What is derogatory treatment

The title of post-Josquin generation ’has been applied over the years to many composers active in Northern France and the Low Countries; This description arises partly from Josquin's influence and fame, both of which were immense in his last years and the half-century following his death, and partly from modern misunderstandings of composers ’true historical positions. Since Josquin is no longer thought to have been born as early as 1440, as had been widely believed for many years, but more probably in the early to mid-1450s, it no longer makes sense (for example) to dub the Frenchman Jean Mouton , himself a '50s child' and who outlived Josquin by only a year, as a member of the subsequent cohort of Low Countries musicians. Nor in reality do composers such as Jacobus Clemens non Papa, Thomas Crecquillon, or Cipriano de Rore, all of whom were below the age of ten when Josquin died in 1521, belong to the next, but rather the next but one generation. The title is most appropriately bestowed, therefore, on those born in the last quarter of the fifteenth century, which is to say during Josquin's adult career but before he acquired the legendary status that has surrounded, but also occluded, his picture since about 1500. These are the musicians on whose creative lives as performers and composers Josquin had the most decisive impact; and not surprisingly these are the musicians who wished to memorialize their colleague.

Jean Richafort is one among many who were described in the sixteenth century as pupils of Josquin. In his case, it was no less than the distinguished poet Pierre de Ronsard from whom we have this information: Ronsard wrote a preface to a chanson print entitled Livre de Meslanges, published in 1560 by the French royal printers Le Roy and Ballard, in which he lists Richafort and several others as having been Josquin’s students. In the absence of corroboration it is safest to assume that Ronsard’s meaning was figurative and that Richafort, Jean Mouton, Claudin de Sermisy and the other leading composers he mentions were among those influenced, rather than having been personally taught, by Josquin. Whatever the implication of Ronsard’s preface, it is certainly true that Richafort’s compositional ties with Josquin are even closer than those of his contemporaries. Richafort used material by Josquin in his mass Praeter rerum seriem and in the motets Miseremini mei other Misereatur / Miserere. The former shares an attribution to the earlier composer in one of its printed sources, as does one of Richafort’s chansons, N’a vous point veu mal assenee, in its earliest surviving manuscript.

Also attributed to Josquin as well as Richafort is the Missa pro defunctis recorded here, though as with the other conflicting attributions, stylistic as well as source criteria point unequivocally to Richafort. This Missa pro defunctis setting, in six parts and running over half an hour in performance, is one of the most extended of the many Requiem Masses of this period. As is standard for the genre, the piece combines elements of the Ordinary and Proper of the Mass (being limited to specific occasions, Mass Propers were rarely set polyphonically at this time, but those for a Mass for the Dead would be required sufficiently often to merit the compositional effort involved). As well as the Kyrie, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei of the Ordinary, Richafort sets the Introit ‘Requiem aeternam’ (from which the genre of Requiem Masses derives its name); the Gradual ‘Si ambulem’; the Offertory ‘Domine Jesu Christe’; and the Communion ‘Lux aeterna’. (‘Si ambulem’ was replaced in the post-Reformation liturgy by ‘Requiem aeternam’, so that Missae pro defunctis of the later sixteenth century and onwards, such as Victoria’s settings, have the same text for Introit and Gradual, although the accompanying verses differ.)

The plainsong Requiem Introit is in mode 6, with final on F, and since every instance of the note B that it contains is flattened, the melody sounds effectively in F major. The association of major tonality with happiness and minor with sadness had not yet been formed in Richafort’s lifetime; more often the major modes were understood to sound harsh and the minor ones soft (indeed the Latin words durus other mollis were used to refer to B natural and B flat respectively, and persist in the German terms major other minor for major and minor). The chant melody is lightly embellished in the highest voice, with three others making free counterpoint below it; meanwhile another plainsong melody, ‘Circumdederunt me gemitus mortis’, is sung as a cantus firmus. This plainsong is not part of the Requiem Mass, but an Invitatory (opening sentence) at Matins for the Dead. The "Circumdederunt" chant is stated in canon at the upper fifth and at a distance of three breves: as will become apparent, this is a clear instance of homage to Josquin. The Introit verse ‘Te decet hymnus’ is as usual intoned to the Psalm tone, followed by a polyphonic but more chordal setting of the second half of the verse, in which the canonic cantus firmus is still present and heard perhaps more clearly. As is standard for Introits (not just in Requiems), the Psalm verse is followed by a reprise of the antiphon.

The cantus firmus is maintained in canon throughout the Kyrie, and also into the Gradual, despite the fact that the latter is based on plainsong with a different tonality (mode 2 — similar to D minor with an unflattened sixth degree). Towards the end of the opening section of the Gradual, a new melodic element is added to the canonic cantus firmus voices: the phrase c’est douleur non pareille ’(it is sorrow without equal’). This melodic strain is a direct quotation from Josquin, though in the original it refers not to death or bereavement but to lack of money, quoting the chanson Lazy d’argent. The chanson adopts the language of late-medieval love poetry, which habitually would speak of unrequited love in terms of overwrought emotion, with heavy use of words such as ‘las’ to punctuate the lover’s anguish. However, the ironic tone here, coupled with the derogatory reference to the venality of women, makes clear that the intent is parodic. Lazy d’argent would seem therefore a somewhat less than appropriate source of melodic material for a mass-setting that presumably expresses genuine grief at the death of Josquin. Of course, the appropriation of profane material in sacred music of this period is well known, and its use in the most solemn of surroundings underlines the ease with which the Renaissance mind conflated the sacred and the secular — or, perhaps, saw religion permeating all aspects of secular life.

