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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's the 500 year anniversary of the death of Josquin des Prez, and I don't think there's a dedicated thread yet (?). Would be interesting to gather all the new recordings, events, articles - and your observations - in one place.

Here are some new recordings I'm aware of:



The Golden Renaissance: Josquin des Prez
Stile Antico
Decca



Josquin: Motets & Mass movements
The Brabant Ensemble, Stephen Rice
Hyperion



Josquin Desprez: Septiesme Livre de Chansons
Ensemble Clément Janequin, Dominique Visse
Ricercar



Josquin Desprez: Stabat Mater; Marian Motets
Cantica Symphonia, Giuseppe Maletto
Glossa



Josquin Masses: Hercules Dux Ferrarie, D'ung aultre amer & Missa Faysant regretz
The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips
Gimell

And here Cappella Pratensis opened the anniversary year with a concert on January 1, with nothing but recording engineers and camera operators in the audience of course:

 

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The Renaissance's Most Influential Composer, 500 Years Later

Centuries after his death, Josquin des Prez's achievements as a musical "magician-mathematician" remain stunning.

At the center of his body of work are 18 grand, unaccompanied choral masses - exactly the kind of music that will be largely forbidden for some time yet for fear of aerosol transmission of the virus. Those masses are the major legacy of the man Peter Phillips, the founder and director of the renowned vocal ensemble the Tallis Scholars, called a "magician-mathematician" in a recent interview.
Peter Phillips has recorded all of the masses for a project on Hyperion. Generally these are excellent performances and constitute one of the best complete collections of this music available.

To discuss Josquin and his significance, Phillips, who has recorded a full cycle of the masses with the Tallis Scholars and will lead them in performing those works this summer at the Boulez Saal in Berlin, joined the composer Nico Muhly, whose work is deeply informed by the choral music of the Renaissance. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
NICO MUHLY If someone asked you in the street, "Oh, you're Peter Phillips, I've always wondered who Josquin is," what's your answer?

PETER PHILLIPS He was the first superstar in the history of music. He was the first composer who was desired financially and artistically in the big places of the world at that time. He charged a lot, but people wanted him because he was the guy who had the reputation.

And the reason for that was, he mastered all the techniques of his time, turned them into something better, and then passed them on to the next generation of composers, who were all influenced by him. It's like Beethoven.


The rest can be read here.
 

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Josquin des Prez wrote great, delectable Renaissance music, especially for the church. Listening to such music immediately brings one's mind at peace with the clear polyphonic voices interweaving each other. Yes, we should remember him as one of the great Renaissance masters.


 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quoted from the "New releases" thread. Beautiful cover!

Will be interesting to see more information on the contents. I recently ordered the Hilliard Ensemble EMI boxes and wonder how much of those recordings are included here, and if any of them have been remastered.
 

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I've yet to buy all the new releases in this 500th anniversary year of Josquin's death in 1521--so far, but of what I have bought, Dominique Visse & Ensemble Clément Janequin's disc of Josquin's five, six, & seven! part works is exceptional, and one of the finest additions to Josquin discography that I've heard in recent years. It also compliments Ensemble Janequin's earlier, superb disc of Josquin chansons for Harmonia Mundi. Here are You Tube links to both recordings,

The recent 2021 CD:

& the earlier disc of chansons, entitled "Adieu, mes amours":

The last time I checked, which was several years ago, not all of Josquin's motets and chansons had been recorded. So, my hope for this anniversary year is that if that feat has not yet been accomplished, that it will finally be realized, either this year or very soon. Certainly with the mass cycle from the Tallis Scholars now complete and the last disc in their decades long project recently released--along with the ongoing mass cycle from Metamorphoses nearing completion--we are much closer to having recordings of Josquin's complete works than we were 5-10 years ago.

(Perhaps I'll do an update for this thread, to see what works are still left to be recorded in his opus, if any?)

One Josquin 500 recording that was missed in the opening post is a recording by the lutenist Jacob Heringman of lute transcriptions of Josquin's music (which I haven't heard yet). As with Dominique Visse's disc, this CD is a follow up to a superb earlier recording by Heringman of 16th century lute transcriptions of Josquin works. Here are YT links to both Heringman recordings, and if the second disc is as strong as the first--and the 2nd includes lute transcriptions of some of Josquin's finest works--I'd enthusiastically recommend both:

--Here's the new CD, entitled "Inviolata Josquin des Prez", with Jacob Heringman playing both the lute & vihuela:

--& the earlier disc of 16th century lute settings, which is a favorite of mine:
.

