Josquin: Missa Hercules Dux Ferrariæ

Josquin: Music for Ercole I d'Este
De Labyrintho - Walter Testolin
Stradivarius "Dulcimer" 33674

The featured mass here is the Missa Hercules dux Ferrarie, which has suddenly become the best-recorded mass in Josquin's oeuvre. The present selection was immediately preceded by a recording by Pomerium, which was also of high merit. These recent interpretive outputs have really served to elevate this mass in my estimation, helping to emphasize the pleasing contrast of more medieval with modern elements. The included motets, especially the Miserere, are also of high historical interest.

There is a fine sense of rhetorical form here, combined with contrapuntal momentum in such a way as to highlight the internal dialog between differing lines in the mass. Sonorities can be striking to the ear, and this apparently-new ensemble displays evident passion for the music.

To renaissance sacred list

Todd M. McComb