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Stewart, Odhecaton, and this one make a nice threesome of 2021 releases.

Yes, I certainly think Stewart and Schmelzer are interesting, but the one I appreciate most is Cantica Symphonia -- I just think it's beautiful. And, in a slightly different vein, the new Josquin CD from Jacob Herringman.

By the way, re Josquin generally, I've been absolutely bowled over by this recently. I think it was their first recording, and it's so fresh and full of ideas it's astonishing.

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The Vocal Ensemble Capella has embarked on a complete masses cycle and have released 8 volumes to date. They are really good and offer a contrast to Peter Phillips ongoing cycle.

Des Prez: The Complete Masses, Vol. 8
Vocal Ensemble Cappella & Tetsuro Hanai

 

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Spotify, but you can find downloads on Amazon and I would guess anywhere they are sold. Not sure if physical media was produced.
The 7 CDs can be ordered by email from the Regulus label. They are 25 yen each, plus shipping costs. I'm not sure if they can be bought elsewhere,

http://www.regulus-classics.com/en/albums_regulus.html

Here's a link to another new Josquin CD, "The Josquin Songbook--music for two voices and vihuela", from the Glossa label, & scheduled to be released on November 19 on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Josquin-Song...ds=the+josquin+songbook&qid=1636567222&sr=8-2. Presto doesn't appear to be carrying it yet.
 

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I feel far from qualified to jump into this scholarly discussion, but I just want to say that my appreciation for Josquin's music has recently increased by leaps and bounds, as I have had the chance to study some of his scores and learn more about his style and importance in my Middle Ages and Renaissance Music college course. An epitome of a Renaissance man, a formal master, a sensuous poet, a great innovator, an assimilator of tradition, and a composer of heart wrenching expressive variety - perhaps only the "Big Three" rival him for sheer mastery; and in terms of the spiritual aspirations and nuances conveyed by his music he shares that seat with Bach alone as far as I'm concerned. He did things with voices alone that few other composers of any period with any resources could do. I could listen to the motet "Ave Maria...virgo serena," Missa Pange Lingua, and Miserere all day long.

Are there any books or in-depth scholarly dissertations out there either specifically about Josquin or which deal with him and his time/culture? I found one online book by William Elders called Josquin Des Prez and His Musical Legacy, but it is fairly basic.
 
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I feel far from qualified to jump into this scholarly discussion, but I just want to say that my appreciation for Josquin's music has recently increased by leaps and bounds, as I have had the chance to study some of his scores and learn more about his style and importance in my Middle Ages and Renaissance Music college course. An epitome of a Renaissance man, a formal master, a sensuous poet, a great innovator, an assimilator of tradition, and a composer of heart wrenching expressive variety - perhaps only the "Big Three" rival him for sheer mastery; and in terms of the spiritual aspirations and nuances conveyed by his music he shares that seat with Bach alone as far as I'm concerned. He did things with voices alone that few other composers of any period with any resources could do. I could listen to the motet "Ave Maria...virgo serena," Missa Pange Lingua, and Miserere all day long.

Are there any books or in-depth scholarly dissertations out there either specifically about Josquin or which deal with him and his time/culture? I found one online book by William Elders called Josquin Des Prez and His Musical Legacy, but it is fairly basic.
That is all very well said, ACB. I know I've mentioned it before, but it really is hard to believe you're only a freshmen in college (again, take that as a compliment). It took me a long time to come around to seeing what you have perceived so eloquently in your above paragraph, & to link Bach & Josquin together, as you have done. Yes, they are linked!! For me, they are one & two, but it took me years to see that. Have you heard Josquin's Missa 'Sine Nomine"? I have this idea or notion in my head that Bach knew & admired this innovative late mass.


However, lately, my appreciation for Ockeghem has risen even more, if that were possible. & I likewise see Ockeghem & Dufay as giants in music history.