The remaining movements of Richafort’s Mass adopt similar strategies for presenting the borrowed material, reprising the Lazy d’argent quotation in the Offertory, but omitting it in the shorter movements towards the end of the work. In the Offertory the canon is reversed to sound at the lower fourth; Elsewhere Richafort has varied the canonic delay, combining the ‘Circumdederunt’ melody with itself at two, three, and four breves ’distance (with suitable rhythmic flexibility, which, since a chant melody is inherently unrhythmicized, is quite permissible). When one bears in mind that for most of the work's duration the chant of the Requiem Mass is paraphrased alongside this canonic structure, as well as the fact that a six-part texture is maintained for all except isolated verse sections, the scale of Richafort's achievement becomes clear. For a composer of the 'post-Josquin generation', creating a memorial to his deceased colleague involved not only quoting his work and writing a varied canon of the kind he delighted in, based on a plainsong he had himself treated in canon, but also creating a structure worthy of the earlier composer, who (nowadays at least) is known above all for the beauty and clarity of his compositional designs.

The ‘Circumdederunt’ plainsong was at one time thought of as ‘a favorite cantus firmus of Josquin’s’ (Gustave Reese, Music in the Renaissance), due to its being used in three compositions attributed to him. Two of these — like so many works — have now been convincingly removed from the Josquin Canon, leaving only Nymphes, nappés as an authentic work incorporating this melody. Richafort’s debt to Josquin becomes clear from the seventeenth breve onwards, where the cantus firmus enters, followed three breves later — just as in the Requiem — by its accompanying voice at the upper fifth. Indeed John Milsom, who demonstrated the inauthenticity of the other two pieces, pointed out that Richafort quotes not only the canonic cantus firmus, but also several bars of polyphony from Nymphes, nappés in the Introit and Kyrie of the Requiem. Its counterpoint is highly suitable for such treatment, being full of the static harmony, twisting melodic lines, and falling third intervals which are characteristic of Josquin's style in mournful pieces of this type.

Despite its later use by Richafort, Josquin's Lazy d’argent is far less musically lugubrious than Nymphes, nappés, underlining its parodic tone. The opening intertwines the contratenor and bassus voices in a closely imitative duet, while the discantus and tenor follow after four-and-a-half breves. Although their melodic material is the same in essence as the two preceding voices, the second duet imitates much more loosely, at a distance of three semibreves rather than a single minim. The tenor is in canon with an unnotated quinta pars (the singer would simply use the tenor's music, applying a lower clef and beginning when the tenor arrives at a marked point), which follows three breves later at the lower fifth, so that the full five-voice texture is not heard until the tenth breve of the chanson (which lasts only 72 breves in total). This canonic structure determines the later interaction of the voices, providing a form of call-and-response texture as upper voices accompany the tenor, and lower ones the quinta pars. The final line (Femme qui there… ’) reprises the music of the opening.

Less closely linked, but nonetheless unequivocally related to Josquin, are the laments by Benedictus Appenzeller, Nicolas Gombert, and Jheronimus Vinders. All three were printed by the Antwerp-based composer and publisher Tielman Susato, in a volume of 1545 otherwise devoted to chansons by (or at least attributed to) Josquin himself. This is the earliest surviving source for the Gombert and Vinders pieces, but Appenzeller’s is also extant in a set of manuscript partbooks now held in Cambrai, but copied in 1542 in Bruges for Zeghere van Male, a linen merchant. Susato’s chanson print (Le septiesme livre contenant vingt et quatre chansons à cincq et à six parties) also transmits the three French-texted works of Josquin recorded here. The poem Musae Jovis, by Gerard Avidius, adopts a standard neo-Latin approach to the theme of death, contrasting earthly lament at the loss of the composer with the rejoicing in the heavens at his recruitment to the celestial choirs. The fact that this is couched in terms of Roman rather than Christian theology does not appear to have upset contemporary sensibilities.

Benedictus Appenzeller spent at least fifteen years in the service of Mary of Hungary, younger sister of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and regent of the Netherlands, at her court in Brussels. (Condé-sur-Escaut, where Josquin had spent his last years, is approximately fifty miles to the southwest.) Appenzeller’s version of Musae Jovis is relatively modest in scale, for only four voices and setting only the first twelve lines of text — thus concluding on a mournful note and omitting the references to Josquin's admission to the ranks of the immortals. It employs the Phrygian modality, considered especially suitable for lamenting. Particularly effective moments are "illegal occidit" towards the end of the first section of music, with alternation of upper and lower voices, and several instances of emphatic homophony to underline important text phrases. The "pair imitation" with which the two lower voices begin the piece, echoed by the two upper ones, was a technique favored by Josquin.

Nicolas Gombert also set the poem in the Phrygian mode, but in a considerably more ambitious fashion. Gombert was perhaps ten years younger than Appenzeller, being born in the early to mid-1490s, and his six-voice lament seems to be in the style of the 1530s, when most of his works appeared, rather than of Josquin's year of death, 1521. Like Appenzeller he includes archaic elements, and in particular one that refers unmistakably to Josquin: the 'Circumdederunt me' tenor appears, in the long notes of an old-style cantus firmus, but here it is transposed down one note, beginning on E instead of F, and thus conforming to the Phrygian tonality of the piece. Since Josquin's Nymphes des bois, itself a lament for an older composer, employed exactly this procedure with the ‘Requiem aeternam’ chant, the intention is clear. The comparative rarity with which Gombert employed cantus firmus technique underlines the significance of the gesture in this case. The style of the motet is a constant ebb and flow of counterpoint, with much less overt formal punctuation than Josquin’s music; Unity is achieved by limiting the melodic material used, giving an introspective tone to the setting. The final statement of Josquin's elevation to the heavens is marked with a turn to triple time.

Jheronimus Vinders is by some distance the most obscure individual represented on this recording, known only for a brief tenure as zangmeester at what is now the cathedral church of Ghent, in 1525–6. As well as his Epithaphium Josquini ’, Vinders based a Missa Stabat mater on a motet by Josquin; His other known compositions include three further mass settings, half a dozen motets, and three Dutch songs. O mors inevitabilis creates an impressive texture in its brief duration of sixty breves, due principally to its seven-voice scoring. Two of the central voices paraphrase the ‘Requiem aeternam’ chant, one in a conventional manner and the other more freely, including apparently the Psalm tone to which the words are sung at the end of the Requiem Mass as part of the Communion Proper. A copy of the poem, along with a small portrait of Josquin, was hung in the church of St Gudule, Brussels, but would seem to have been lost during the sixteenth century.

