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Jacob Obrecht

3447 Views 13 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Mandryka
Jacob Obrecht (1457-1505) died too young; Josquin Desprez outlived and overshadowed him. But he was very forward-thinking; as R.D. Ross observed, his "motets reveal the extent to which tonal root movements had overtaken modal root movements possibly for the first time in music history." Or as Richard Staines puts it, it "represents an early stage in the evolution of diatonic tonality."

He lived in times when masses were based on a cantus firmus (a predetermined melody), and he was skilled at manipulating it as a structural device. His Missa Maria Zart is almost Brucknerian in its length and structure; he breaks the chant up into segments for development.

"Obrecht's premature death deprived Europe of one of its most formidable musical intellects," Richard Staines observed.

Has anyone else explored his music?
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Didn't spot this one earlier. Can't offer much in the way of technical analysis I'm afraid but the Clerk's Group's recording of the Missa Sub Tuum Praesidium is a particular favourite. The Gloria and Credo are especially thrilling. I'd quite like to get ahold of Rob Wegman's biography of him some time.

That generation of polyphonists was pretty extraordinary. Josquin, Obrecht, la Rue, Isaac, Agricola, Brumel, Compere and Mouton all born within about fifteen years of each other and all save Brumel coming from the region that in those days was known as the Netherlands.
What do you think of those Hungarian ANS Chorus recordings?
I've heard similar complaints before. I haven't actually had a problem with the acoustics myself and those records seemed fine enough until I heard their Agricola recordings which sound as if they might've been by the same composer...which is just ridiculous consiodering how idiosyncratic Agricola was.
Well, that's not exactly what I meant. Whilst I don't find them objectionable to listen to they just seem to lack any individuality as if they're just going through the motions.
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