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Josquin: Motets & Chansons

Josquin Desprez , Paul Hillier , The Hilliard Ensemble Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Price: $13.14 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 13 Songs, 1997 $7.99  
Audio CD, 1997 $13.14  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Ave Maria, gratia plena...virgo serenaHilliard Ensemble/Paul Hillier 6:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Absalon, fili mi (attrib.)Hilliard Ensemble/Paul Hillier 4:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Veni Sancte SpiritusHilliard Ensemble/Paul Hillier 8:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. De profundis clamaviHilliard Ensemble/Paul Hillier 8:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Scaramella va alla guerra and (by Compère) Scaramella fa la gallaHilliard Ensemble/Paul Hillier 1:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. In te Domine speravi, per trovar pietàHilliard Ensemble/Paul Hillier 2:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. El grilloHilliard Ensemble/Paul Hillier 1:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Mille regretzHilliard Ensemble/Paul Hillier 2:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Petite camusetteHilliard Ensemble/Paul Hillier 1:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Je me complainsHilliard Ensemble/Paul Hillier 2:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. En I'ombre d'ung buissonetHilliard Ensemble/Paul Hillier 2:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Je ne me puis tenir d'aimerHilliard Ensemble/Paul Hillier 3:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. La déploration sur la mort de Jehan OckeghemHilliard Ensemble/Paul Hillier/David James/Paul Elliott/Leigh Nixon/Michael George 5:46$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Josquin: Motets & Chansons + Palestrina: Masses and Motets + Machaut: La Messe De Nostre Dame; Songs from Le Voir Dit
Price for all three: $35.69

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Product Details

  • Performer: The Hilliard Ensemble
  • Conductor: Paul Hillier
  • Composer: Josquin Desprez
  • Audio CD (January 21, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Erato Disques
  • ASIN: B000002SSH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,761 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Hilliard Ensemble bathes these vital vocal works by Josquin in a Mediterranean light: clear, warm, and brilliant. Josquin was a northerner who, like so many other composers of the Renaissance, descended to Italy to pursue his career. The singers bring to life the composer's marriage of the Flemish preoccupation with technique and the southern instinct toward lyricism. This is an extraordinary disc. --Joshua Cody