Putting the 500th anniversary aside, if I could take only two Josquin recordings with me to my desert island, it would be these two--from the Orlando Consort and De Labyrintho, of Marian motets and Josquin's beautiful Missa Gaudeamus:

The Orlando's disc starts with the best performance I've ever heard of one of my favorite motets by Josquin, "Inviolata, integra, et casta es Maria à 5":


But the rest of this disc is absolutely wonderful, too, and contains some of the finest counter-tenor singing I've ever heard, from Robert Harre-Jones:

While De Labyrintho's CD, "Musica Symbolica", is also very special, and additionally contains brilliant liner notes written by the groups's director, Walter Testolin:

By the way, De Labyrintho's other Stradivarius disc, which includes Josquin's towering motet, "Miserere mei Deus" is wonderful, too, if anyone doesn't know it:
.
 

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My favorite in-progress Josquin mass cycle, by the Japanese group Vocal Ensemble Cappella, seemed to have stalled out in 2013, but they released another entry this year! I don't know if this means they will keep going (actually this might even be the last couple masses?), but I'm certainly thankful for the semi-arbitrary marketing benchmark of the anniversary for enabling this to happen. http://cappellajp.com/album/index.html there are audio samples from their previous recordings further down the page.
 

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Though obviously recorded prior to Covid-19, these live Josquin performances by the vocal ensemble Gli Angeli Genève, directed by Stephan Macleod, in Domkerk Cathedral at the 2018 Utrecht Early Music Festival are very beautiful.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, beautiful. Something in it reminds me of De Labyrintho, one of the sopranos probably. Musica Symbolica is one of my favourite early music albums, and thanks to you J13 for turning me onto it :) I've also been enjoying their Missa HdF/Miserere album.

In exploring medieval and renaissance music, the number of good vocal ensembles is almost overwhelming.
 

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Yes, beautiful. Something in it reminds me of De Labyrintho, one of the sopranos probably. Musica Symbolica is one of my favourite early music albums, and thanks to you J13 for turning me onto it :) I've also been enjoying their Missa HdF/Miserere album.

In exploring medieval and renaissance music, the number of good vocal ensembles is almost overwhelming.
Helgi,

Yes, they remind me of De Labyrintho, as well. The performances are similarly artful, and their soprano is excellent, I agree. (& I hope they will record some of Josquin's music.) However, one of De Labyrintho's two sopranos can almost sound like a boy soprano at times, within the vocal mix. Which is one of the reasons why their Josquin performances are so uniquely beautiful, and continue to fascinate me.

"Musica Symbolica" is one of my favorite early music albums, too, and I'm pleased to hear that I introduced you to it! I first began recommending "Musica Symbolica" soon after it was released, over at Amazon. So, I've turned a lot of people onto that album over the years, which has been gratifying to me. & I appreciate your mentioning it.

Yes, there has been an explosion of superb vocal ensembles in the early music field over the past 25 years or so. & I think that's great. So much neglected and forgotten repertory has been performed & recorded that hadn't been heard in centuries!! It seems like every year there's another previously little known Franco-Flemish composer whose music is getting rediscovered. It's a wonderful time to be an early music fan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh I love that boyish soprano! Since hearing it, I've noticed this character of singing in other ensembles doing 15-16th century polyphony, this sort of boy-like female soprano. Can't remember off the top of my head, but I may be thinking of Ensemble Musica Nova and at least one other... not as distinctive as the one from De Labyrintho, though.

Do you have a favourite website or magazine to keep up with things in the early music scene? I've been flipping through the Gramophone digital archive and there are interviews and features here and there, but not that much besides album reviews.
 

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My favorite in-progress Josquin mass cycle, by the Japanese group Vocal Ensemble Cappella, seemed to have stalled out in 2013, but they released another entry this year! I don't know if this means they will keep going (actually this might even be the last couple masses?).
Four of Josquin's undisputed Masses (Gaudeamus, Faisant regretz, Ad fugam, and Sine nomine) are still missing from the Vocal Ensemble Cappella series, so I do hope they can keep going in these difficult times!

I must say I've had great trouble getting some of their discs. Is there any simple (and preferably not too expensive) way for folks outside Japan to order them?
 