As mentioned, Josquin's Nymphes des bois, to a text by Jean Molinet, is set in the Phrygian mode, with the plainsong ‘Requiem aeternam’ sung in transposition to conform with that mode. Molinet’s poem is full of puns, assonance, and alliteration, larding the text with significance relating to the deceased Ockeghem. Molinet's original describes the Fate Atropos, whose role it was to cut the thread of life, as a 'très terrible satrappe', who 'a vostre Ockeghem attrapé dans sa trappe', and also describes the composer as 'vray tresorier de musique', alluding to his position as Treasurer of the royal abbey of St Martin, Tours. In the earliest manuscript source of the work, the notation is all black, a device used on several occasions at this time for especially mournful funerary pieces. The version performed here is that printed by Susato in 1545, reflecting the change in musical and poetic style between Josquin's composition of the lament, presumably in or just after Ockeghem's death in 1497, and the era of Richafort, Gombert, and other post-Josquinian figures.

Josquin's setting of the Psalm Miserere mei, Deus, associated with Ash Wednesday as well as other penitential occasions, is one of his most impressive creations. Its composition, in all probability, dates from Josquin's year at the court of Ferrara, 1503–4. Since the entire Psalm is set but without doxology, thus corresponding to its liturgical use in Holy Week, its first performance may well have taken place at the beginning of April 1504. Due to the extreme length of the setting it might seem inappropriate for the liturgy , but the focus on Holy Week at Ferrara was well known, and in any case there are numerous spaces in the liturgy for extended meditations of the most austere kind, which this motet certainly is. At the end of the Maundy Thursday Mass, the altar and sanctuary are stripped of all their decorations, leaving only the bare framework of the table exposed. Josquin's motet, most of all of this famously economical composer's works, reflects this aesthetic perfectly. The tenor sings the same phrase of two pitches twenty-one times in total. During the first section it begins on high E and then works its way down an entire octave; in the second it reverses the process (but with note values ​​half as long); and in the third it reverts to the longer notes, but descends only from E to A. Somewhat unusually, the statements of this ostinato theme are divided by varying numbers of rests: unlike in many pieces by Josquin, there is no rigid structure here, but form follows the exigencies of the text. It is this, together with the austerity of the surrounding counterpoint, with its heavy reliance on bare perfect intervals, and infrequent but telling use of homophony, that lends Josquin's Miserere its effect, described by David Fallows as "devotional and even hypnotic". It is hardly surprising, given the quality of this and many others of his compositions, that the Low Countries musical community felt itself bereft when, on Tuesday 27 August 1521, Josquin died. He was buried in front of the high altar of the church of Notre Dame, Condé-sur-Escaut, of which he had been Provost since 1504.

Stephen Rice © 2012

Longtemps, on a qualified maints compositeurs actifs dans le nord de la France et aux Pays-Bas de "génération post-Josquin", une expression née pour partie de l'influence et de la renowned de Josquin — considérables dans les dernières années de sa vie et pendant le demi-siècle qui suivit sa mort—, et pour partie des méprises modern quant au véritable rang historique de certains compositeurs. Puisqu'on ne considère plus que Josquin naquit en 1440, comme on l'a longtemps cru, mais probablement au début voire au milieu des années 1450, cela n'a plus de sens, disons, de ranger parmi la cohorte de musiciens des Pays -Bas qui lui succédèrent un "enfant des années 50" tel le français Jean Mouton, qui lui survécut seulement un an. Au vrai, des compositeurs comme Jacobus Clemens non Papa, Thomas Crecquillon ou Cipriano de Rore, tous âgés de moins de dix ans à la mort de Josquin, en 1521, n'appartiennent pas non plus à la génération suivante mais à celle qui vint encore après.L'expression "génération post-Josquin" est donc des mieux appropriées pour les musiciens nés dans le dernier quart du XVe siècle, c'est-à-dire pendant la maturité de Josquin mais avant qu'il eût acquis le légendaire statut qui nimbe —Et occulte — son image depuis l'an 1500 environ. Ces musiciens, interprètes et compositeurs, sont ceux sur lesquels Josquin eut l’impact le plus décisif; et ce sont eux, bien sûr, qui souhaitèrent commémorer son souvenir.

Jean Richafort fait partie des nombreux compositeurs que le XVIe siècle qualifia d’élèves de Josquin. Et c’est l’éminent poète Pierre de Ronsard lui-même qui nous le dit: dans sa préface au recueil de chansons intitulé Livre de Meslanges (publié en 1560 par les imprimeurs royaux Le Roy et Ballard), il présente Richafort et plusieurs de ses collègues comme d’anciens élèves de Josquin. En l’absence de corroboration, mieux vaut supposer que Ronsard parlait au figuré et que Richafort, Jean Mouton, Claudin de Sermisy et les autres grands compositeurs qu’il évoque furent influencés, plutôt que personnellement enseignés, par Josquin. En tout cas, nul ne peut nier que, plus que ses contemporains, Richafort entretint d’étroits liens compositionnels avec Josquin, comme le prouve le matériau josquinien de sa messe Praeter rerum seriem et de ses motets Miseremini mei et Misereatur / Miserere. Le premier est d’ailleurs also attribué à Josquin dans l’une des sources imprimées, tout comme l’est une chanson de Richafort, N’a vous point veu mal assenee, dans le manuscrit le plus ancien à nous avoir été conservé.