I would have recommended the William Elders book, if asked. Yes, it may be "basic", but Elders understands how vitally important the Marian influence is on Josquin's work. It is crucial towards understanding both the man & his music, and the age itself: considering that, originally, the designs of the great Gothic Cathedrals are similarly Marian in devotion (consider Chartres, Notre Dame, etc.). That is where it all starts (& ends), with the Knight's Templar and their time in Jerusalem & the Holy Land, & more specifically, the sacred geometric knowledge that they brought back to Europe (i.e., how to construct elaborate vaulted ceilings, and temples based upon the divine feminine symbol of the Vesica Piscis, etc.). It's not a minor point--about 80% of Josquin's music is Marian in devotion, as Elders points out. So, reading that chapter in Elders' book is highly informative, and his points shouldn't be underestimated. Josquin's reverential devotion to Queen Mary or the Queen of Heaven, if you will (also sometimes represented by Isis or Eve, etc.) and to the divine feminine in the cosmos is central to his enlightenment & inspiration, as both a composer and a man. Elders thinks that Josquin may have actually belonged to a Marian "cult" (& if so, it is likely that his friend & fellow genius, Jean Mouton, did, as well:
).

The Marian devotion of the Franco-Flemish age is closely connected to the symbolic meaning of the "Fleur de lys" (as well as to St. George, or "the Armed man" or "L'homme arme": https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/saint-george-and-the-dragon/hwGXaBhHtRkZIg?hl=en). Which serves as a noble code to live one's life by (especially in this vile age of pornography, which has caused so much harm & destruction to the daughters of Eve & to the human spirit). It represents the flower that grew from the tears of Eve as she & "Adam" left the garden sanctuary in a fallen state. & suggests how our salvation is primarily tied to our working to redeem the fallen world that we find ourselves in, as opposed to creating more & more fallen Eves & fallen mothers (as the pornographers & human traffickers do, which is something that I find horrifying, & unprecedented in human history).

Then, be sure to listen to the Archiv recording by the Orlando Consort of some of Josquin's most beautiful Marian Motets!, which contains some of the most astonishing counter tenor singing I've ever heard--from Robert Harre-Jones. & don't miss the motet, "Inviolata, integra, et casta es Maria"--which is one of Josquin's finest works, IMO, & a personal favorite:
along with De Labyrintho's recording of the Marian Missa Gaudeamus, which is one of Josquin's most beautiful & underrated masses, in my estimation. By the way, Walter Testolin's liner notes are well worth reading, too, in their album, "Musica Symbolica"; though he draws heavily on Elders for his thoughts & perceptions on Josquin:


I've just seen that De Labyrintho has a new Josquin album coming out!!! I've been expecting that they'd do something for the centenary. Walter Testolin posted the following performances on the group's You Tube page three days ago:


Jesse Rodin, the leader of Cut Circle, has also written a good book about Josquin's time in Rome, which might be of interest. It is entitled "Josquin's Rome: Hearing and Composing in the Sistine Chapel": https://www.amazon.com/Josquins-Rom...josquin+in+rome&qid=1636666765&s=books&sr=1-1

But I also find myself thoroughly in agreement with musicologist Jennifer Bloxam's research & thoughts on the subject of Josquin in Rome:
.

Although, more importantly, I'd like to know about Josquin's friendship with Leonardo Da Vinci, and his no doubt esteemed place within Leonardo's special circle. What an illuminating book that would be, if it could ever be written, i.e., their lives had been better chronicled. Maybe someday...

I'd also like to know more about Josquin's time with Ockeghem--the spiritual and musical father of the Franco-Flemish age (along with Dunstable, Binchois, Busnois, Dufay, etc.). Do you know the words that Josquin set to music in his Lamentation on the death of Ockeghem--the poem, "Nymphes des bois"? Here it is:

"Nymphs of the wood, goddesses of the springs,
Skilled singers of all nations,
Change your voices, clear and lofty,
Into sharp cries and lamentations,
For Atropos, terrible satrap,
Has inescapably ensnared your Ockeghem,
Music's true treasure and master,
Who henceforth no longer escapes death,
Of whom it is a great sorrow that the earth must cover him.

Put on the clothes of mourning,
Josquin, Brumel, Pierchon, Compere,
And weep great tears from your eyes,
For you have lost your good father.

May he rest in peace.
Amen"

Andrew Kirkman, the leader of the Binchois Consort, also writes well on the Franco-Flemish age,

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1108794890/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0815318715/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2

While the scholar, David Fallows has written a well regarded book on Josquin (to go along with his book on Dufay)--although I've not gotten around to it myself,

http://www.classical.net/music/books/reviews/2503530656a.php

Finally, there's "The Josquin Companion", edited by Richard Sherr, which I've never been able to find at an affordable price, but you may be able to get it at your college library, or perhaps do an inter-library loan: https://www.amazon.com/Josquin-Comp...ocphy=9012045&hvtargid=pla-634544008062&psc=1

Hope that helps.

