history of Western music, and indeed composers would be studying and utilizing his material directly for more than a century.

Josquin's masses include not only cantus firmus masses, such as the widely reknowned "Missa Pange Lingua," but also "parody" masses in which entire contrapuntal complexes are borrowed from an earlier source. His secular compositions are highly varied, from light songs called "frottola," to weightier french chansons such as the widely parodied "Milles Regretz," to the motet-chanson "Deploration on the death of Ockeghem/Nimphes des bois" and its gloomy textures. However, Josquin's motets contain some of his most varied and highly respected output, and it is here that his combination of piety, technical mastery, and individual discretion makes its surest showing. The motet "Ave Maria, gratia plena" is an especially crystalized example of his style, with its strict canonic opening and subsequent structural interplay. The massive motet "Miserere mei, Deus" shows Josquin at his most expressive and expansive, while the late motet "De profundis clamavi" shows him at his most serene. In all these settings, Josquin's primary concern is with the direct expression of text, and it is this humanistic quality that set the stage for the main portion of Renaissance and Baroque music.

Today, Josquin's reputation is as high as it has ever been, except perhaps during his lifetime when he was the most sought after composer in Europe. His command of text and structure makes his music one of the great legacies of Western art.

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Displaying 1-7 of 7 items.


Josquin Desprez : Missa De beata : SATB : 01 Songbook : Josquin Desprez : 073999652765 : 48000761

Josquin Desprez : Missa De beata

Review: Missa de Beata Virgine is a musical setting of the Ordinary of the Mass, by Renaissance composer Josquin des Prez. A late work, probably composed or assembled around 1510, it was the most popular of his masses in the 16th century. The Missa de Beata Virgine is unusual among Josquin's masses in that the first two movements are for four voices, and the last three for five, with the fifth voice derived canonically. Like most musical settings of the mass Ordinary, it is in five sections, or movements. It uses different plainsong chants for each movement, and is a paraphrase mass, one in which the original chants are elaborated, broken up, passed between voices, or sung in different voices simultaneously. The movements differ in their treatment of the source plainchant. The Kyrie has the chant in all voices, imitatively and paraphrased; the Gloria treats the chant as a cantus firmus, migrating it from voice to voice. Tonally, both movements end on G, and most of their cadences are on G or D. The Credo, the first movement for five voices, ends with a surprising Phrygian cadence on E, and uses canonic techniques more prominently than in the preceding movements.

Songlist: Missa De beata, Kyrie 1, Christe, Kyrie 2, Et in terra, Qui tollis, Cum Sancto, Credo sections, Sanctus, Pleni sunt caeli, Hosanna, Benedictus, Agnus Dei 1, Agnus Dei 2, Agnus Dei 3

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9603b | Songbook $18.95 | SATB add item to cart Early Music Vocal Arrangements


Tallis Scholars : Tallis Scholars Sing Josquin : 00  2 CDs : Peter Philips : Josquin Desprez : CDGIM 206

Tallis Scholars : Tallis Scholars Sing Josquin

Review: If one were looking for a superstar among Renaissance composers Josquin is unquestionably the front runner. He was a star in his lifetime, travelling more widely, being paid better and having more desirable employment than anyone else; and he has become a star again more recently. It is true that in the centuries in between it has been Palestrina and Tallis who were performed more consistently, where Josquin was forgotten, but this was on account of their simple music, which choirs of any ability could sing. Josquin didn't write any simple music. All his music is complex, intellectually and vocally, posing problems which have only recently been found to represent a supreme challenge. As with Beethoven it is now recognized that facing up to Josquin's message can bring unparalleled rewards; and, more than anywhere else, it is now clear it was in his Mass settings that he expressed that message at its most fluent. There are perhaps fifteen Mass settings by Josquin, all of which are essentially scored for four voices.

Songlist: Plainchant, Missa Pange Lingua, Missa La Sol Fa Re Mi, Praeter Rerum Seriem, Ave Maria, Anonymous Chanson: L'Homme Arme, Missa L'Homme Arme Super Voces Musicales, Missa L'Homme Arme Sexti Toni

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8321c | 2 CDs $18.98 add item to cart Early Music CDs


Alamire : Josquin Desprez : 00  1 CD : David Skinner : Josquin Desprez : CD701

Alamire : Josquin Desprez

Review: Josquin Desprez is widely recognized as the greatest of the Renaissance master musicians. He set the standard for the various compositional techniques borrowed and utilized by most composers of his generation and beyond, and became an iconic figure whose art captivated musicians and scholars for centuries. This recording centres around some of Josquin's earliest works, and, in particular, his fascination with the D'ung aultre amer rondeau composed by his teacher Johannes Ockeghem. Also included are some of his most popular motets and chansons performed here by a solo voice (Clare Wilkinson) with renaissance harp (Andrew Lawrence-King).