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Here's a rough but (I hope) up-to-date list of the Josquin Masses so far recorded by each of the three groups attempting a complete set.

The Tallis Scholars have now recorded all 19 of the Masses published under Josquin's name in the 16th century.

Vocal Ensemble Cappella has so far recorded 14.

Biscantor! & Métamorphoses has recorded 9.

I've also listed a few isolated non-series recordings that seem to me of special interest for one reason or another.

Missarum, liber 1 (1502)
1.1. Missa L'homme armé super voces musicales - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Pro Cantione Antiqua (Archiv); A Sei Voci (Astrée)
1.2. Missa La sol fa re mi - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Biscantor! & Métamorphoses (Ar re-se); Capella Pratensis (with Propers; Ricercar)
1.3. Missa Gaudeamus - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Biscantor! & Métamorphoses (Ar re-se); A Sei Voci (with Propers; Astrée); Clerks' Group (ASV)
1.4. Missa Fortuna desperata - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Biscantor! & Métamorphoses (Ar re-se)
1.5. Missa L'homme armé sexti toni - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); A Sei Voci (Astrée)

Missarum, liber 2 (1505)
2.1. Missa Ave maris stella - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Biscantor! & Métamorphoses (Ar re-se); Taverner Consort & Choir (EMI)
2.2. Missa Hercules Dux Ferrariae - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Biscantor! & Métamorphoses (Ar re-se); New London Chamber Choir (Amon Ra); Hilliard Ensemble (EMI)
2.3. Missa Malheur me bat - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Clerks' Group (ASV)
2.4. Missa L'ami Baudichon - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Capella Alamire (Dorian)
2.5. Missa Une mousse de Biscaye - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Biscantor! & Métamorphoses (Ar re-se)
2.6. Missa D'ung aultre amer - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Biscantor! & Métamorphoses (Ar re-se); Alamire (Obsidian)

Missarum, liber 3 (1514)
3.1. Missa Mater patris - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Chanticleer (Chanticleer)
3.2. Missa Faisant regretz - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Medieval Ensemble of London (Oiseau-Lyre); Clerks' Group (ASV)
3.3. Missa ad fugam - Tallis Scholars (Gimell)
3.4. Missa Di dadi (= N'aray je jamais) - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Medieval Ensemble of London (Oiseau-Lyre)
3.5. Missa de Beata Virgine - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Biscantor! & Métamorphoses (Ar re-se); A Sei Voci (1985; Forlane); A Sei Voci (1995, with Propers; Astrée); Theatre of Voices (with Propers; Harmonia Mundi)
3.6. Missa sine nomine [titled "Missa ad fugam" in 1516 edition] - Tallis Scholars (Gimell)

Missæ tredecim quatuor vocum (1539)
4.7. Missa Pange lingua - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Biscantor! & Métamorphoses (Ar re-se); Ensemble Clément Jannequin (with Propers; Harmonia Mundi); Schola Cantorum of the Saint Gregory Society (with Propers; Saint Gregory Society); Westminster Cathedral Choir (Hyperion = Helios)
4.9. Missa Da pacem - Tallis Scholars (Gimell)

A more detailed discography can be found here:

http://plainsong.org.uk/publications/discographies-by-jerome-f-weber/josquin-des-prez-discography/

It is updated regularly. (At time of writing, the most recent update was done last December, and therefore doesn't include some of the most recent items that I've listed above.)
 

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Helgi asks,

"Do you have a favourite website or magazine to keep up with things in the early music scene? I've been flipping through the Gramophone digital archive and there are interviews and features here and there, but not that much besides album reviews."

Yes, I do. I keep up with Todd M. McComb's "Remarks on Recent Recordings" at www.Medieval.org. Here's a link to the 'remarks' section on his website: http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/cds/remarks.html. McComb also publishes a section where he lists "Recently issued CDs": http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/cds/recent.shtml. And, as you will see, he's paying close attention to the new releases in this Josquin 500 year.

He also used to have a section on the website where he gave an annual award to the best recording of the year. But unfortunately, it has been discontinued. However, last I checked, you could still access the list of winners from past years, and it's a valuable list. For example, that's how I discovered the group, La Morra, whose album "Flour de Beaulté" of Late Medieval Songs from Cypress, had won the award one year (& deservedly so): https://www.amazon.com/Flour-Beault...=La+Morra+flour&qid=1621374656&s=music&sr=1-1. I've just tried to locate the "Recording of the Year" section right now, and wasn't able to find it. So, unless I just missed it, unfortunately, it may no longer be on the site (though it's not the easiest site to navigate...).