P.S. By the way, I recently splurged on this excellent two volume set on the life & works Dufay, or Du Fay--though I'm not all the way through it yet: https://www.amazon.com/Guillaume-Du...uillaume+dufay&qid=1636668754&s=books&sr=1-19
 

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Really enjoyed your post as always, J13; and especially loved your explanation of the meaning of L'homme armé, which was (if I recall correctly?) the most commonly used tune for cantus firmus and paraphrase masses. I totally agree about Ockeghem; I also studied his Missa Prolationum in this course and I was just blown away. However, I have a tough time "getting" Dufay, as he sounds a bit more ascetic and academic. I think you might appreciate this article, also by Andrew Kirkman, about differing perspectives on Josquin in the Renaissance and Enlightenment: https://www.jstor.org/stable/763928

Medieval and Renaissance music takes extra effort for me to truly appreciate since it requires a very focused state of listening to pick up all the details of texture, sonority, diction, etc. (if I lose the thread of a piece, I find it hard to jump back in) but there is so much incredible beauty to be found for those who are patient.
 
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8 CDs in the Tetsuro Hanai set have been released, Vol. 8 came out this year.
Thanks for the info. But oddly, the Regulus label website that I linked to is only listing & selling 7 CD volumes. Apparently, they don't do a very good job of keeping their website up to date. Is Vol. 8 a recent release?
 

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Thanks for the info. But oddly, the Regulus label website that I linked to is only listing & selling 7 CD volumes. Apparently, they don't do a very good job of keeping their website up to date. Is Vol. 8 a recent release?
Yes, it was released this year, by the same group. Odd that they would not list their most recent release.
 

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I feel a bit disgruntled to discover that Tetsuro Hanai hasn't recorded my favourite Josquin mass, Gaudeamus. Is it not really by Josquin?
It is my favorite mass by him, too, & to my mind, unquestionably by Josquin, having been first published in Venice in 1502 by Ottaviano Petrucci, along with the two L'homme arme masses. There are other subsequent sources for the attribution, as well; although Pierre Alamire misattributed the mass to Ockeghem in the 1520s. But I don't think anyone today believes that it is by Ockeghem.
 

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ACB writes, "I have a tough time "getting" Dufay, as he sounds a bit more ascetic and academic. I think you might appreciate this article, also by Andrew Kirkman, about differing perspectives on Josquin in the Renaissance and Enlightenment: https://www.jstor.org/stable/763928"

Unfortunately, I can't get access to Kirkman's article without having to give them my email and open a JSTOR account. So, I'm still debating whether I'll do so. But thanks for the link anyway. (Would it be possible for you to turn it into a PDF file & post it here? as I'd like to read it.)

I've never thought of Dufay's music as "academic". I find his works too immediately heartfelt & moving for that. Though I certainly get what you're saying by describing it as "ascetic" (yes, it is often contemplative). After all, he was a priest or monk, & there is frequently a strong relationship between his sacred music and chant. However, I suspect your reaction to Dufay's music may be partly the result of the recordings you're listening to... Have you been listening to the British ensembles? such as Kirkman's Hyperion series? That might explain your reaction. Do you know that the approach of The Binchois Consort & most of the other British vocal groups is different from that of the continental ensembles? While I enjoy the British groups in many of the early composers, generally, I tend to prefer the non-British groups in the music of Dufay--with the exception of the earlier Hilliard Ensemble (when Paul Hillier sang with the group), David Munrow & The Early Music Consort of London, Nigel Rogers & Chiaroscuro, The Medieval Ensemble of London (which included members of the Hilliard Ensemble), and maybe the Gothic Voices.

And yet, The Binchois Consort (along with the American group, Cut Circle) tends to be faster & more lithe in this music, than say the Italian group Cantica Symphonia, for example, & I think that counts for something--since sometimes I prefer the more lithe & perhaps less 'ascetic' sounding performances, depending on my frame of mind, & you might, as well?

Here are links to 13+ favorite Dufay recordings in my collection, which I expect you'll find less academic--at least, performance-wise, if you're interested in exploring Dufay's music further: which I'd strongly recommend, after all, NOT 'getting' Dufay isn't an option! ;-) (He's too important a composer in music history.)

