Josquin Desprez - Motets

Deutsche Grammophon (Archiv 463 473-2)

"Relish the lovely sound of the Orlando Consort, revel in the sheer sensuality of the music and give yourselves the treat of being moved to tears by 'La Deploration', a loving memorial for a fellow great composer."
—Classic FM

"The Orlando Consort, singing one to a part, renders Josquin's complex with precise tuning, a medieval French pronunciation of the Latin texts and, above all, a terrific sense of the achievement of these pieces - especially in the massive 'O virgo virginum'. Delicious." [Performance: *****   Sound: *****]
—BBC Music Magazine

"Like great Renaissance paintings, great Renaissance music can transcend its own time to reveal the essence of our humanity. Josquin was arguably the greatest of Renaissance composers. The disc contains 16 examples of his art, including the sevenfold motet cycle Vultum tuum deprecabuntur, and ranging from the early Christe Fili Dei, whose top line is here experimentally sung to the text of the secular song on which it is based, to the Déploration de Johannes Ockeghem, a heartfelt tribute from one composer to another. It's fascinating to follow the development of Josquin's language from medieval decorative artifice - in Ut Phoebi radiis, for instance - to the intensely expressive polyphony of De profundis clamavi, where structure and emotion are as one. The Orlando Consort's performances are staggeringly beautiful."
—The Sunday Times

"Josquin Desprez (c1455-1521) was one of the greatest of renaissance polyphonists, and the Orlando Consort's scrupulous performances of some of his most magnificent achievements, using new and specially prepared editions of the motets, do full justice to his invention and imagination. In works such as the four-voice Ut Phoebi Radiis and the lament for Ockeghem, Nymphes des Boys, the singers generally take a neutral interpretative line, allowing Josquin's own sense of musical architecture to determine the rate at which the music unfolds, without adding any extra articulation of their own. Some might prefer a more interventionist approach, but the intrinsic beauty of the Orlando's singing disarms most criticism. The clarity of the recording, which keeps every voice distinct even in the densest six-part textures, is a huge asset."
—The Guardian

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What am I listening to?

You are listening to a commemorative motet, ‘Quis dabit capiti meo aquam’, by the composer, Heinrich Isaac (c1450-1517). Specifically, you will hear the last of the four sections of this beautiful piece, a lament on the death of Lorenzo de’ Medici in April 1492. It is one track from our latest disk, The Florentine Renaissance, produced by Hyperion records (DA68349), a rich and varied selection of secular and sacred music, an aural collage of the vibrant city of Florence in the early Renaissance.