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Musique A La Chapelle Sixtine Autour De 1490

Josquin / Cut Circle / Rodin
Release Date: 02/12/2013 
Label:  Musique En Wallonie   Catalog #: 1265   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Josquin Des PrézGaspar von WeerbekeAnonymousBertrandus Vaqueras,   ... 
Performer:  Aaron SheehanMary GerbiCarolann BuffSumner Thompson,   ... 
Conductor:  Jesse Rodin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cut Circle
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 29 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



MUSIC AT THE SISTINE CHAPEL AROUND 1490 Jesse Rodin, cond; Cut Circle MUSIQUE EN WALLONIE MEW 1265-1266 (2 CDs: 149:27 Text and Translation)


JOSQUIN DES PREZ Missa Fortuna desperata. Missa L’homme armé super voces musicales Missa La sol fa re mi: Crucifixus; Agnus Dei. Nardi Maria pistici. Domine non secundum. DE ORTO Missa Read more L’homme armé. Lucis creator optime. Ave Maria mater gratiae. GASPAR VAN WEERBEKE Dulcis amica Dei. Ave regina caelorum. Missa Princesse d’amourettes. VAQUERAS Domine non secundum


One of the periods of the life of Josquin des Prez (c.1458-1521) that is well documented is his years in the Sistine Choir from 1489 to 1494. David Fallows devotes over 40 pages to this sojourn, and concludes hesitantly that he was probably in Cambrai for the next few years, a period less well documented. His colleagues in Rome are remembered less well today, but Marbrianus de Orto (d. 1529) was important enough that his name shares the cover of this disc with his illustrious contemporary, “DE ORTO / JOSQUIN.” De Orto’s contribution to the series of L’homme armé Masses is recorded here for the first time. A list of other composers’ settings based on the same tune can be found under Busnois in Fanfare 26:4, adding Anchieta (28:1) and Senfl (28:4). Jesse Rodin, who conducts this recording, has published a book on the subject, Josquin’s Rome: Hearing and Composing in the Sistine Chapel (Oxford, 2012). He reminds us that Pope Sixtus IV demolished the old chapel on the site in 1475 and completed a new one (later named after him) in 1482 that matched the dimensions of the Holy of Holies in Solomon’s Temple, as recorded in the Bible. It became the principal site of papal celebrations, for the decrepit, 1200-year-old St. Peter’s basilica had not yet been replaced by the largest church in Christendom. Though it was in danger of collapse and eight popes since 1447 had begun to address the problem, the first stone of the new basilica was only laid in 1506 by Pope Julius II. No wonder, then, that the Sistine Chapel was the center of liturgical activity in the Vatican in Josquin’s time.


Four composers are listed in the rolls of the Sistine Choir in its first decade. In addition to Josquin, they were Gaspar van Weerbeke from 1480 to 1489 (just before Josquin arrived) and again from 1500; Bertrandus Vaqueras from 1483 to 1507, and de Orto from 1483 to about 1500. The program opens with a hymn not recorded until now, Nardi Maria pistici , one of two that Josquin contributed to the large collection of hymns, from Dufay onward, that are found in manuscript CS 15, the other being Ave maris stella . All these hymns use polyphony for the even verses with the odd verses in the familiar chant. Nardi is the third verse of a Palm Sunday hymn, the only other verse in the manuscript being the concluding Honor decus imperium for four voices. Two of the three Masses that Josquin composed during this time are Missa La sol fa re mi , of which the latter half of the Credo and the Agnus Dei are sung, and Missa Fortuna desperata , from which we hear the Gloria and two excerpts. The passages are chosen to illustrate stylistic traits of the composer. The first disc concludes with two settings by Vaqueras and Josquin of the motet Domine non secundum peccata nostra , which occupied a pivotal place in the ceremonies of Ash Wednesday in the papal chapel. It should be noted that de Orto also composed a setting of this text, all three printed in Petrucci’s Motetti de Passione in 1503. The disc adds three selections by Gaspar van Weerbeke, two by de Orto, and an anonymous Credo.


The second disc features two Masses, the first recording of de Orto’s Missa L’homme armé and a new version of Josquin’s Missa L’homme armé super voces musicales . De Orto’s Mass is notable for placing the cantus firmus in every voice at one point or another. The tune itself is sung before the Masses, as well as a motet by Dufay. A motet by de Orto follows his Mass, then a Sarum chant antiphon for St. Michael. This archangel is one Scriptural figure who is making war against the dragon (Christ is another). Craig Wright in his fascinating study, The Maze and the Warrior (Harvard University Press, 2001, pages 178 ff.), discusses this matter at length. De Orto’s Mass is easily the principal contribution of this package.