1. Blue Heron--singing the motet 'Flos florum"--this is one of my favorite motets by Dufay:


2. Cantica Symphonia, with Kees Boeke: Boeke recorded two exceptionally fine Dufay albums with this group (who went on to record a series of Dufay CDs with their director Giuseppe Maletto on the Glossa label: which I like, but maybe not quite as much. (Some critics have found Maletto's tempi to be too slow--even plodding--in this music, but I don't always agree: for example, I've liked this album:
.)

--The following Boeke/Cantica Symphonia CD includes Dufay's early (former) Missa Sine Nomine, which is based on the ballade, "Resveilliés vous" & today better known as the Missa Resvelliés vous; as well as his late Missa Ave Regina Celorum, which is Dufay's final cyclic cantus firmus mass:


--The second Boeke album includes the motet, "Ave Regina Coelorum III"--which is Dufay's last work & widely considered to be one of his masterpieces (it clearly influenced Josquin). Dufay requested that the motet be sung at his funeral (but that didn't happen):


Here's a link to the full album:

Interestingly, Cut Circle's recording of this motet is nearly two minutes faster than Boeke's!!:
. I personally prefer Boeke's slower tempi, finding his performance more prayerful, profound & 'other worldly', as I think Dufay intended it.

Btw, Rodin considers Dufay's final works to be of the same stature as Beethoven's Late String Quartets, & I agree. Here's a further link to Cut Circle's full set of late Dufay recordings, which I like:

3. La Reverdie--their album entitled, "Guillaume Dufay: Voyage en Italie", which is a great favorite of mine:
. (Btw, they've also made a good recording of Dufay's Missa Sancti Jacobi:
.)

4. Syntagma Musicum, led by Kees Otten--their 'classic' pioneering 2 LP (now 2 CD) box set entitled, "Dufay and his times": which someone has finally! posted on You Tube:
. Of interest, the young Rene Jacobs is the counter tenor on these recordings.

5. Hilliard Ensemble--Here are two more of my favorite motets by Dufay,

--"Nuper rosarum flores"--composed for the consecration of Filippo Brunelleschi's completed dome on the Cathedral of Santa Maria della Fiore in Florence in 1436:

The Cantica Symphonia recording of this motet is essential listening, too, since they add instruments:

The Huelgas ensemble likewise add instruments and are excellent:

--"O Sancte Sebastiane":

--The same EMI/now Erato recording includes the Hilliard's superb version of Dufay's Missa L'homme armé:

Jesse Rodin & Cut Circle's recent recording of this mass is very good, too, but you might find their performance a tad academic in comparison to the Hilliard's:
.

6. The Early Music Consort of London, led by David Munrow, performing Dufay's Missa 'Se la face ay pale'--with instruments:
. Cut Circle's recording of this mass is excellent, too: though they are more subdued than Munrow, whose musical intelligence & exuberance I love in this mass (& elsewhere):
.

I've also liked Nigel Rogers & Chiaroscuro's version, which is pitched lower than the written pitch, & almost sounds like different music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VODbfs-LZA; as well as the version by Diabolus in Musica, which likewise sounds quite different from Munrow's:
.

7. Ensemble Gilles Binchois, led by Dominique Vellard:

--Le Banquet du Voeu, 1454, or "The feast of the pheasant"--this is a fascinating 'contemporary' compilation of works by a variety of Burgundian composers, including Dufay:
https://www.muziekweb.nl/en/Link/EAX0455/Le-banquet-du-voeu-1454-The-feast-of-the-pheasant
https://www.amazon.com/Banquet-Voeu-Ensemble-Gilles-Binchois/dp/B00004TQQN

--"Guillaume Dufay, Gilles Binchois":

(There's also a brand new release from Vellard, as well, which I ordered just yesterday--"Le prince d'mours":
)

8. The Medieval Ensemble of London, led by the Davies brothers, who recorded an excellent complete box set of all of Dufay's secular music (as they did with Ockeghem:
, & Josquin's complete 3-part secular music; that is, before scholar David Fallows ruined the party):



ETC.

--Diabolus in Musica, led by Antoine Guerber, is likewise very good in Dufay's Chansons on their album entitled, "Guillaume Du Fay, Mille Bonjours!":
; as is Ensemble Unicorn, on Naxos:
, and the Gothic Voices on their recent album entitled, "The Dufay Spectacle":
. (I've noticed that the British vocal ensembles tend to be better in the more theatrical secular music than the sacred masses, which likely has something to do with the rich stage tradition in Britain.)

