Le Jeune: Mass

Le Jeune: Missa Ad Placitum / Magnificat
Ensemble Clément Janequin - Dominique Visse
Harmonia Mundi HMC 901607 [CD]
Harmonia Mundi HMA 1951607 [CD]


    Missa Ad Placitum
  1. Kyrie
  2. Gloria
  3. Credo
  4. Sanctus
  5. Agnus
  6. Motet: Benedicite Dominum
  7. Motet: Tristitia obsedit me
  8. Magnificat

Performers: Catherine Greuillet (soprano), Dominique Visse (countertenor), Robin Blaze (countertenor), Bruno Boterf (tenor), Stephan van Dyck (tenor), Vincent Bouchot (baritone), Philippe Cantor (baritone), François Fauché (baritone), Renaud Delaigue (bass), Jean-Marc Aymes (organ), Eric Bellocq (lute), Sylvia Abramovitz (viol), Malcolm Bothwell (viol), Françoise Enock (viol), Christine Payeux (viol), Matthieu Lusson (viol, violone)

Playing time: 54'

Recording date: April 1996

Claude Le Jeune (c.1530-1600) was born in Valenciennes, in what had been the hotbed of the Franco-Flemish Renaissance, and went on to hold several significant royal posts in France. His Missa Ad Placitum, published posthumously in 1607, is one of the most imposing sphinxes of the late Renaissance, and one of the last great architectural innovations of the era. Likewise, the Magnificat & Benedicite Dominum are both original and compelling.

As a Huguenot, Le Jeune wrote numerous practical Psalms in fairly simple style, but it is his Latin music which is most intriguing today. The mass is unique in his output, alongside a dozen motets. Many of the same ideas in his songs are worked through here, but nowhere else on a scale as large as the mass. The title "Ad placitum" means literally "as it pleases" and becomes effectively a vast fantasia over the words of the mass (which nonetheless remain clearly audible!).

A fine recording of Le Jeune's complete Latin motets:

Le Jeune: Motets Latins
Ensemble Jacques Moderne - Jean-Pierre Ouvrard
Adda Musica Nova MN7

Actually Le Jeune's Latin motets were published together with his more voluminous songs.

Two other recordings featuring Le Jeune's mass:

Le Jeune: Masses / Psalms
Ensemble Vocal Sagittarius - Michel Laplénie
Erato Musifrance 45825
Le Jeune: Missa Ad Placitum, etc.
Choir of New College Oxford - Edward Higginbottom
Hyperion 66387

And a more recent recording devoted to psalms:

Le Jeune: Dix Pseaumes de David
Ludus Modalis - Bruno Boterf
Ramée 1005

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Todd M. McComb