These masses are generally not considered to be among Josquin's very best, and I have never had reason to disagree with that assessment. However, they are certainly interesting and worthwhile.
The inclusion on the list is therefore very much about the performance. This is an extremely clear & coherent interpretation, laying out this music in an easy-to-follow fashion with no gimmickry. It is kind of amazing to me where the Tallis Scholars have come after their rather inauspicious beginnings with this repertory.
The above sounds somewhat perfunctory, but it should be emphasized that handling the large-scale music of this era clearly & convincingly in matters of phrasing, rhythm, and tempo has not been easily accomplished to date.
And, over time, I have more appreciation for these masses also, even if they do seem more typical of the mass cycles of the period than some of Josquin's output.
To renaissance sacred listTodd M. McComb