OCKEGHEM REVISITED: A Renaissance Master and his Progeny

Cappella Nova - Richard Taruskin
St. Paul's Chapel, Columbia University - May 1979

Part One [all pieces in succession]

Motto: "Nata et grata polo" ( Encomium musices, 1590, by Andreas Pevernage (1543-1591))
        Music is begotten of the Gods and beloved of the muses. It is a concordant blending of different notes
        and voices; the person who isn't moved by it is neither a man nor a beast, but a stone.

Part I: The Master

  • Motet: "Alma redemptoris mater" ("Nata" and "Alma" are in the same band.)
  • Missa Caput: Kyrie
  • Missa De plus en plus: Gloria (Kyrie and Gloria are in the same band.)
  • Missa Fors seulement: Credo
  • Motet: "Intemerata Dei mater"
            Fearless mother of God, everything depends on you; nothing lasts without you
            ("Nec sine te manet ulla..."); we pray to you, O Divine Virgin ("Diva Virgo")...
  • Missa Cujusvis toni: Sanctus
            This mass can be performed in any tone; "Cujusvis toni" means 'In whatever mode you like.'
            This performance is in the mixolydian mode.
  • Missa L'homme armé: Agnus Dei
            The cantus firmus is in the bass.
  • Motet: "Salve regina" (Part I only)

Part II: His Progeny

Part Two [all pieces in succession]

  • In Praise of Ockeghem: "In hydraulis" (Antoine Busnois)
            Here the tape starts late. The cantus firmus is simply re-ut-re, la-sol-la, re-ut-re, upwards and then
            downwards, in demonstration of the Pythagorean ratios of octave, fifth, fourth, and whole step.
            The text refers to the story of Pythagoras determining the musical ratios by the hammers
            and their weights, and proclaims the new master of music in the modern age,
            our Johannes Ockeghem.
  • Missa Petite camusette: Kyrie (Marbriano de Orto)
  • Missa Malheur me bat: Gloria (Jacob Obrecht) (Kyrie and Gloria are in the same band.)
  • Missa Ma bouche rit: Credo (Johannes Martini)
  • Missa D'ung aultre amer: Sanctus (Josquin Desprez)
            Here the Benedictus is replaced with the motet "Tu solus, qui facis mirabilia."
            You alone are the worker of wonders, you alone created us,
            and you alone have redeemed us, Jesus Christ, by your most precious blood.
            To you alone we flee, in you alone we confide, and we do not adore any other.
            To love another (D'ung aultre amer) would be false, stupid, and sinful...
  • Missa Fors seulement: Agnus Dei (Nicholas Gombert)
  • In Memoriam: "Déploration de Jehan Ockeghem" (Josquin Desprez)
            Nymphs of the woods and goddesses of the fountains, rend the air with cries
            and lamentations, for Atropos, terrible satrap, has caught your Ockeghem in his trap.
            He was tall and handsome; sad it is that the earth now covers him.
            Cover yourselves with sackcloth, sing your lamentations, Josquin, Brumel,
            Pirchon, Compère, for you have lost your good father:
            Requiescat in pace. Amen.

Encore: "Nata" once again.

Two of the above pieces, in a narrow band format:

1.  Nata et grata polo ; Alma Redemptoris Mater
2.  Missa cujusvis toni, Sanctus and Benedictus

All music files on this page are MP3's.
Richard Taruskin and Cappella Nova