Otherwise, Medieval.org is an excellent resource for the discographies and works of a great many composers from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. I can find it invaluable. Here's a link to the overall "site map": http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/site.html. (By the way, the website is based in the Boston, Massachusetts area, which is an important center for early music.)

In addition, I occasionally read reviews on the website, www.Musica-Dei-donum.org, where the reviewer is very knowledgable on pre-Baroque music (he writes like a musicologist):

http://www.musica-dei-donum.org/cd_reviews.html

Prestoclassical is another place where I keep up with the latest recordings. They provide a section under "Composers" where I can, for instance, click on Josquin Desprez, or Guillaume Dufay, or Johannes Ockeghem or any other composer, and find out about the newest recordings, along with those recordings that are scheduled to be released in the future, etc..

Here's the current Presto page for "Josquin Despres", for example: https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/composers/516--despres

I also used to avidly read Giordano Bruno's reviews at Amazon.com on a regular basis. He wrote many excellent and very informed reviews on early music recordings (being a professional in the early music field), which often read more like essays than reviews. GB is going by the name "Gio" these days, but last I checked he's only writing reviews very infrequently now, & not like he once did.

Here's a sampling of one of his past reviews: https://www.amazon.com/Orlando-Lasso-Trionfo-dell-Amore/dp/B001GXOD9O. Plus, if you click on his name, "Gio", you can access his Amazon webpage, and there you'll find valuable lists that he made years ago, as well as past reviews. For example, here's a link to his 'list' on Franco-Flemish "L'homme armé masses", which were composed for the Order of the Golden Fleece: https://www.amazon.com/ideas/amzn1....QNH619R7KPR3?type=explore&ref=idea_cp_vl_vv_d. I recall that he wrote a very interesting & informed history of the "L'homme armé mass in his introduction to the list, as virtually every Franco-Flemish composer composed one, starting with Dufay and Busnois, and including Josquin (who composed two).

However, I'm looking at the list right now, and it appears that Amazon has cut out! most of GB's written introduction. What a shame! Amazon has turned into such a dumb behemoth (whose search engine barely even works anymore, for anything).

Moving on, I stay up with other websites, too: such as the "monthly index" section at http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/classrev.htm (which includes monthly reviews & articles), www.Classical.net and www.Biberfan.org (who writes mostly about Baroque music recordings). But Medieval.org and Musica-Dei-donum.org are where I get most of my pre-Baroque information these days.

In regards to reading articles on various early music topics other than from CD reviews, I'm not sure where to guide you--since I don't subscribe to an Early Music magazine. I know that Oxford publishes a very good early music journal, so perhaps that's worth looking into: https://academic.oup.com/em/pages/About. There also used to be a good Early Music magazine published here in the states, but I don't know if it exists anymore. Does anyone know?

I'll also occasionally catch an article on Gramophone written by Fabrice Fitch, who, as you probably know, is their early music reviewer, or one of them. Fitch is knowledgable. He's both a composer and musicologist (who did his Doctorate in musicology at Manchester University under the supervision of David Fallows on Ockeghem masses!). Here's a link to his recent book, "Renaissance Polyphony", on Cambridge University Press (as part of the "Cambridge Introductions to Music" series): https://www.amazon.com/Renaissance-...s=fabrice+fitch&qid=1621439318&s=music&sr=1-1.

So, if you're looking for more discussion on the subject than what you get from your average early music CD review (though you'll probably learn things from the reviewer at Musica-Dei-donum), I think it's best to read books on the subject, rather than magazine articles. The only negatives here can be that (1) "university press" books aren't always written for the layman, and (2) music books can get very pricey, since it's such a specialized, niche field. But, over the years, I've found that the best English written "university" published music books tend to come from presses of the University of California, University of Chicago, University of Oxford, and University of Cambridge (although I tend to shy away from Cambridge University press because they've published some poorly researched books in my own field).

https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/virtualCatalog/vc40.html
https://www.ucpress.edu/discipline/musmaj/music
https://global.oup.com/academic/category/arts-and-humanities/music/?cc=us&lang=en&
https://www.cambridge.org

I hope that I've said something that helps!
 

