Ockeghem: Motets

Vox Aurea
Ockeghem: Motets / Faugues: Missa La basse danse
Obsidienne - Emmanuel Bonnardot
Opus 111 30-222


  1. Ockeghem: Intemerata Dei Mater
  2. Josquin: La Spagna (recorders)

  3. Faugues: Missa La basse danse
  4. Kyrie I
  5. Christe
  6. Kyrie II
  7. Gloria
  8. Qui sedes
  9. Cum Sancto Spiritu
  10. Credo
  11. Crucifixus
  12. Et in Spiritum Sanctum
  13. Confiteor
  14. Sanctus
  15. Pleni sunt caeli et terra
  16. Hosanna
  17. Benedictus
  18. Hosanna
  19. Agnus Dei I
  20. Agnus Dei II
  21. Agnus Dei III
  22. Ockeghem: Alma Redemptoris mater
  23. Ockeghem: Ut heremita solus (recorders)
  24. Ockeghem: Ave Maria
  25. Ockeghem: Salve Regina

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:

I Fiamminghi
Ockeghem: Missa Mi-mi
Cappella Pratensis - Rebecca Stewart
Ricercar 206 402

Another recording featuring Ockeghem's motets:

Ockeghem: Missa Prolationum / Marian Motets
Hilliard Ensemble
EMI Reflexe 49798

A recording devoted to Faugues:

Guillaume Faugues: Paradise regained
Missa le Serviteur / Missa Je suis en la mer
The Sound and the Fury
ORF 3025

Significant recordings devoted to Faugues' contemporaries, Johannes Regis (c.1430-1496) & Firminus Caron (c.1440-c.1475):

Regis: Missa Ecce Ancilla Domini / Missa Dum Sacrum Mysterium
Schola Discantus - Kevin Moll
Lyrichord 8044
Firminus Caron 1
Paradise regained - Polyphonie der Renaissance
The sound and the fury
ORF "Alte Musik" 3057

Other programs featuring masses from this era based on a basse danse tune:

Obrecht: Missa Si dedero / Missa Pfauenschwanz
Ars Nova Secunda Chorus - János Bali
Hungaroton 31946
Isaac: La Spagna
Mottetti e Missa per la corte di Lorenzo de' Medici
Musiche strumentali sulla melodia La Spagna
Paolo Pandolfo / Liuwe Tamminga / Odhecaton - Paolo Da Col
Bongiovanni 5607

Finally, the present ensemble's other recordings:

Barcelona Mass / Song of the Sibyl
Obsidienne - Emmanuel Bonnardot
Opus 111 30-130
Venite a laudare
Obsidienne - Emmanuel Bonnardot
Opus 111 30-158
Josquin: Missa "L'homme armé sexti toni" & Chansons
Ensemble Obsidienne - Emmanuel Bonnardot
Calliope 9305
Machaut: Messe Notre Dame / Motets et Estampies
Obsidienne - Emmanuel Bonnardot
Calliope 9318
Le jardin des délices
Chansons from the MS of Bayeux and by Dufay and Josquin
Obsidienne - Emmanuel Bonnardot
Calliope 9337
La Fete des Fous
Obsidienne - Emmanuel Bonnardot
Calliope 9344
Alfonso el Sabio: Cantigas de Santa Maria
Obsidienne - Emmanuel Bonnardot
Calliope 9366
L'amour de moy
Josquin / Hayne / Busnoys / Bosfrin / De la Rue / Manuscrit de Bayeux
Chansons et improvisations de la Renaissance
Ensemble vocal et instrumental Obsidienne - Emmanuel Bonnardot
Calliope 9408
Les Anges musiciens
Instruments du Moyen âge, vol. 2
Obsidienne - Emmanuel Bonnardot
Obsidienne 03
I Pray, Thee, Gentle Mortal, Sing Again
Masses, Chansons & Estampies from the 14th Century to the Renaissance
Ensemble Obsidienne - Emmanuel Bonnardot
Phaia Music (no number) [CDx2]
Carmina Burana
Obsidienne - Emmanuel Bonnardot
Eloquentia 1127
Concert Celeste
Ensemble Obsidienne - Emmanuel Bonnardot
Eloquentia 1544
Ave stella serena
Orgue Renaissance de Saint-Julien-du-Sault
Luc Paganon / Ensemble Obsidienne
Eloquentia 1651
Chansons de la Renaissance
Ensemble Obsidienne - Emmanuel Bonnardot
Eloquentia 1653 [CDx2]
Voyage au cœur du Moyen Âge
Machaut: Rondeaux, Ballades, Motets, Virelais...
Ensemble Obsidienne - Emmanuel Bonnardot
Bayard Musique 308 668
Voyage au cœur du Moyen Âge, Vol. 2
Machaut: Lais de la Rose et de la Fonteinne
Ensemble Obsidienne - Emmanuel Bonnardot
Bayard Musique 308 671

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Todd M. McComb