Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Johannes Ockeghem, Gregorian Chant, French Anonymous|
Ockeghem: Missa L'homme armé; Ave Maria; Alma Redemptoris Mater; Josquin: Memor esto verbi tui
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Classical
In the late 1400s, a tradition developed of composing Mass settings around the popular tune "L'homme arme." Ockeghem's setting, one of the earliest examples, is one of his most approachable works. Ockeghem's music can seem... more »
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In the late 1400s, a tradition developed of composing Mass settings around the popular tune "L'homme arme." Ockeghem's setting, one of the earliest examples, is one of his most approachable works. Ockeghem's music can seem forbidding--a dense wall of tightly interlocked melodies with no resting places or changes in texture. This Mass has plenty of both, along with some exciting rhythmic interplay between the voices. The Oxford Camerata is not in as good form as on their highly recommended Obrecht disc--for example, they simply sing through the complex rhythms rather than playing them up--but the notes and tuning are certainly in place. Until the Clerks' Group's Ockeghem series on ASV gets to the piece, this CD will do--especially at Naxos's low price. -- Matthew Westphal
Five stars for Memor esto verbi tui alone
Thomas Jerde | sf, ca | 12/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not an expert when it comes to reviewing renaissance choral music. I also find the Ockeghem stuff somewhat forgettable. Therefore, this review might not be super helpful to others, but I had to write something at least about the final track, Josquin's Memor esto verbi tui.
I find it really quite thrilling, and it's become one of the top most beloved and most frequently played pieces in my entire library. The Oxford Camerata sing very purely with, as far as I can tell, perfect unison intonation, very precise technique and attacks, and a good range of tonal color and sense of direction while (in the Josquin at least) providing a structure to the dynamics and blending to infuse the music with a narrative scope. Barest hints of vibrato in the appropriate places enhance the sense of restrained expressiveness. The recording is clear, present, and reasonably warm, with a lovely ring but never too much so as to muddy the diction. The conclusion of Memor esto verbi tui has an amazing sweeping sense of momentum; it really feels transcendent, and upon my first listening it was enough to stop me in my tracks. Apart from this it's also a wonderful example of Josquin's compositional style, with paired counterpoint and imitation all over the place and tastefully-crafted melismatic lines.
All that said, I haven't heard another recording of that Josquin motet, so I don't know whether someone else has done an even better job: I just know that I find this one extremely satisfying. Actually, Amazon's catalog doesn't seem to contain a single other recording of it... what a crime! It's really a lovely piece."
Richard J. Oravitz | 01/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Beautiful music...the Oxford Camerata, ethereal, glorious !!! A must have for any early music library! Put this on, turn down the lights and enjoy. This is certainly Heavenly Bliss at a very affordable price! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!"