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Here's a rough but (I hope) up-to-date list of the Josquin Masses so far recorded by each of the three groups attempting a complete set.

The Tallis Scholars have now recorded all 19 of the Masses published under Josquin's name in the 16th century.

Vocal Ensemble Cappella has so far recorded 14.

Biscantor! & Métamorphoses has recorded 9.

I've also listed a few isolated non-series recordings that seem to me of special interest for one reason or another.

Missarum, liber 1 (1502)
1.1. Missa L'homme armé super voces musicales - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Pro Cantione Antiqua (Archiv); A Sei Voci (Astrée)
1.2. Missa La sol fa re mi - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Biscantor! & Métamorphoses (Ar re-se); Capella Pratensis (with Propers; Ricercar)
1.3. Missa Gaudeamus - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Biscantor! & Métamorphoses (Ar re-se); A Sei Voci (with Propers; Astrée); Clerks' Group (ASV)
1.4. Missa Fortuna desperata - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Biscantor! & Métamorphoses (Ar re-se)
1.5. Missa L'homme armé sexti toni - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); A Sei Voci (Astrée)

Missarum, liber 2 (1505)
2.1. Missa Ave maris stella - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Biscantor! & Métamorphoses (Ar re-se); Taverner Consort & Choir (EMI)
2.2. Missa Hercules Dux Ferrariae - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Biscantor! & Métamorphoses (Ar re-se); New London Chamber Choir (Amon Ra); Hilliard Ensemble (EMI)
2.3. Missa Malheur me bat - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Clerks' Group (ASV)
2.4. Missa L'ami Baudichon - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Capella Alamire (Dorian)
2.5. Missa Une mousse de Biscaye - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Biscantor! & Métamorphoses (Ar re-se)
2.6. Missa D'ung aultre amer - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Biscantor! & Métamorphoses (Ar re-se); Alamire (Obsidian)

Missarum, liber 3 (1514)
3.1. Missa Mater patris - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Chanticleer (Chanticleer)
3.2. Missa Faisant regretz - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Medieval Ensemble of London (Oiseau-Lyre); Clerks' Group (ASV)
3.3. Missa ad fugam - Tallis Scholars (Gimell)
3.4. Missa Di dadi (= N'aray je jamais) - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Medieval Ensemble of London (Oiseau-Lyre)
3.5. Missa de Beata Virgine - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Biscantor! & Métamorphoses (Ar re-se); A Sei Voci (1985; Forlane); A Sei Voci (1995, with Propers; Astrée); Theatre of Voices (with Propers; Harmonia Mundi)
3.6. Missa sine nomine [titled "Missa ad fugam" in 1516 edition] - Tallis Scholars (Gimell)

Missæ tredecim quatuor vocum (1539)
4.7. Missa Pange lingua - Tallis Scholars (Gimell); Vocal Ensemble Cappella (Regulus); Biscantor! & Métamorphoses (Ar re-se); Ensemble Clément Jannequin (with Propers; Harmonia Mundi); Schola Cantorum of the Saint Gregory Society (with Propers; Saint Gregory Society); Westminster Cathedral Choir (Hyperion = Helios)
4.9. Missa Da pacem - Tallis Scholars (Gimell)

A more detailed discography can be found here:

http://plainsong.org.uk/publications/discographies-by-jerome-f-weber/josquin-des-prez-discography/

It is updated regularly. (At time of writing, the most recent update was done last December, and therefore doesn't include some of the most recent items that I've listed above.)
I would very much like to hear Vocal Ensemble Cappella's recordings. I have their Machaut and I've heard some Josquin and Frye on YouTube, they clearly are an interesting ensemble with ideas.

If anyone knows how I can get their recordings in the Uk without paying an arm and a leg in import duties, please let me know.

I'd also appreciate a link to the Schola Cantorum of the St Gregory Society's M. Pange Lingue.

What do you think of A Sei Voci?
 

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In exploring medieval and renaissance music, the number of good vocal ensembles is almost overwhelming.
Yes but the best ensembles don't do Josquin. No Josquin from Beauty Farm, no Josquin from Graindelavoix, not much Josquin from Paul van Nevel, no Josquin from Solazzo Ensemble, no Josquin from Gothic Voices . . . IMO the standard approach to Josquin puts far too much emphasis on polish, consonance, lyricism, a unified sound. The result is beautiful, but not very interesting for me. For this reason, Labyrintho's recording is not a favourite of mine - it's almost the antithesis of what I want to hear!
 

