JOSQUIN DESPREZ (1450circa – 1521)
Nymphes des bois/Requiem (a 5)
Virgo salutiferi/Ave Maria (a 5)
Baisiez moy (a 4)
Petite camusette (a 6)
Ave verum corpus (a 2–3)
Si j’ay perdu mon amy (a 3)
Christe fili dei/J’ay pris amours (dal ciclo Vultum tuum deprecabuntur; a 4)
Stabat mater/Comme femme desconfortee (a 5)
Ut Phebi radiis/Ut re mi fa sol la (a 4)
Missa Gaudeamus, Agnus dei (a 4)
Faulte d’argent (a 5)
Parfons regretz (a 5)
En l’ombre d’ung buissonet (a 3)
Vive le roy (a 4)
Une musque de Biscaye (a 4)
Nimphes, nappées/Circumdederunt me (a 6)
Pater noster–Ave Maria (a 6)
Corrine Byrne Sonja Tengblad superius
Jonas Budris Lawrence Jones altus/tenor
Bradford Gleim vagans (aristic consultant)
Paul Max Tipton bassus
Jesse Rodin director
Tickets: Full price € 18 / reduced € 12
Due to Covid-19 restrictions the capacity of the venues will be reduced therefore booking of seats is mandatory for all events.
We inform our public that, as of 6 August, according to the provisions of the D.L. 23 July 2021 n. 105 relating to “urgent measures to deal with the epidemiological emergency from COVID19 and for the safe exercise of social and economic activities”, access to spaces open to the public managed by L’Homme Armé, will be allowed only to people equipped with a Green Pass. The Covid-19 Green Pass certification attests one of the following conditions:
– being vaccinated for Covid-19
– being negative on the rapid molecular or antigen test within the last 48 hours
– being healed of Covid-19 in the past six months
The verification of the Green Pass will be carried out at the entrance of the various venues by the festival staff and will take place by showing the QR code of the green certification and a valid identity document. Those who are not in possession of even one of these two documents will not be able to access the event. We also remind you that the use of the mask will remain mandatory throughout the duration of the concerts/conversations and interpersonal distancing of at least one meter must be observed (with the exception of family members or cohabitants).
|Josquin des Prez—the name conjures an image of a powerful, mysterious, legendary figure, someone who changed the course of music history but who in modern times has always been something of an enigma. As we mark 500 years since his death, this is a moment to take stock, to set aside the stories that emerged out of his unprecedented posthumous fame and instead reach back in time to try to touch the historical figure. Who was Josquin?|
We know so much more now than we did even a few decades ago. The son of a cop who was once jailed for police brutality, Josquin began life in 1450, very possibly in unpleasant circumstances. And yet early on he was sent to live with his wealthy aunt and uncle (the Lebloittes) in Condé-sur-l’Escaut, a then important cathedral town on today’s Franco-Belgian border. He seems to have been happy there—at the very least, he returned to the same town for the last chapter of his life (1504–21). Regardless, those early years in Condé were brief: he was soon off to nearby Cambrai, where, in the company of the great Guillaume du Fay, he served as a choirboy until 1466. From there we lose sight of him for some time, save for a stint in southern France in the service of René of Anjou (1475–80). As David Fallows has surmised, Josquin may have done a fair bit of bouncing around France early on, getting singing work where he could.
The singing is important. Josquin seems to have started out mainly or even solely as a performing musician. Not a note of his music survives from before about 1485—and indeed the high quality of the few works that begin to circulate at that time suggests that they are relatively new compositions, and that he had done relatively little composing before then. In any event this was a crucial decade: in spring 1483 he inherited a large sum from his now deceased aunt and uncle, and, probably that summer, he traveled to Italy for the first time, where, in the service of Cardinal Ascanio Sforza and the renowned Milanese ducal chapel, he seems to have properly begun his composing career.
From here triumph followed triumph. In 1489 he joined the Sistine Chapel choir for roughly five years, producing an impressive body of sacred music that survives to this day in the very choirbooks from which he and his fellow papal musicians performed. Soon thereafter he apparently transferred to the French royal court, though gaps in the biography continue to becloud the years around 1500. In 1502 the Venetian printer Ottaviano Petrucci issued the first ever single-author polyphonic music print: a book of five settings of the Mass Ordinary titled Misse Josquin. The next year Josquin was back in Italy, where he famously took up the position of maestro di cappella at the court of Ercole I d’Este. By this time Josquin was at the height of his powers, composing music of such energy and technical accomplishment as to justify the claim that his presence in Ferrara “place[s] a crown on this chapel of ours.” But he was apparently restless: less than a year later he returned north to take up the prestigious position of cathedral provost in his semi-native Condé. Like so many musicians of his time, he ended his career by returning to his roots.
Reaching back to the historical Josquin also means facing once and for all the problem of the canon. Late in his life and after his death, Josquin’s name became attached to many good pieces by other composers. This phenomenon is fascinating, and worthy of further study—but particularly in this anniversary year, it is also worth stripping away the spurious and highly questionable works, as I have attempted to do over the past year as part of an extended collaboration with Joshua Rifkin. Our new work list, to be published this fall in Early Music, comprises 103 secure or fairly secure masses, motets, songs, and instrumental pieces of astonishing quality and spanning the 1480s to 1520. This program confines itself to this list of 103, with an emphasis on motets and chansons.