This is the first recording by Jesse Rodin, who teaches at Stanford. He is the editor of both Masses for the respective complete works of the two composers. The generous selection is sumptuously packaged as a 66-page hardcover book of the usual size for CDs, and Rodin’s essay is lucid and informative. His ensemble of 10 mixed voices matches the best qualities of the leading vocal ensembles that we are hearing in music of the Renaissance. We have had many recorded programs of music written for, or sung in, the Sistine Chapel, but the idea of bringing together music of composers who were contemporaries at the Sistine Chapel may be a new one. To combine the first recording of de Orto’s Mass with a Josquin Mass already well represented in the catalog sheds light on the music as well as the performers, and everyone looks good here. I am struck by the simultaneous appearance of two American vocal ensembles on this label, so Belgium-centered in performers as well as repertory until now (see “O Rex Orbis”). This elegant package is worth the attention of any Renaissance devotee.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1. Missa La sol fa re mi: Crucifixus by Josquin Des Préz
Conductor:  Jesse Rodin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cut Circle
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1502 
Date of Recording: 08/2010-09/2010 
Venue:  Church of the Redeemer, Boston, MA 
Length: 4 Minutes 46 Secs. 
2. Missa La sol fa re mi: Agnus Dei by Josquin Des Préz
Performer:  Aaron Sheehan (), Mary Gerbi ()
Conductor:  Jesse Rodin
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1502 
Date of Recording: 08/2010-09/2010 
Venue:  Church of the Redeemer, Boston, MA 
Length: 4 Minutes 54 Secs. 
3. Missa Fortuna desperata: Gloria by Josquin Des Préz
Conductor:  Jesse Rodin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cut Circle
Period: Renaissance 
Written: circa 1470-1485 
Date of Recording: 08/2010-09/2010 
Venue:  Church of the Redeemer, Boston, MA 
Length: 6 Minutes 8 Secs. 
4. Missa Fortuna desperata: Sanctus 1 by Josquin Des Préz
Conductor:  Jesse Rodin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cut Circle
Period: Renaissance 
Written: circa 1470-1485 
Date of Recording: 08/2010-09/2010 
Venue:  Church of the Redeemer, Boston, MA 
Length: 2 Minutes 18 Secs. 
5. Missa Fortuna desperata: Agnus Dei 1 by Josquin Des Préz
Conductor:  Jesse Rodin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cut Circle
Period: Renaissance 
Written: circa 1470-1485 
Date of Recording: 08/2010-09/2010 
Venue:  Church of the Redeemer, Boston, MA 
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 
6. Culcis amica Dei / Da pacem, motet for 5 voices by Gaspar von Weerbeke
Conductor:  Jesse Rodin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cut Circle
Date of Recording: 08/2010-09/2010 
Venue:  Church of the Redeemer, Boston, MA 
Length: 8 Minutes 4 Secs. 
7. Ave regina celorum, motet by Gaspar von Weerbeke
Conductor:  Jesse Rodin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cut Circle
Date of Recording: 08/2010-09/2010 
Venue:  Church of the Redeemer, Boston, MA 
Length: 6 Minutes 43 Secs. 
8. Missa Princesse d'amourettes: Agnus Dei by Gaspar von Weerbeke
Performer:  Carolann Buff (), Sumner Thompson ()
Conductor:  Jesse Rodin
Date of Recording: 08/2010-09/2010 
Venue:  Church of the Redeemer, Boston, MA 
Length: 6 Minutes 12 Secs. 
9. Credo by Anonymous
Conductor:  Jesse Rodin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cut Circle
Period: Medieval 
Date of Recording: 08/2010-09/2010 
Venue:  Church of the Redeemer, Boston, MA 
Length: 8 Minutes 45 Secs. 
10. Domine non secundum peccata nostra, motet by Bertrandus Vaqueras
Conductor:  Jesse Rodin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cut Circle
Date of Recording: 08/2010-09/2010 
Venue:  Church of the Redeemer, Boston, MA 
Length: 6 Minutes 3 Secs. 
11. Domine, non secundum peccata by Josquin Des Préz
Conductor:  Jesse Rodin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cut Circle
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 08/2010-09/2010 
Venue:  Church of the Redeemer, Boston, MA 
Length: 7 Minutes 8 Secs. 
12. L'homme armé, chanson by Anonymous
Performer:  Marc Molomot ()
Conductor:  Jesse Rodin
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 14th Century 
Date of Recording: 08/2008 
Venue:  Church of the Redeemer, Boston, MA 
Length: 0 Minutes 36 Secs. 
13. Factum est by Anonymous
Performer:  Carolann Buff ()
Conductor:  Jesse Rodin
Date of Recording: 08/2008 
Venue:  Church of the Redeemer, Boston, MA 
Length: 1 Minutes 36 Secs. 
14. Missa "L'homme armé" super voces musicales, for 4 parts by Josquin Des Préz
Conductor:  Jesse Rodin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cut Circle
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 08/2008 
Venue:  Church of the Redeemer, Boston, MA 
Length: 32 Minutes 25 Secs. 
15. Honor, decus, imperium: Nardi Maria pistici by Josquin Des Préz
Conductor:  Jesse Rodin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cut Circle
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 08/2010-09/2010 
Venue:  Church of the Redeemer, Boston, MA 
Length: 1 Minutes 49 Secs. 
16. Lucis creator optime, motet by Marbrianus de Orto
Conductor:  Jesse Rodin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cut Circle
Date of Recording: 08/2010-09/2010 
Venue:  Church of the Redeemer, Boston, MA 
Length: 4 Minutes 17 Secs. 
17. Missa Ad fugam: Gloria by Marbrianus de Orto
Performer:  Sumner Thompson (), Matthew Anderson ()
Conductor:  Jesse Rodin
Date of Recording: 08/2010-09/2010 
Venue:  Church of the Redeemer, Boston, MA 
Length: 5 Minutes 16 Secs. 
18. Missa "L'homme armé" for chorus by Marbrianus de Orto
Conductor:  Jesse Rodin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cut Circle
Date of Recording: 08/2008 
Venue:  Church of the Redeemer, Boston, MA 
Length: 31 Minutes 4 Secs. 
19. Ave Maria mater gratie, motet for 5 voices by Marbrianus de Orto
Conductor:  Jesse Rodin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cut Circle
Date of Recording: 08/2010-09/2010 
Venue:  Church of the Redeemer, Boston, MA 
Length: 6 Minutes 16 Secs. 

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