Songlist: Missa D'ung aultre amer, Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus / Tu solus qui facis mirabilia , Agnus dei, De tous beins plaine, Mille regretz, Ave Maria, Qui belles amours, Fortuna d'un gran tempo, Planxit autem David, Cela sans plus, Sanctus 'D'ung aultre amer', Tu lumen, tu splendor patris, La Bernardina, Victimae paschali laudes / D'ung aultre amer , Adieu mes amours , Ile fantazies de Joskin , Tu solus qui facis mirabilia / D'ung aultre amer,

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9013c | 1 CD $17.95 add item to cart Early Music CDs


Cappella Alamire : The Early Josquin : 00  1 CD : Josquin Desprez : dor 80131

Cappella Alamire : The Early Josquin

Review: Audio magazine (USA) called this "an utterly delightful disc." Unusual melodies, surprising harmonies, unexpected uses of word painting and other expressive techniques, great craft and clarity of purpose distinguish these works, believed to have been written during Josquin's mysterious early years. Includes several world premiere recordings.

Songlist: Magnificat, Missa L'ami baudechon, Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei , Credo Sine nomine, Credo Sine nomine (canonic), Credo De tous biens playne

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6574c | 1 CD $15.98 add item to cart Early Music CDs


Chanticleer : Josquin/Agricola : 00  1 CD : Joseph Jennings : Josquin DesprezAgricola, Alexander  : 8808

Chanticleer : Josquin/Agricola

Review: Who better than Chanticleer to interpret the chants of Josquin De Prez and Alexander Agricola, two High Rennaissance composers who, though not Italian born, came to prominence while in service of the Italian nobility and papacy. De Prez, the more famous of the two, served to advance the development of both homophonic and polyphonic textures and was prescient in his use of both. Agricola also utilized the motet and various liturgical forms as was standard at the time. The exhaustive liner notes that complement this recording provide formal analysis and historical background. The sound? While the nuances of each composition may be appreciated fully by those with a dedicated propensity, anyone can be calmed by the ethereal voices and elegant organum of these simple settings.

Songlist: Mater Patris et Filia , Missa Mater Patris: Kyrie , Missa Mater Patris: Gloria , Nobis Sancti Spititus, Missa Mater Patris: Credo , Regina Coeli , Missa Mater Patris: Sanctus, O Crux Ave, Missa Mater Patris: Angus Dei , Domine, Non Secundum Peccata Nostra , Magnificat

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6311c | 1 CD $14.98 add item to cart Early Music CDs


Hilliard Ensemble : Josquin Desprez: Motets & Chansons : 00  1 CD : Paul Hillier : Josquin Desprez : 61302.2

Hilliard Ensemble : Josquin Desprez: Motets & Chansons

Review: Of all the north European composers who made their careers writing beautiful secular madrigals in sixteenth-century Italy, Josquin Desprez is regarded as the greatest. Fusing learned polyphony with rhythmic gaity, the madrigal was hugely popular in Italy and England. The brilliant British male octet The Hilliard Ensemble, sounding very much like angels, are one of few groups who can do justice to this difficult, soaring material. From the sacred "Ave Maria... Virgo serena," "Veni Sancti Spiritus," and "De profundis clamavi" to the secular "Petite camusette," "Je me complains" and "Je ne me puis tenir d'aimer," this is wonderful music. 13 songs. Extensive liner notes give lyrics and translations.

Songlist: Ave Maria ... Virgo serena, Absalon fili mi, Veni Sancte Spiritus, De profundis clamavi, Scaramella va alla guerra (a4), In te Domine speravi (a4), El grillo (a4), Mille regretz, Petite camusette, Je me complains, En l'ombre d'ung buissonet, Je ne me puis penir d'aimer, La deploration de Jhan Ockeghem (a5)

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7012c | 1 CD $11.98 add item to cart Early Music CDs


Tallis Scholars : Josquin : 00  1 CD : Josquin Desprez

Tallis Scholars : Josquin

Review: This recording presents the only two Masses by Josquin which are entirely based on canons; a single melody stated in different voice-parts at different times so that it overlaps with itself. To write this kind of music may sound academic to the modern mind: who is interested in mathematical scaffolding which most people can't hear? But Josquin was interested in it - as were many later composers from Bach to Brahms to Webern - and I knew that, like every composer of genius, he would relish the challenge. -Peter Phillips

Songlist: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus & Benedictus, Agnus Dei I, II & III, Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus & Benedictus, Agnus Dei I, II & III, Sanctus & Benedictus, Agnus Dei I, II & III

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8904c | 1 CD $16.95 add item to cart Early Music CDs

Related Items ( See Featured Items )

Displaying 1-50 of 97 items.

