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Missa Cuiusvis Toni / Missa Quinti Toni

Johannes Ockeghem , Clerks' Group , Edward Wickham Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Performer: Johannes Ockeghem, Clerks' Group, Edward Wickham
  • Audio CD (April 13, 1999)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Gaudeamus
  • ASIN: B00000IM6L
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,903 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Miss Cuiusvis Toni: Kyrie in fa-ut
2. Miss Cuiusvis Toni: Kyrie on mi
3. Miss Cuiusvis Toni: Gloria on mi
4. Missa Cuiusvis Toni: Credo On Mi (Phrygian)
5. Missa Cuiusvis Toni: Sanctus And Benedictus On Mi (Phrygian)
6. Missa Cuiusvis Toni: Agnus Dei On Mi (Phrygian)
7. Miss Cuiusvis Toni: Agnus Dei on fa-ut
8. Celeste Beneficium
9. Missa Quinti Toni: Kyrie
10. Missa Quinti Toni: Gloria
11. Missa Quinti Toni: Credo
12. Missa Quinti Toni: Sanctus and Benedictus
13. Missa Quinti Toni: Agnus Dei

Editorial Reviews

Edward Wickham and the Clerks' Group have changed their tune (as it were) since beginning their Ockeghem series in 1994. In earlier recordings such as the Missa Mi-Mi and the Gramophone Award-winning Requiem, their sound was typical of the English style of early-music performance made world-famous by the Tallis Scholars: clear, smoothly blended voices and a reverent but somewhat reserved approach clearly indebted to Anglican church tradition. Five years on, they're using a throatier vocal tone and more energetic tempos. Whatever they're losing in meditative beauty, they're making up in vigor--Wickham's Ockeghem is definitely not the dusty old cerebralist heard in undergraduate music history courses. Alongside the three-voice Missa Quinti Toni and the low-pitched, possibly apocryphal motet Celeste Beneficium (in a marvelous one-voice-per-part performance), this disc presents the Missa Cuiusvis Toni ("Mass in whatever mode you wish"), one of the works that cemented Ockeghem's reputation as the Renaissance's musical puzzlemaster. ("Major" and "minor" are modern-day modes; Ockeghem designed this Mass so that it could be sung in different modes, depending on which note the singers start on.) ASV and the Clerks' Group give us the entire Mass in the Phrygian mode (a solemn-sounding scale with no modern equivalent) and, for contrast, the Kyrie and Agnus Dei in Mixolydian (similar to a major key). Now if only a brave choir and record label would record this Mass in all four of the main modes--it would fit (barely) on one CD, make a good illustration for music history students, and fascinate early-music buffs. --Matthew Westphal

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight for either a novice or a connoisseur November 25, 1999
By A Customer
This is one of the most intriguing early music recordings in my fairly vast collection. This CD is an example not only of superb singing, but also of spatial puzzles that inhabit some of early music compositions. The Clerks brilliantly bring one of these puzzles to light by singing the movements of Missa Cuiusvis Toni in two of its possible four tones. Here I join with Matthew Westphal in wishing that somebody devote an entire CD just to this mass and record it on all four of its possible tones. The Clerks give an exquisite performance. They represent the technique of ensemble singing at its best. They don't have singers of the caliber of David James, Rogers Covey-Crump or Charles Daniels (except for Robin Blaze who is getting increasingly busy with his solo career), but the Clerks nevertheless rival the Hilliard and the Orlando Consort. In truth, the comparisons are out of place - the Clerks, with their unique pastel blend, are nobody's copycats. Make sure you try their recordings (but hold on to your Hilliard for Ockeghem's Missa Prolationum and Requiem). My e-mail:
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Missa Any Which Way June 5, 2008
Verified Purchase
Johannes Ockeghem was born in the Duchy of Burgundy in 1410 and died in Burgundy in 1497. Like many composers of the 15th C, he began his musical career as a chorister, and he was reputed in later life to have an extraordinary basso voice. The first documented record of his career comes from a cathedral in Antwerp, in 1443, but there are many suggestions that he had studied with Giles Binchois and associated with Antoine Busnois, the two greatest composers of the older generation. Ockeghem rose quickly in terms of employment, working for the Duke of Bourbon from 1446 to 1448. Around 1450, he moved to paris to serve as maestro di capella at the royal court. He also held the lucrative position of treasurer of the Cathedral of St. Martin in Tours, and he continued in royal service most of his life, becoming quite wealthy. At least once he was posted on a diplomatic mission to Spain, where his influence on musical styles was profound. Musicians often doubled as ambassadors in the Renaissance. Ockeghem's musical output was not large by the standards of his time, but he was venerated by the next generation of Franco-Flemish composers, including Josquin and Obrecht, as the master of masters.

Ockeghem was a profound structural innovator in music, incorporating complexities in his compositions that have defied the understanding of later eras. His masses are often based on enormously difficult intellectual puzzles which could have made sense only to his fellow musicians. His Missa Prolationis, for example, tests the outer limits of polyrhythmic musical notation. The various voices of the mass need to count in different rhythms, sometimes in two, sometimes in three or six, and to change from one count to another in mid phrase, all occurring simultaneously.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ockgehem the way it should be June 16, 2000
Luminous lush sound. All of the discs in this series, especially this one, are excellent. The Clerkes Group give the Tallis Scholars a run for their money. Buy this disc!
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