Une autre pièce est imputée à Josquin et à Richafort: la présente Missa pro defunctis encore que, comme pour les autres attributions controversées, le style et les sources trahissent sans équivoque Richafort. Avec sa demi-heure passée, cette Missa pro defunctis à six parties compte parmi les plus longues des nombreuses messes de requiem de l’époque. Comme le veut ce genre, elle combine des éléments de l'ordinaire et du propre de la messe (cantonnés à des occasions spécifiques, les propres étaient alors rarement mis en polyphony, mais ceux destinés à une messe des morts étaient assez souventis pour mériter un effort compositionnel). Outre les Kyrie, le Sanctus et l’Agnus Dei de l’ordinaire, Richafort met en musique l’introït “Requiem aeternam” (qui donne son nom à la messe de requiem en tant que genre); le graduel "Si ambulem"; l’offertoire “Domine Jesu Christe” et la communion “Lux aeterna”. (Après la Réforme, “Si ambulem” fut remplacé dans la liturgie par “Requiem aeternam”, si bien que les Missae pro defunctis écrites par la suite, comme celles de Victoria, ont le même texte pour l’introït et le graduel avec, toutefois, des versets d’accompagnement différents.)

L’introït grégorien du Requiem est en mode 6, avec un final fa, et comme chacune de ses notes si est bémolisée, la mélodie est perçue en fa majeur. Au temps de Richafort, les tonalités majeures et mineures n’étaient pas encore associées au bonheur et à la sadness; plus souvent, les modes majeurs et mineurs étaient ressentis respectivement comme durs et doux (de fait, les mots latins durus et mollis renvoyaient au si naturel et au si bémol, ce que l’on retrouve dans les appellations allemandes major et minor, pour majeur et mineur). La mélodie grégorienne est légèrement ornée à la voix supérieure, avec trois autres voix contrepointant librement en dessous, pendant qu’une autre mélodie grégorienne, “Circumdederunt me gemitus mortis”, est chantée en cantus firmus. Ce plain-chant, qui ne fait pas partie de la messe de requiem, est une invitatoire (phrase liminaire) pour les matines des morts. Il est énoncé en canon à la quinte supérieure et à trois brèves d’écart, ce qui apparaîtra comme un évident homage to Josquin. Le verset de l'introït “Te decet hymnus” est, comme de coutume, entonné sur le ton psalmodique, avant une mise en musique polyphonique, mais davantage en accords, de sa seconde moitié, où le cantus firmus canonique, toujours présent, p 'entend peut-être plus clairement. Comme dans tous les introïts (et pas seulement ceux des requiem), le verset psalmique est suivi d’une reprise de l’antienne.

Le cantus firmus est maintenu en canon tout au long du Kyrie, mais aussi dans le graduel, pourtant fondé sur un plain-chant à la tonalité différente (mode 2 — similaire à ré mineur avec un sixième degré non bémolisé). Vers la fin de la section inaugurale du graduel, un nouvel élément mélodique vient s’ajouter aux voix du cantus firmus canonique: the phrase “c’est douleur non pareille”. Cet accent mélodique est une citation directe de Josquin, même si, dans l’original, il renvoie non à la mort, non au deuil mais à l’impécuniosité, la chanson citée étant Lazy d’argent. Cette dernière adopte la langue de la poésie amoureuse médiévale tardive, qui évoquait en général l’amour non partagé comme une émotion à vif, en usant pesamment de mots comme “las” pour ponctuer l’angoisse de l’amant. Mais ici, le ton ironique, ajouté à la référence désobligeante à la vénalité des femmes, trahit bien l’intention parodique. Il pourrait donc sembler un rien inapproprié d’utiliser le matériau mélodique de Lazy d’argent in une messe expressive probablement une douleur authentiquement ressentie à la mort de Josquin. Bien sûr, l’assimilation de matériau profane dans la musique sacrée de l’époque est un phénomène connu; que ce matériau ait servi dans des circonstances solennelles entre toutes souligne l’aisance avec laquelle les esprits de la Renaissance mêlaient sacré et profane — ou, peut-être, voyaient la religion imprégner chaque aspect de la vie séculière.

Les autres mouvements de la messe de Richafort présentent le matériau emprunté au moyen de stratégies similaires, la citation de Lazy d’argent étant répétée dans l’offertoire, mais omise dans les mouvements plus courts, vers la fin de l’œuvre. In l’offertoire, le canon est inversé pour sunshine à la quarte inférieure; ailleurs, Richafort varie le retard canonique, combinant la mélodie “Circumdederunt” avec elle-même à distance de deux, trois et quatre brèves (avec une flexibilité rythmique bienvenue, d'autant plus acceptable qu'une mélodie grégorienne est, par nature, sans rythmicité). On mesure bien la prouesse accomplie par Richafort quand on songe que, pendant presque toute l'œuvre, le plain-chant de la messe de requiem est paraphrasé aux côtés de cette structure canonique et que la texture est constamment à six parties (hormis quelques sections isolées). Pour un compositeur de la "génération post-Josquin", concevoir un mémorial à son défunt confrère impliquait de citer son œuvre et de rédiger un canon varié comme il les aimait, fondé sur un plain-chant qu'il avait lui-même traité en canon, mais aussi de créer une structure digne de cet aîné connu avant tout (de nos jours du moins) pour la beauté et la clear de ses schémas compositionnels.

Le plain-chant "Circumdederunt" passa, à une époque, pour "l’un des cantus firmus préférés de Josquin" (Gustave Reese, Music in the Renaissance), et pour cause: on le retrouvait dans trois compositions qui lui étaient attribuées, même si, depuis, deux d’entre elles ont été — comme tant d’autres — retirées du canon josquinien, Nymphes, nappés restant la seule pièce authentique à incorporer cette mélodie. La dette de Richafort envers Josquin devient évidente à partir de la dix-septième brève, avec l’entrée du cantus firmus suivi, trois brèves plus tard — exactement comme dans le Requiem—, par sa voix accompagnante à la quinte supérieure. De fait, comme l’a souligné John Milsom, qui démontra l’inauthenticité des deux autres pièces, l’introït et le Kyrie du Requiem de Richafort citent non seulement le cantus firmus canonique, mais aussi plusieurs mesures polyphoniques de Nymphes, nappés. Son contrepoint se prête admirablement à pareil traitement, avec son harmonie statique, ses lignes mélodiques enroulées et ses intervalles de tierce descendante, typiques du style josquinien dans ce genre de pièces mélancoliques.

