Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Josquin Desprez, Gregorian Chant, Bernard Fabre-Garrus|
Josquin: Missa Pange Lingua & Motets
The Missa Pange Lingua is widely considered to be Josquin's greatest Mass cycle; it's certainly the most widely recorded. The Mass is based on a particularly lovely tune, a plainchant hymn venerating the Body of Christ. Un... more »
The Missa Pange Lingua is widely considered to be Josquin's greatest Mass cycle; it's certainly the most widely recorded. The Mass is based on a particularly lovely tune, a plainchant hymn venerating the Body of Christ. Unusually for Josquin, the titular melody is not stated in long notes in the tenor voice; rather, all four voices sing variations on the tune, forming a sort of extended fantasia. The recorded sound here--in the Mass and the three plainchant hymns on the disc, including "Pange lingua"--is rather different from that of the other issues in Ensemble a Sei Voci's admirable Josquin series. The acoustic is very resonant, and the microphones were evidently placed at some distance from the singers. The resulting halo of reverberation camouflages some occasionally messy execution from the children singing the top line, but it also seems to confer an air of spirituality on the music-making. On the whole, the performance is impressive--not as sublime as that by Ensemble Clément Janequin and Ensemble Organum, perhaps, but very good indeed, and the Agnus Dei is breathtaking. The disc also includes three motets performed by adult male voices only; tellingly, perhaps, the recorded sound is much closer and clearer in these pieces. Oddly, the most interesting of the three seems to be a forgery: "Christus mortuus est," a six-voice motet published under Josquin's name 40 years after his death. It's a worthy piece, and A Sei Voci does well by it, regardless of its pedigree. --Matthew Westphal
hirofantv | tomorrow | 05/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Josquin was one of the greatest Renaissance composers, & surely among the most progressive. This piece begins with a few strikes of metallic percussion which serve to prepare & to tone dramatically. After that, the music is simultaneously dark & spiritual. Most early contrapuntal composers had the problem of being directed in their music by where the notes could go; Josquin told the notes what he wanted them to do, & they did it. The way he sets up melodic directions, expectations, follow-through & reaction here is wonderful. Of all the great work he did in his life, it's fair to call this his most monumental piece."
Florine Cleary | Tiverton,RI USA | 09/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this CD it is a fantastic meditation and relaxation CD. it is realy lovely inspirering music i recomend it to all! you may be surprised how much you listen to it!"
Authenticity Isn't Always the Best Idea
Giordano Bruno | Wherever I am, I am. | 10/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What separates this performance of Josquin's oft-sung Missa Pange Lingua from other performances is the use of girls and boy sopranos from the Maitrise de Pays de Loire (one of France's state-sponsored choir schools) to sing the superius of the four-voice mass while the men of A Sei Voci sing the three lower lines one-on-a-part. A very good case can be made that such a performance arrangement was common in Josquin's musical world. And it's very interesting to hear the effect, although I'm fairly certain that the boys and young men of 1440-1521 - Josquin's lifetime - were more assured in their vocal technique than the youth on this recording. The trouble is that it's also ragged in a way that will become more annoying as I listen to the CD more than once.
The shame is that the core members of A Sei Voci can really sing! When you hear them without the kids, on the three motets that follow the mass, you can't help but wish they'd done without the concept of combining with the Maitrise. On the other hand, with half a dozen recordings of this mass on the market, it's probably worthwhile to hear this experiment in authenticity. Besides, the 25 minutes of luscious motetifying are worth the price of the CD.
A Sei Voci has also released a recording of Gregorio Allegri - Miserere - singing all by themselves. It's a five-squared star perfprmance."