In comparison to these groups, I'm afraid Thomas Binkley's early pioneering Dufay recordings no longer hold quite the same appeal to me as they once did, despite that the American Binkley is an early music legend:
. In truth, I was never completely won over by Binkley's Dufay Chansons, even on LP, preferring a number of other Studio der Frühen Musik recordings (such as their Machaut & recordings of the 13th century music of Martim Codax, etc.).

9. "El Cancionero de Montecassino", La Capella Reial De Catalunya, led by Jordi Savall: performing works from a rare manuscript collected by Alfons V El Magnànim, which includes music by a variety of composers, including important works by Dufay & Ockeghem:
.

Such as this extraordinary motet by Dufay, for example,

--'Miserere Nostri - Vexilla Regis":

By the way, Savall drew upon the Dufay music in this manuscript to compose his original soundtrack to Jacques Rivette's movie, "Jeanne la Pucelle", or 'Joan the Maid'--a film chronicling the life of Joan of Arc, which is one of my favorite film scores!:
.

10. I also like Dufay's 1453 motet, "Lamentatio sanctae Matris ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae", or "Lament of the Holy Mother Church of Constantinople", in the following three performances (as I can't make up my mind which I like best, since all three are excellent):

--Capilla flamenca:
--Doulce memoire:
--Orlando Consort: https://www.amazon.com/Dufay-Lament...s=orlando+consort+dufay&qid=1636772023&sr=8-2

11. Pomerium, led by Alexander Blachly, singing Dufay's Mass for St. Anthony of Padua:
. I slightly prefer Blachly's version of this beautiful mass to The Binchois Consort's, though both are good, & I'm grateful for both.

--Plus, here is Pomerium singing the motet "Ave Maris Stella":

12. Ciaramella--"Music from the Court of Burgundy" (instrumental & vocal works by Dufay, Pullois, Ciconia, etc.):
. The music on this album is expertly played by Ciaramella, who are an American group.

https://www.amazon.com/Ciaramella-M...f+the+Court+of+Burgundy&qid=1636783466&sr=8-1

Other favorite instrumental groups of mine include The Dufay Collective, who curiously haven't recorded any of Dufay's music!, & my homies, Piffaro, who have done an album of Flemish Renaissance wind music, entitled "A Flemish Feast" (but didn't include music by Dufay): https://www.piffaro.org/music/a-flemish-feast-flemish-renaissance-wind-music/, & Tasto Solo, who have recorded an award winning album entitled, "Le Chant de Leschiquier--Binchois & Dufay songs in the Buxheim Codex":
.

There's also a new Dufay recording issued on the Arcana label by the debut instrumental group, Alta Bellezza, which I plan to purchase:
)

& of course there's the brilliant, late David Munrow, here introducing all the instruments from those times!:
.

13. Clemencic Consort (who use instruments), led by Rene Clemencic, singing Dufay's Missa Sine Nomine (which, as noted, is now known as Missa "Resvellies vous") & Missa Ecce Ancilla Domini--in performances from the 1970s: https://www.amazon.com/Dufay-Missa-Nomine-Ancilla-Domini/dp/B0000007L9. Ensemble Gilles Binchois has also made a fine liturgically based recording of the Missa Ecce Ancilla Domini:
, & there is a very good recording by Cut Circle, too:
--which many will consider the top choices, I imagine. However, I prefer the Clemencic Consort here. Clemencic is about as far away from being academic and 'correct' as you can get. Btw, they've also recorded Dufay's Missa Caput, which is a disputed mass, now thought to be of English origin:
.

--One extra favorite: Among the British groups, I've especially liked this 2003 album from The Binchois Consort, & would consider Dufay's Missa "Puisique je vis" to be a very underrated work: https://music.apple.com/us/album/dufay-missa-puisque-je-vis-other-works/670958039

I hope, in time, the above recordings will help you to 'get' Dufay better. I recall that you like the music of John Dunstable--who is another favorite of mine, & Dufay isn't that far removed from Dunstable, whose music strongly influenced the composers of the Burgundian court. So, it should be possible, I would think to gain a greater appreciation of Dufay's output--if you're willing to take the time.

Back to Josquin...
 
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