Malgré l’usage qu’en fera Richafort, Lazy d’argent de Josquin est musicalement bien moins lugubre que Nymphes, nappés, ce qui souligne bien son ton parodique. L’ouverture entremêle les voix de contratenor et de bassus en un duo imitatif serré, tandis que discantus et tenor suivent quatre brèves et demie plus loin. Quoique doué d’un matériau mélodique foncièrement identique à celui des deux voix précédentes, le second duo s’imite de manière beaucoup plus relâchée, à distance non plus d’une minime mais de trois semi-brèves. Le tenor est en canon avec une quinta pars non notée (le chanteur utilisait simplement la musique du tenor, en appliquant une clef inférieure et en commençant lorsque le tenor arrivait à un point marqué), qui suit trois brèves plus tard à la quinte inférieure, si bien que la texture à cinq voix ne se fait pas entendre au complet avant la dixième brève de la chanson (qui en compte seulement soixante-douze en tout). Cette structure canonique, qui déterminera l’interaction des voix, fournit comme une texture d’appel et réponse quand les voix supérieures accompagnent le tenor, et les voix inférieures la quinta pars. Le dernier vers («Femme qui there…») reprend la musique inaugurale.

Les déplorations de Benedictus Appenzeller, Nicolas Gombert et Jheronimus Vinders présentent un lien indubitable, quoique moins marqué, avec Josquin. Toutes trois furent imprimées par le compositeur et éditeur anversois Tielman Susato dans un volume de 1545 par ailleurs consacré à des chansons josquiniennes (ou, du moins, attribuées à Josquin). S'agissant des pièces de Gombert et de Vinders, c'est notre plus ancienne source encore existante, la déploration d'Appenzeller étant, elle, toujours trouvable dans un corpus de parties séparées manuscrites désormais conservé à Cambrai, mais copié en 1542 à Bruges pour un marchand de drap nommé Zeghere van Male. Le recueil de Susato (Le septiesme livre contenant vingt et quatre chansons à cincq et à six parties) nous transmet également les trois œuvres josquiniennes, d'après des textes français, enregistrées ici. Le poème Musae Jovis de Gérard Avidius, dans une approche neolatine standard du thème de la mort, oppose à la déploration, ici-bas, de la perte du compositeur la réjouissance, aux cieux, de son admission dans les chœurs célestes. Que la formulation retenue fût celle de la théologie romaine et non chrétienne ne paraît pas avoir, alors, heurté les sensibilités.

Benedictus Appenzeller passa au moins quinze ans au service de Marie de Hongrie, sœur cadette de l’empereur du Saint-Empire romain Charles Quint et régente des Pays-Bas, dont la cour était à Bruxelles. (Condé-sur-Escaut, où Josquin avait passé ses dernières années, est à quelque quatre-vingts kilometers au sud-ouest.) Il donna de Musae Jovis une version d’envergure relativement modeste, juste à quatre voix qui, mettant en musique les seuls douze premiers vers du texte, se termine sur une note affligée et élude toute allusion à l’admission de Josquin parmi les rangs des immortels. Il utilise d’ailleurs la modalité phrygienne, jugée des mieux appropriées à la déploration. Les moments particulièrement impressionnants sont "Ilse Occidit", vers la fin de la première section musicale (avec une alternance des voix supérieures et inférieures), et plusieurs occurrences d’homophonie emphatique venant souligner d’importantes phrases du texte. L ’« imitation gemellée »—les deux voix inférieures ouvrent l’œuvre, et les deux voix supérieures leur font écho — était une technique chère à Josquin.

Ce poème, Nicolas Gombert choisit aussi de le mettre en musique dans le mode phrygien, mais avec bien plus d'ambition. Gombert, qui avait peut-être dix ans de moins qu'Appenzeller, naquit entre le début et le milieu des années 1490, et sa déploration à six voix semble opter davantage pour le style des années 1530 (quand parurent la plupart de ses œuvres) For celui de 1521, année de la mort de Josquin. Comme Appenzeller, il inclut des éléments archaïques dont un, en particulier, renvoie immanquablement à Josquin: le tenor “Circumdederunt me”, qui apparaît dans les longues d'un cantus firmus à l'ancienne, mais transposé une note plus bas, en démarrant sur mi au lieu de fa, pour se conformer à la tonalité phrygienne de la pièce. Comme Josquin procède exactement de même avec le plain-chant “Requiem aeternam”, dans Nymphes des bois—Une déploration écrite pour un compositeur plus ancien—, l’intention est claire. Et on mesure d’autant mieux la portée de ce geste que Gombert recourt relativement peu à la technique du cantus firmus. Le style du motet est un constant flux et reflux de contrepoint, avec une ponctuation formal bien moins flagrante que chez Josquin; l’unité est obtenue par une restriction du matériau mélodique employé, d’où le ton introspectif de l’œuvre. L’énonciation finale de la montée aux cieux de Josquin est marquée par un passage à la mesure ternaire.

Jheronimus Vinders est, de loin, le personnage le plus obscur de ce disque — de lui, on sait juste qu’il fut brièvement zangmeester de l’actuelle cathédrale de Gand, en 1525–6. Il fonda sa Missa Stabat mater, comme son «Epithaphium Josquini», sur un motet josquinien; parmi les autres compositions qu’on lui connaît figurent trois messes supplémentaires, une demi-douzaine de motets et trois chants néerlandais. O mors inevitabilis crée, en soixante brèves seulement, une structure impressionnante grâce, surtout, à ses sept voix. Deux des voix centrales paraphrasent le plain-chant "Requiem aeternam", l'une de manière conventionnelle, l'autre plus librement, en incluant, en apparence, le ton psalmodique sur lequel les mots sont chantés à la fin de la messe de requiem , dans le cadre du propre de la communion. Une copie du poème, assortie d’un petit portrait de Josquin, était appendue en l’église Sainte-Gudule, à Bruxelles, mais elle fut perdue, semble-t-il, au XVIe siècle.