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Josquin DesprezAlamireJosquin Desprez 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
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Absolve Quaesumus Domine Josquin DesprezHenry's EightPierre de la Rue - Missa cum iucunditat 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Adieu mes amours Josquin DesprezAlamireJosquin Desprez 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Agnus Dei Josquin DesprezCappella AlamireThe Early Josquin 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Agnus deiJosquin DesprezAlamireJosquin Desprez 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Agnus Dei I, II & IIIPeter PhillipsJosquin DesprezTallis ScholarsJosquin 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Agnus Dei I, II & IIIPeter PhillipsJosquin DesprezTallis ScholarsJosquin 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
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Ave festiva ferculis Josquin DesprezOrlando ConsortThe Toledo Summit 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Ave Maria Josquin DesprezChanticleerMagnificat 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Ave MariaJosquin DesprezTallis ScholarsTallis Scholars Sing Josquin 2 CDsMORE DETAILS 
Ave MariaJosquin DesprezVoices of AscensionBeyond Chant: Mysteries of the Renaissance 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Ave MariaJosquin DesprezJohn Rutter (Editor)European Sacred MusicSongbookMORE DETAILS 
Ave MariaJosquin DesprezAlamireJosquin Desprez 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Ave MariaJosquin DesprezCambridge SingersThe Sacred Flame 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Ave Maria ... Virgo serenaJosquin DesprezHilliard EnsembleJosquin Desprez: Motets & Chansons 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Ave Maria for four voicesJosquin DesprezTallis ScholarsChristmas with The Tallis Scholars 2 CDsMORE DETAILS 
Benedicta esJosquin DesprezTallis ScholarsPalestrina Masses - Missa Benedicta es 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Cela sans plusJosquin DesprezAlamireJosquin Desprez 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
CredoJosquin DesprezCappella AlamireThe Early Josquin 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
CredoPeter PhillipsJosquin DesprezTallis ScholarsJosquin 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
CredoPeter PhillipsJosquin DesprezTallis ScholarsJosquin 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
CredoJosquin DesprezAlamireJosquin Desprez 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Credo De tous biens playneJosquin DesprezCappella AlamireThe Early Josquin 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Credo Sine nomineJosquin DesprezCappella AlamireThe Early Josquin 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Credo Sine nomine (canonic)Josquin DesprezCappella AlamireThe Early Josquin 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
De profundis clamaviJosquin DesprezHilliard EnsembleJosquin Desprez: Motets & Chansons 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
De tous beins plaineJosquin DesprezAlamireJosquin Desprez 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Domine, Non Secundum Peccata Nostra Josquin DesprezChanticleerJosquin/Agricola 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
El grillo (a4)Josquin DesprezHilliard EnsembleJosquin Desprez: Motets & Chansons 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
En l'ombre d'ung buissonetJosquin DesprezHilliard EnsembleJosquin Desprez: Motets & Chansons 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Fortuna d'un gran tempoJosquin DesprezAlamireJosquin Desprez 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
GloriaJosquin DesprezCappella AlamireThe Early Josquin 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
GloriaPeter PhillipsJosquin DesprezTallis ScholarsJosquin 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
GloriaPeter PhillipsJosquin DesprezTallis ScholarsJosquin 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
GloriaJosquin DesprezAlamireJosquin Desprez 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Ile fantazies de Joskin Josquin DesprezAlamireJosquin Desprez 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
In te Domine speravi (a4)Josquin DesprezHilliard EnsembleJosquin Desprez: Motets & Chansons 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
In te, Domine, speravi Josquin DesprezOrlando ConsortThe Toledo Summit 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Je me complainsJosquin DesprezHilliard EnsembleJosquin Desprez: Motets & Chansons 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Je ne me puis penir d'aimerJosquin DesprezHilliard EnsembleJosquin Desprez: Motets & Chansons 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
KyrieJosquin DesprezCappella AlamireThe Early Josquin 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
KyriePeter PhillipsJosquin DesprezTallis ScholarsJosquin 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
KyriePeter PhillipsJosquin DesprezTallis ScholarsJosquin 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
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