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Josquin: Missa Pange Lingua Import


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Audio CD, Import, August 9, 2011
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Choir of Westminster Cathedral
  • Conductor: James O'Donnell
  • Composer: Josquin des Prez
  • Audio CD (August 9, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B0054RVSPK
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,396 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

The Missa Pange Lingua is probably the most famous work written by Josquin des Prez and is generally thought to be his last mass. Rather than being a summation of his previous compositional techniques, Josquin s mass synthesizes several contrapuntal trends from the late 15th and early 16th centuries into a new style that would become the predominant compositional technique used by Franco-Flemish composers in the first half of the 16th century. On this classic Hyperion recording, the Choir of Westminster Cathedral is led by James O Donnell.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By candlewriter on February 3, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this recording because I am desperately in love with the composer -- Josquin Desprez. For reasons I can't quite explain, his music moves me and inspires me as few other Renaissance composers can. I first became acquainted with him while singing his "Missa de Beata Virgine" with my own university choir a few years back. Since then I have acquired several recordings of his music, all by mixed choirs, and all of which I greatly enjoy. But I thought it would also be nice to hear his music performed by a choir of men and boys, as Josquin originally intended.
I was right; this is an excellent recording, and the Choir of Westminster Cathedral is superb. They are right at home with this music -- the intricate rythms and counterpoints that characterize Josquin's music are executed virtually flawlessly on every occasion. The balance of voices is also very good -- the trebles strong, but not too loud; the gentlemen powerful but not overbearing, including the very fine tenor and bass soloists in the "Benedictus." In addition to the Missa Pange Lingua, Josquin's best-known mass, the recording features over a dozen other Josquin pieces, including the very lovely "Ave Maria," and "Ora Pro Nobis," whose ending is so beautiful I had to close my eyes to soak it in.
There is not much else to say except that if you like Josquin Desprez in particular, Renaissance music in general, and/or Westminster Cathedral Choir, then there is no way this CD could disappoint you. Buy it, sit back, and enjoy.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By jhorro on June 25, 2001
Format: Audio CD
There has been quite a few mixed-choir versions of this music recorded in the intimatacy of smaller churches, but this music really comes to life with trebles and in a cathedral setting. James O'Donnell gives a direct, unembellished view of Missa Pange Lingua. It is easy to take the refinement of the choir for granted, and the recording is up to the standard of other Westminster recordings on Hyperion. For those who want an up-to-date version with trebles, this is the CD to buy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Adriano Hundhausen on October 28, 2011
Format: Audio CD
to hear how the Westminster Cathedral Choir, with a gaggle of pre-pubescent boys among its members, has a better feel for this music than any number of "specialist" ensembles. But first a word about the pieces selected for this recording.

All the works on this disk are safely attributed to Josquin, are written for his favorite ATTB disposition of voices, and must be ranked among his very best music. The Missa Pange Lingua, written towards the end of Josquin's life, takes virtually all of its Phrygian-mode melodic material directly from its namesake hymn. And although the mass is organized around imitation between voices, it has none of the recondite canons which characterize some of Josquin's earlier work (e.g. the two "Homme Arme" masses). Instead, here Josquin concentrates on repeating and manipulating his motivic cells, expanding and contracting his phrases, and changing the number of beats between a phrase's appearance in one voice and its imitation in another, all in order to increase the tension leading up to the key points in the work. In one characteristic two-voice example in the Sanctus, Josquin has a thrice-repeated 5-minim motif imitated at a two-minim delay in the lower voice; this "ostinato" then suddenly mutates into a 7-minim motif, which while being imitated in "stretto" after 1 minim in the lower voice, gradually contracts to 6 and then finally back to 5 minims before a cadence puts things back on a normal footing. The incredible thing is how natural this music sounds, even with (or perhaps because of) its complete freedom from the barline. This is the music which made Luther say of Josquin that he was "Master of the notes, which must do as he wills. As for other composers, they must do as the notes will.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Adriano Hundhausen on October 28, 2011
Format: Audio CD
to hear how the Westminster Cathedral Choir, with a gaggle of pre-pubescent boys among its members, has a better feel for this music than any number of "specialist" ensembles. But first a word about the pieces selected for this recording.

All the works on this disk are safely attributed to Josquin, are written for his favorite ATTB disposition of voices, and must be ranked among his very best music. The Missa Pange Lingua, written towards the end of Josquin's life, takes virtually all of its Phrygian-mode melodic material directly from its namesake hymn. And although the mass is organized around imitation between voices, it has none of the recondite canons which characterize some of Josquin's earlier work (e.g. the two "Homme Arme" masses). Instead, here Josquin concentrates on repeating and manipulating his motivic cells, expanding and contracting his phrases, and changing the number of beats between a phrase's appearance in one voice and its imitation in another, all in order to increase the tension leading up to the key points in the work. In one characteristic two-voice example in the Sanctus, Josquin has a thrice-repeated 5-minim motif imitated at a two-minim delay in the lower voice; this "ostinato" then suddenly mutates into a 7-minim motif, which while being imitated in "stretto" after 1 minim in the lower voice, gradually contracts to 6 and then finally back to 5 minims before a cadence puts things back on a normal footing. The incredible thing is how natural this music sounds, even with (or perhaps because of) its complete freedom from the barline. This is the music which made Luther say of Josquin that he was "Master of the notes, which must do as he wills. As for other composers, they must do as the notes will.
Read more ›
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