Nymphes des bois de Josquin, sur un texte de Jean Molinet, recourt, nous l’avons vu, au mode phrygia, le plain-chant “Requiem aeternam” étant exécuté dans une transposition pour s’y conformer. Le poème de Molinet regorge de paronymies, d’assonances et d’allitérations qui truffent le texte de sens renvoyant au défunt Ockeghem. In l'original de Molinet, la Parque Atropos, chargée de couper le fil de la vie, est dépeinte comme un "très terrible satrappe" qui "a vostre Ockeghem attrapé dans sa trappe" tandis que le compositeur est qualifié de "vray tresorier de music », une allusion à sa charge de Trésorier de l'abbaye royale de Saint-Martin, à Tours. Dans la plus ancienne source manuscrite, la notation est entièrement noire, un procédé utilisé en plusieurs occasions à l’époque pour des pièces funèbres particulièrement dolentes. La version choisie ici est celle imprimée par Susato en 1545, qui reflète le changement de style musicalo-poétique intervenu entre la déploration de Josquin (probablement écrite à la mort, ou juste après la mort d'Ockeghem en 1497) et l'époque des Richafort, Gombert et autres figures post-josquinennes.

Le psaume Miserere mei, Deus, associé à des événements pénitentiels comme le Mercredi des cendres, compte parmi les créations les plus impressionnantes de Josquin qui le composa, selon toute probabilité, pendant son année à la cour de Ferrare (1503–4). Le psaume étant mis en musique en entier, mais sans doxologie, comme pendant la Semaine sainte, il a pu être exécuté pour la première fois au début d'avril 1504. Son extrême longueur pourrait le rendre inapproprié à la liturgy, mais on sait toute l'importance de la Semaine sainte à Ferrare et, de toute façon, la liturgie ne manque pas d'espaces pour des méditations prolongées, austères entre toutes — ce que ce motet est assurément. À la fin de la messe du Jeudi saint, l’autel et le sanctuaire sont dépouillés de tous leurs ornements pour ne laisser que la structure à nu de la table. Plus que toute œuvre josquinienne épurée, le motet Miserere mei, Deus traduit parfaitement cette esthétique. En tout, le tenor chante vingt et une fois la même phrase de deux hauteurs de son. Durant la première section, il commence sur mi aigu et descend d’une octave complète; dans la deuxième, le processus est inversé (mais avec des valeurs de note moitié moins longues); et dans la troisième, on revient aux valeurs plus longues, mais en descendant seulement de mi à la. Assez inhabituellement, les énonciations de ce thème en ostinato sont divisées en variant le nombre de pauses: contrairement à ce qui se passe dans maintes pièces josquiniennes, nulle structure rigide ici, la forme suit les exigences du texte.C’est cela qui — joint à l’austérité du contrepoint environnant, qui repose beaucoup sur d’austères intervalles justes, et à un usage rare mais éloquent de l’homophonie — confère au Miserere de Josquin son effet "dévotionnel, voire hypnotique" (David Fallows). Vu la quality de cette œuvre, et de tant d'autres, on ne s'étonnera guère que la communauté musicale des Pays-Bas se soit sentie orpheline à la mort de Josquin, le mardi 27 août 1521. Il fut inhumé devant le maître -autel de l'église Notre-Dame de Condé-sur-Escaut, dont il était prévôt depuis 1504.

Stephen Rice © 2012
Français: Hypà © rion

The term “Generation after Josquin” has been used over the years for many composers who worked in northern France and the Netherlands. This description derives on the one hand from Josquin's influence and fame, which were considerable in the last years of his life and in the half century after his death, on the other hand also from modern misunderstandings about actual historical circumstances. Since it is now assumed that Josquin was born at the beginning or in the middle of the 1450s - and not already in 1440, as was long and widely assumed - it is now absurd, for example the French Jean Mouton, who himself was a “child of the 50s “And Josquin survived by only a year, as a member of the next generation of Dutch musicians. Likewise, composers such as Jacobus Clemens non Papa, Thomas Crecquillon or Cipriano de Rore, who were all less than ten years old when Josquin died in 1521, do not belong to the next generation, but rather to the generation after that. The most appropriate name is therefore for the composers who were born in the last quarter of the 15th century, i.e. during Josquin's adult career, but before he had achieved the legendary status that surrounded him from 1500 onwards, but also veiled his person. It is the musicians who, as composers and performers, have been most influenced by Josquin; and it is hardly surprising that they were also the ones who wanted to memorialize their colleague.

Jean Richafort is one of the many musicians who were referred to as Josquin's pupils in the 16th century. In his case, this information comes from none other than the important poet Pierre de Ronsard, who in his foreword to a chanson print with the title Livre de Meslanges (Published in 1560 by the royal music publisher Le Roy & Ballard in Paris) Richafort and a few others are listed as Josquin's pupils. Since this statement is not confirmed anywhere else, one must assume that Ronsard meant this in a figurative sense and that Richafort, Jean Mouton, Claudin de Sermisy and the other leading composers he lists were not taught personally by Josquin, but were strongly influenced by him in their work. No matter how exactly Ronsard's foreword is to be understood, it is certainly true that Richafort's connection to Josquin as a composer was even closer than that of his contemporaries. In his mass Praeter rerum seriem and in his motets Miseremini mei and Misereatur / Miserere Richafort used material from Josquin. The mass is also ascribed to the older composer in one print, as is a chanson by Richafort, N’a vous point veu mal asseneewhich is attributed to Josquin in the oldest surviving manuscript.

The present one is also ascribed to Josquin and Richafort Missa pro defunctis, in which — as in the case of the other contradicting classifications — both the source location and the stylistic criteria clearly point to Richafort. This setting of the Missa pro defunctis with six parts and a duration of about half an hour is one of the longest of the numerous Requiem masses of this time. According to the standard of this genre, elements of the Ordinarium and the Proprium Missae are combined in the work (since the Proprium is each assigned to different occasions, there are hardly any polyphonic Proprium settings from this period, but the funeral mass was celebrated sufficiently often that it corresponds to the corresponding compositional Effort deserved). In addition to the Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus Dei of the Ordinary of the Mass, Richafort sets the introit "Requiem aeternam" (from which the name of the genre is derived), the gradual "Si ambulem", the offertory "Domine Jesu Christe" and the Communio "Lux aeterna" to music. . (“Si ambulem” was replaced by “Requiem aeternam” in the post-Reformation liturgy, so that the Missae pro defunctis from the late 16th century, such as the settings of Victoria, have the same text in the introit and in the gradual, although the accompanying verses are different.)

