Performers: Nicole Jolliet (soprano), Hélène Moreau (soprano), Catherine Sergent (soprano), Yves Guidet (alto), Caroline Magalhaes (alto), Hervé Mailliet (alto), Bruno Bonhoure (tenor), Pierre Bourhis (tenor), Pierre Briaud (tenor), Olivier Germond (tenor), Barnabé Janin (tenor), Agostino Magro (tenor), Emmanuel Bonnardot (bass), Raphäel Picazos (bass), Daniel Sarda (bass), Pierre Tessier (bass), Pierre Hamon (recorder), Florence Jacquemart (recorder), Dominique Jullien (recorder), Marc Perbost (recorder), Pierre Boragno (recorder)
Playing time: 66'
Recording date: November 1996 (Sergines)
Although there are only four securely authentic motets attributed to him, Johannes Ockeghem (c.1420-1497) makes a definite impact on this style. The three settings of standard Marian texts, Alma Redemptoris mater, Ave Maria, and Salve Regina show Ockeghem's amazing array of 4-point counterpoint in what would otherwise be fairly typical settings of the era (aside from the lack of a cantus firmus in Ave Maria, also the one non-antiphon of the group). The massive 5-voice Intemerata Dei Mater uses a composite text, rather than a liturgical one, apparently put together by Ockeghem himself. It has a particularly low scoring, and an even more forceful impact, quoting motives he also used in the 5-voice mass torso Fors seulement and the 4-voice Missa Mi-Mi. Finally, Ut heremita solus is a probable work, surviving without a text, and showing some idiomatic instrumental thinking.
Together with the extant motets of Ockeghem, this program features an interesting work from his contemporary Guillaume Faugues (fl.c.1460). Faugues' surviving output consists only of four or possibly five mass cycles, but he is nonetheless (together with Ockeghem, Dufay, and the anonymous English composers) one of the significant early proponents of the 4-voice cantus firmus mass. The present example is seemingly paradoxical, in that it constructs a mass cycle on a bass dance. In this case, it is not La Spagna but a related, otherwise unknown, melody. Faugues' style is distinguished by an unusual use of literal repetitions to unify cycles.
A full service rendition of perhaps Ockeghem's most impressive mass setting:
Another recording featuring Ockeghem's motets:
A recording devoted to Faugues:
Significant recordings devoted to Faugues' contemporaries, Johannes Regis (c.1430-1496) & Firminus Caron (c.1440-c.1475):
Other programs featuring masses from this era based on a basse danse tune:
Finally, the present ensemble's other recordings:
To purchasing information for this disc.
To FAQ references to this recording.
To FAQ CD index page.Todd M. McComb