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I'd also appreciate a link to the Schola Cantorum of the St Gregory Society's M. Pange Lingue.
It can be purchased here (the mp3 sound samples are fully representative).

NOTE that this is a live performance in full liturgical context. That's its main interest--it provides a unique opportunity to hear a Josquin mass in something like the musical context that he would have expected (and performed with decent musical values, unlike the numerous well-meaning amateur liturgical "Tridentine Masses with Palestrina" on YouTube etc.).

It would NOT be suitable for anyone allergic to live recordings, or for anyone allergic to Gregorian chant (the CD comprises approx. 35 mins. of Josquin's Mass, plus 11 mins. of polyphonic motets, plus 30 mins. of Gregorian chant).

I would very much like to hear Vocal Ensemble Cappella's recordings. I have their Machaut and I've heard some Josquin and Frye on YouTube, they clearly are an interesting ensemble with ideas.

If anyone knows how I can get their recordings in the Uk without paying an arm and a leg in import duties, please let me know.
Snap! I was just asking the very same thing:

I must say I've had great trouble getting some of their discs. Is there any simple (and preferably not too expensive) way for folks outside Japan to order them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you, Josquin13, much appreciated. I will sometimes have one of your posts open in a browser tab for weeks at a time, just to refer to! Like your post in the recent "Renaissance suggestions?" thread.

I'll also occasionally catch an article on Gramophone written by Fabrice Fitch, who, as you probably know, is their early music reviewer, or one of them. Fitch is knowledgable. He's both a composer and musicologist (who did his Doctorate in musicology at Manchester University under the supervision of David Fallows on Ockeghem masses!). Here's a link to his recent book, "Renaissance Polyphony", on Cambridge University Press (as part of the "Cambridge Introductions to Music" series): https://www.amazon.com/Renaissance-...s=fabrice+fitch&qid=1621439318&s=music&sr=1-1.
I'm reading this book now, and even if some of it is a bit too technical for me it's exactly the kind of book I was looking for as a general introduction to this music. It's very good. I got it because I enjoy his writing in Gramophone.

Yes but the best ensembles don't do Josquin. No Josquin from Beauty Farm, no Josquin from Graindelavoix, not much Josquin from Paul van Nevel, no Josquin from Solazzo Ensemble, no Josquin from Gothic Voices . . . IMO the standard approach to Josquin puts far too much emphasis on polish, consonance, lyricism, a unified sound. The result is beautiful, but not very interesting for me. For this reason, Labyrintho's recording is not a favourite of mine - it's almost the antithesis of what I want to hear!
The new Ensemble Clément Janequin album has lots of character. It sounds too casual to my ears (first impression anyway) but I suppose it's appropriate for the chansons and secular music. Can't imagine it would work in the masses?

I haven't heard Graindelavoix or Beauty Farm, but I listened to Cut Circle in Ockeghem chansons and found them a little abrasive, too sassy for lack of a better word. But I'm fairly new to this stuff so I might come around to it.
 

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It can be purchased here (the mp3 sound samples are fully representative).

NOTE that this is a live performance in full liturgical context. That's its main interest--it provides a unique opportunity to hear a Josquin mass in something like the musical context that he would have expected (and performed with decent musical values, unlike the numerous well-meaning amateur liturgical "Tridentine Masses with Palestrina" on YouTube etc.).

It would NOT be suitable for anyone allergic to live recordings, or for anyone allergic to Gregorian chant (the CD comprises approx. 35 mins. of Josquin's Mass, plus 11 mins. of polyphonic motets, plus 30 mins. of Gregorian chant).

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Too expensive to get into the UK unfortunately, because of import taxes, but thanks.
 

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I must say I've had great trouble getting some of their discs. Is there any simple (and preferably not too expensive) way for folks outside Japan to order them?
If anyone knows how I can get their recordings in the Uk without paying an arm and a leg in import duties, please let me know.
Apologies if I got anyone's hopes up, I actually have only heard the various snippets on their website plus various tracks that have appeared and disappeared over time from their youtube channel - I meant 'favorite' as perhaps a shorter stand-in for, 'the one I am most excited about', or something like that. Regardless, I am planning to order the set at some point, and will be happy to share the files when I do!
 
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