The cantus planus introit is in the 6th church note with the finalis F, and since the note B is lowered every time it is played, the melody effectively sounds like F major. The connection of major with joy and minor with sadness did not yet exist in Richafort's lifetime; rather, the major keys were understood as hard and the minor keys as soft (in fact, the Latin words denoted durus [hard and mollis [soft] at that time the notes B and B). The cantus planus melody is slightly embellished by the highest voice and three other voices underneath it sing a free counterpoint, while another cantus planus melody, "Circumdederunt me gemitus mortis", sounds as a cantus firmus. This cantus planus is not part of the Requiem but of the Matutin's Invitatorium (invitation) for the dead. The "Circumdederunt" singing sounds as a canon in the upper fifth with a distance of three breven: it is still clear that this is an obvious homage to Josquin. The introit verse “Te decet hymnus” is intoned to the psalm tone as usual, followed by a polyphonic, but more chordal setting of the second half of the verse, in which the canonical cantus firmus is used and can perhaps be heard even more clearly. According to the standard of the Introit (and not only in Requiem settings), the psalm verse is followed by a recapitulation of the antiphon.

During the Kyrie and the Gradual, the cantus firmus is retained in the canon, although the latter is based on a cantus planus of a different tonality (second church tone — similar to D minor with the sixth degree not lowered). Towards the end of the opening part of the Gradual, a new melodic element is added to the canonical cantus firmus voices: the phrase "c’est douleur non pareille" ("this is an unparalleled pain"). This melodic twist is a direct quote from Josquin, although in the original it does not refer to death or painful loss, but to lack of money, with the chanson Lazy d’argent is quoted. The chanson uses the language of late medieval love poetry, which is always spoken in the overwrought emotion that stems from unrequited love, with words such as "read" often used to underline the agony of the lover. Here, however, the ironic tone and the derogatory allusion to the corruptibility of women make it clear that this is a parody. The work Lazy d’argent therefore seems perhaps less suitable as the basis for a setting of the Mass, which presumably expresses true mourning over the death of Josquin. The use of profane material in sacred music at this time is of course well known, and the fact that it was used in the most venerable setting underscores the ease with which the spiritual and the secular were brought together — or perhaps, in the Renaissance mindset religion was also understood as pervading all aspects of worldly life.

In the remaining sentences of the Mass by Richafort, the borrowed material is presented with similar strategies, the quotation from Lazy d’argent recurs in the offertory, but is left out in the shorter movements towards the end of the work. In the offertory the canon appears reversed, so that it now sounds as a lower fourth canon; In other places, Richafort varies the spacing between the inserts. The “Circumdederunt” melody sounds two, three and four breven apart (with a corresponding rhythmic flexibility, which is entirely permissible due to the inherent lack of rhythm in cantus planus melodies). If one recalls that during most of the work the cantus planus of the Requiem Mass is paraphrased alongside this canonical structure, and also that, with the exception of a few parts, a six-part texture is maintained, the extent of Richafort's achievement becomes clear. In order to erect a memorial to his deceased colleague Josquin, a composer of the "generation after Josquin" not only had to cite his work and compose a varied canon in the same way as the older master valued, with a cantus planus basis that he had treated himself canonically, but he also had to erect a structure worthy of Josquin, who (at least today) is primarily famous for the beauty and clarity of his compositional endeavors.

It was once thought that the "Circumdederunt" cantus was "a cantus firmus particularly valued by Josquin" (Gustave Reese, Music in the Renaissance) was — the reason for this assumption was that it is processed in three compositions ascribed to him. In the meantime, however, two of them - like so many works - have been convincingly deleted from Josquin's oeuvre, so that only Nymphes, nappés remains as an authentic work with this melody. Richafort's commitment to Josquin becomes clear from the 17th Brevis, where the cantus firmus begins and three breves later - as in the Requiem - the accompanying part joins a fifth above. John Milsom, who has demonstrated that the other two pieces are not authentic, has also pointed out that Richafort not only quotes the canonical cantus firmus, but also quotes several polyphonic bars Nymphes, nappéssounding in the Introit and Kyrie of the Requiem. The counterpoint it contains lends itself particularly well to such treatment, as it is full of static harmony, twisting melodic lines, and falling thirds that are characteristic of Josquin's style in such mournful works.

Despite its later processing by Richafort, Josquins is Lazy d’argent musically much less gloomy than Nymphes, nappés and underlines the parodic tone. At the beginning, contratenor and bass are closely intertwined in an imitation duet, while discant and tenor follow four and a half breves later. Although their melodic material is practically the same as that of the first two voices, the imitation in the second duet is kept much looser, with a gap of three semibreven instead of a single minimum. The tenor sounds in canon with an unnotated quinta pars (the singer simply using the tenor's notes with a lower key and inserting them when the tenor arrived at a certain marked point), followed three breves later in the lower fifth, so that the full five-part texture can only be heard from the tenth brevis of the chanson (which is only 72 brevoes in total). This canonical structure determines the later interaction of the voices and creates a kind of call-and-response structure, when the upper voices accompany the tenor and the lower voices the quinta pars. In the last line ("Femme qui there ...") the music of the beginning returns.