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A glory of Josquin December 19, 1999
By "hcf"
Format:Audio CD
This is, without doubt, one of the best Hilliard recordings (my other nominations for the best Hilliard recordings are: Dunstable Motets, Virgin Veritas 5 61342 2, and Ockeghem Missa Prolationum, Virgin Veritas 5 61484 2). Buy these precious Virgin Veritas reissues fast, because they go out of print without warning. Made almost 20 years ago, this Josquin recording reflects what was, in my view, the golden age of the Hilliard. The cast was still featuring the amazing high tenor Paul Elliott whose voice is such a delight, especially in the florid line in Veni Sancte Spiritu. David James, joined by the group's frequent guest Ashley Stafford, is in top form. Even the harshest detractors would not claim that James sounds shrill or abrasive in this recording. Back when this recording was made, the one-voice-per-part approach was still a novelty. The fact that the Hilliard sang this repertory with only 8 singers (in some pieces only 4) elicited a few surprised comments when the recording first came out. Now, of course, such small forces are perfectly acceptable, if not expected, in polyphonic works. We owe this new attitude, as well as the greater attention to medieval repertory in general, to groundbreaking groups such as the Hilliard. This recording presents four fairly large motets, the most famous of which is Ave Maria. The rest are secular pieces. The Hilliards vocalize all parts even though instrumental continuo was probably acceptable in Josquin's times (e.g., David Munrow recorded some of these songs with recorders, viols and lutes). Two of these secular pieces deserve a special mention. One is Milles Regretz, one of the most popular melodies of the middle ages, serving as a plainchant backbone in numerous masses. Read more ›
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scrumptious June 11, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Josquin predated some of the other Renaissance masters (Palestrina, Victoria, Tallis, etc.) by 100 years or more. As a result, his compositional range embraces both the medieval and Renaissance idioms. His pieces represent a vast range of styles. The pieces recorded here are no exception. Josquin's Ave Maria is, at least in my opinion, a quintessential piece of Renaissance music and a perfect Marian motet. All sorts of technical skill is evident - it is a masterpiece of imitative polyphony. But to speak about it in those terms does it injustice, for it is one of the most serenely beautiful pieces of music ever composed. Josquin gives the text a perfect reading - matching its lyricism with beautiful musical lines and stunning harmonies. This piece alone is worth the price of the disc. The other motets are wonderful as well. De profundis clamavi, sung in a low register, begins with descending motives and a dark minor tonality which denote the despair conveyed by the text. Again, the other pieces are similiary fine, but I don't have the space to talk about them all individually. I'm not nearly as familiar with Josquin's secular music, but the madrigals on this recording are of a similiar quality. Emotion ranges from heartbreak to exuberance and it is all effectively conveyed. If you read my other reviews on, you'll know that the Hilliard Ensemble is one of my favorite groups, and this recording shows why. As I always say, they are technically amazing - tone, balance, dynamics, and the rest are superb. Their interpretive choices are always sound. They manage to convey the sheer wonder of Ave Maria, the depth of emotion in De profundis clamavi, and the humor of El grillo all in the same sweep. Read more ›
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
I can't disagree with any of the other critics who have praised the music on this disc. Josquin is a superb composer who wrote deeply moving music with a wide range of emotional expression. The Hilliard Ensemble do sing beautifully--intonation is impeccable throughout, which is very difficult to do with such vibrato-less pure tone. And this is certainly an historically informed performance reflective of the best academic thought (to my knowledge) in the 80's, with a single male singer on each part. But it strikes me as a rather passionless performance, I'm sorry to say, as though the technical perfection came at the cost of emotional expression. I don't find that the dynamics and the tempo are excellent, as one of the other writers said--in fact I find them quite inappropriately reserved on many of the works. Absalom, Fili Mi is in my opinion one of the most heart-rending pieces of music ever written; yet here it scarcely engages me at all. Not that an overblown Romantic interpretation is appropriate, but I find it impossible to believe that the poetry Josquin set, which is so full of life in all its manifestations--love, lust, grief, the divine--would not be performed in a way which brought this out. These pieces are gorgeous, and there are better performances out there. In addition, the CD seems a bit scanty in terms of quantity. I'd like to recommend the Ensemble Janequin's CD Josquin Desprez: Adieu mes Amours, etc, which is less technically perfect (in particular, the Hilliard Ensemble's intonation is more consistently correct) but much more engaging.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this.
Published 15 days ago by Mark Dickerson
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!
"Ave Maria" on this disc (the first song) is one of the most beautiful pieces I've ever heard. All the songs ooze peacefulness, but it isn't all meditation. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Pylanthes
5.0 out of 5 stars The cricket is a good singer
This CD is a perfect introduction to the music of Josquin Desprez. It contains religious as well as worldly works, with some of his generally best known scores, like El Grillo (7),... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Luc REYNAERT
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic
Two greats together - Desprez and the Hilliard Ensemble. Impossible to go wrong here.
The Hilliard Ensemble's version of Ave Maria is one of the best, and this CD is worth... Read more
Published 11 months ago by naeler
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Beauty
This Cd was one I found at a Thrift shop and it is wonderful. the tonality and tuning of the singers is amazing, it's so easy to listen to because there are no little waves you... Read more
Published on June 29, 2011 by M. Sharpe
3.0 out of 5 stars A good reference disc
These performance are crystal claer, but seem to lack emotional investment.
Published on March 19, 2007 by Brian E. Burns
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful music.
I just wish there was more recorded Desprez out there. Enjoy this lovely CD.
Published on January 4, 2007 by Bearwife
3.0 out of 5 stars Beneath the objective criticism often lies a subjective grandeur
3 1/2

Sacred choral works sung with the subtle grace of stained glass refracting light; still at times synonymous sentiment in tonality looses value in between a few... Read more
Published on July 14, 2006 by IRate
3.0 out of 5 stars The Orlando Consort sings Desprez much better...
This unexpensive and rather short cd offers a selection of Desprez's works, both sacred and profane in a 50/50 ratio. Read more
Published on March 28, 2005 by Boileau0663
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid
Other reviewers have pretty much said it all-- all I can add is-- if you don't like James's voice, then don't listen to Hilliard. Read more
Published on February 22, 2005 by Caterina Sforza
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