If Ockeghem's Missa L'Homme Armé was the earliest such to be composed, then perhaps it is not easy to understand why Dufay, Busnois, Caron and others may have been inspired to create their own mass using the tune as the cantus firmus. Ockeghem's work seems under-ambitious by comparison, almost simplistic - the cantus firmus remains easily recognisable, retaining the original rhythm, not stretched out to unfathomable lengths, nor excessively ornamented and buried under immense counterpoint - it's as though he wanted the tune to come to the fore. In the light of this, it seems odd in a way that the ensemble The Sound and the Fury have chosen to retain the L'Homme Armé lyrics in the tenor part at certain points of this performance, a practice not to my purist taste.
England's Orlando Consort, a quartet of male singers augmented as needed by other performers, offers performances of Renaissance vocal music that lie midway between the traditional and the highly individualized modern. Sometimes they veer toward one of those two extremes, but often, as on the present disc, they find a happy medium. Their sound, especially in sacred music, owes much to the English cathedral tradition, but there's a well-honed edge to their one-voice-to-a-part interpretations that brings out the crowds who've recently been drawn to early music. This disc is intended as an introduction to a composer who doesn't always offer easy listening to the modern ear. Netherlander Antoine Busnois, active at the end of the fifteenth century and considered the greatest figure between Dufay and Josquin, wrote music that broke free from elaborate medieval numerology but came in advance of Josquin's perfect marriage of music and text.
Dominique Visse and his group Ensemble Clément Janequin have been involved in many outstanding projects over the years, but this 2002 Harmonia Mundi recording has to be one of the most spectacular; the Missa "Et ecce terrae motus" (aka, "The Earthquake Mass") of Antoine Brumel. Brumel is one of many mid-renaissance composers whose reputations are so far overshadowed by Josquin Desprez that – like Rodney Dangerfield – they "just don't get no respect." In Brumel's own time, however, he was considered one of Josquin's equals and his death in 1512 was widely observed in a number of "déplorations." Although the mass itself survives in only a single manuscript copy, it bears the signatures of singers who revived the work in Munich in 1570 – probably close to a century after it was first given – and among them is a bass named Orlandus Lassus.
The research by Stefano Battaglia and that of Michele Rabbia share training ( classical for both) , the sensual attraction for jazz , a love of classical music of the ' 900 , which extend in particular to two of the big issues which moves the musical evolution : I'm referring to the world of sound , the quest for its expansion and the theme of improvisation.
Gramophone Record of the Year-winning group The Cardinall’s Musick continues its exploration of Tallis’s sacred music. These recordings not only showcase the greatest repertoire of the English Renaissance in dazzling performances, but also illustrate the complex historical and political background of the works and their genesis.
Reissue. Features the latest remastering. Includes a Japanese description, lyrics, and bonus track. Features original cover artwork. One of the best (and few) sessions ever cut as a leader by bassist Milt Hinton – a crucially important player on his instrument, and an important force behind countless sessions of his generation! The album's a nicely laidback one – the kind that lets you get to hear Milt's bass work up front in the mix, a good thing, since it could often be buried in larger arrangements on other albums that he's appeared on. The group's a quartet – with Milt on bass, AJ Sciacca (Tony Scott) on clarinet, Dick Katz on piano, and Osie Johnson on drums – and titles include "Pick N Pat", "Katz's Meow", "Upstairs With Milt", "Mean To Me", "Ebony Silhouette", and "Cantus Firmus". Also features a bonus track – "Milt To The Hilt (alt)".
This release presents music associated with the Renaissance master Josquin Des Prez, a composer who towers above all others in the first part of the sixteenth century. Numerous works were attributed to him that have now been proven to be by his contemporaries and successors, including the central work on this recording, Jean Richafort’s expansive and beautiful Requiem. It is performed with affecting clarity by the all-male vocal group Cinquecento, whose many previous discs of Renaissance repertoire for Hyperion have garnered the highest critical praise.
Hyperion’s record of the month for July celebrates the (probable) 500th anniversary of the birth of England’s first superstar composer, Thomas Tallis, and welcomes the signing to the label of The Cardinall’s Musick and Andrew Carwood. In a fifteen-year history The Cardinall’s Musick has progressively built an enviable reputation for excellence. Some twenty recordings on the ASV Gaudeamus label have seen accolades from around the world, including a Gramophone Award and a Diapason d’Or, while in the concert hall and workshop the group has consistently displayed innovation and a freshness of approach, whether tackling contemporary works (many of them commissions) or sharing the fruits of years of research into the music of the English Renaissance.