Less closely related, but nonetheless inevitably related to Josquin, are the lamentations for the dead of Benedictus Appenzeller, Nicolas Gombert and Jheronimus Vinders. All three were printed by the Antwerp composer and publisher Tielman Susato in a volume from 1545, which was otherwise dedicated to chansons by Josquin himself (or at least chansons ascribed to him). This is the oldest surviving source of the works of Gombert and Vinders, while Appenzeller's piece is also available in a set of handwritten part books, which are now kept in Cambrai, but were copied in Bruges in 1542 for a linen dealer named Zeghere van Male . In Susato's chanson print (Le septiesme livre contenant vingt et quatre chansons à cincq et à six parties) The three works by Josquin presented here are also contained in French. The poem Musae Jovis by Gerard Avidius uses a standard Neo-Latin approach to the subject of death, juxtaposing the earthly lament over the loss of the composer with the heavenly jubilation over joining the heavenly choirs. The fact that this is expressed not in the language of Christian theology but rather in Roman mythology does not seem to have disturbed contemporaries any further.

Benedictus Appenzeller was in the service of Maria of Hungary, the younger sister of Charles V (HRR) and governor of the Habsburg Netherlands, at her court in Brussels for at least 15 years. (Condé-sur-Escaut, where Josquin spent the last years of his life, is about 80 kilometers southwest of it.) Appenzeller's version of Musae Jovis is set with a four-part arrangement and setting of only the first 12 lines of text rather modestly - it ends with a plaintive note and omits the references to Josquin's entry into the ranks of the immortals. The Phrygian mode is used here, which was considered particularly suitable for complaints. Very effective moments are the “illegal occidit” towards the end of the first section, where the high and low voices alternate, and several passages with homophony that underline important passages in the text. The "pair imitation" with which the two lower voices begin the work and which are then reproduced by the upper voices was a preferred technique of Josquin.

Nicolas Gombert also set the poem to music in the Phrygian mode, but in a much more demanding way. Gombert was perhaps ten years younger than Appenzeller (he was born in the early or mid-1490s) and his six-part lament appears to be composed in the style of the 1530s when most of his works appeared, rather than the year of Josquins Tod, 1521. Just like Appenzeller, he also incorporates old-fashioned elements, one of which in particular inevitably refers to Josquin: the “Circumdederunt me” tenor sounds in the long notes of an old cantus firmus, but here transposed down by one note so that it begins on E and not F and thus corresponds to the Phrygian church key in which the piece is held. Because Josquin in his work Nymphes des boisIn turn, which is a lament for an older composer for whom the cantus planus “Requiem aeternam” proceeds in exactly the same way, the intent is clear. The relatively unusual technique with which Gombert treats the cantus firmus underscores the importance of this gesture in this case. The style of the motet is a constant rise and fall of counterpoint, whereby the music is much more flowing than Josquin's; Uniformity is achieved by limiting the melodic material, which gives the setting an introspective tone. When Josquin's rise to the sky is sung for the last time, the music changes to a three-piece rhythm.

Jheronimus Vinders is by far the least known composer who is represented on the present recording and is only documented for a short time as a tinder at today's Ghent Cathedral (1525–26). Like his "Epithaphium Josquini", Vinders ’ Missa Stabat mater based on a motet by Josquin. His other well-known works include three other mass settings, half a dozen motets and three Dutch songs. O mors inevitabilis generates an impressive texture during its short duration of only 60 breven, which results mainly from the seven-part system. Two of the middle voices paraphrase the cantus planus “Requiem aeternam”, one in a conventional and the other in a freer way, apparently including the psalm tone, to which the same words are sung at the end of the Requiem Mass, as part of the communion . A copy of the text and a small portrait of Josquin hung in the St. Gudule Church in Brussels, but these apparently got lost in the 16th century.

As mentioned earlier, Josquin's work is Nymphes des bois, whose text is by Jean Molinet, composed in the Phrygian mode, the cantus planus “Requiem aeternam” being sung in transposed form so that it corresponds to this mode. Molinet's text is full of puns, assonances and alliterations and is peppered with allusions to the late Ockeghem. Molinet's original text describes Atropos, whose task it was to cut the thread of life, as a “très terrible satrappe”, the “a vostre Ockeghem attrapé dans sa trappe”, and also describes the composer as a “vray tresorier de musique”, which means he alluded to his post as treasurer at the royal abbey of St. Martin in Tours.In the oldest manuscript source of the work, the notation is consistently black, which was a stylistic device at the time that was particularly used in works of mourning. The version recorded here corresponds to the print by Susato from 1545, in which the change in the musical and poetic style of Josquin's Lamento composition, probably from Ockeghem's death year 1497 or shortly after, and the era of Richafort, Gombert and other composers after Josquin is clear becomes.

Josquin's setting of the psalm Miserere mei, Deus, associated with Ash Wednesday and other repentant occasions, is one of his most impressive works. The setting was most likely created in 1503-04, when Josquin spent a year at the court of Ferrara. Since the psalm is set to music in full, but without doxology, and is therefore suitable for the liturgy there during Holy Week, one can certainly assume that the work was premiered at the beginning of April 1504. The extreme length of the setting may seem inappropriate within the liturgy, but the special importance that Holy Week had in Ferrara was well known and there are also various opportunities for extended, simple meditations in the liturgy, and this is exactly the category Motet. At the end of Mass on Maundy Thursday, all jewelry is removed from the altar and the sanctuary so that only the bare table frame remains. Especially in this motet by Josquin - the composer who was famous for his economy - this aesthetic is perfectly reproduced. The tenor sings the same phrase in two pitches a total of 21 times. In the first section it starts on the high E and then goes down a whole octave, in the second the process is reversed (but with note values ​​half as long) and in the third it returns to the longer note values, but only moves from E. according to A. It is quite unusual that these presentations of the ostinato theme are separated from each other by pauses of different lengths: unlike in many other pieces by Josquin, there is no fixed structure here, but the form depends on the requirements of the text. Because of this and also because of the sparse counterpoint that lies around it and is based heavily on empty, pure intervals, as well as the irregular but effective use of homophony, Josquins Miserere achieved what David Fallows described as "devout and even hypnotic". Given the quality of this and many of his other compositions, it is hardly surprising that the musicians of the Netherlands felt robbed when Josquin died on August 27, 1521. He was buried in front of the high altar of the Notre-Dame church in Condé-sur-Escaut, where he had been provost since 1504.

Stephen Rice © 2012
German: Viola Scheffel