The Ockeghem theme to this recording produces a variety of interesting material, although it's generally well-known (and the lesser known Lupus piece is the weakest item). This program is really here for the Obrecht mass, one of his more interesting settings, and seemingly at least in some sense an hommage to Ockeghem. (Opinions differ on the exact timing of its composition.)
This was also the chronologically latest repertory that Diabolus in Musica had tackled at the time, and I've generally found it quite interesting when an ensemble that has specialized in earlier material turns to the great works of Franco-Flemish polyphony. The new perspective is welcome, and the result is very well-done, very articulate both in the details of the music & the overall form. There is something about coming to this music from earlier repertory that makes it sound that much fresher.
This is also something of the passing of an era, as I've now had occasion to remove an A:N:S Chorus item from this section. It shocked me how fast times went; their first Obrecht album was recorded in 1998! It's only natural that performers would have more fluency more than a decade later. Interpretations of this repertory continue to evolve, as it progressively comes to life once again.
To renaissance sacred listTodd M. McComb