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Josquin: Missa Hercules Dux Ferrariae / De Labyrintho

Desprez / De Labyrintho / Testolin
Release Date: 11/10/2009 
Label:  Stradivarius   Catalog #: 33862   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Josquin Des Préz
Conductor:  Walter Testolin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  De Labyrintho
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



JOSQUIN DES PREZ Missa Hercules Dux Ferrariae. Salve Regina à 5. Virgo salutiferi. Miserere mei Deus Walter Testolin, dir; De Labyrintho STRADIVARIUS STR 33862 (59:09 Text and Translation)


This is a welcome release, even if it arrives five years late. (It was recorded more than a year before the Missa Gaudeamus , 30:1, which was issued promptly. The publication date of 2004 on this disc is belied by the current issue Read more number in the 33000 series.) It is more than just another recording of Josquin’s most popular Mass after his final masterpiece ( Missa Pange lingua ). The program, titled Josquin at Ferrara, looks at the year (April 1503 to April 1504) that the composer spent there before returning to Condé-sur-l’Escaut as a canon and provost of the collegiate church of Notre Dame, where he remained until his death. It groups three works that figure prominently in that year, adding as the first work on the disc a motet, Salve Regina , that Josquin had composed not long before, a motet that had been sent as a gift to Ercole, the duke of Ferrara, in 1502. These are not the only works composed at the time, for there are reasons to link the composition of the Mass with Missa Ave maris stella and Missa Malheur me bat , not least because they are grouped as the first three works in Petrucci’s second book of masses (1505), where they seem to be three new works composed since 1502, when the first book of masses appeared containing five recent works. David Fallows, in his monumental new volume, Josquin (Brepols, 2009), brushes away the longstanding disputes about the dating of the Hercules Mass to propose that it was commissioned early in 1504 by Alfonso, Ercole’s son (and soon to be successor), as an homage to his father. To be sure, the dating of the work to the year in Ferrara had already attracted a growing number of adherents since 1980, when the notion that this work dated back to the 1580s began to fade.


But this disc is more than just a collection of pieces of the Ferrara period. It offers superb performances of all four works. The Mass can be heard from the Hilliard Ensemble ( Fanfare 14:1) and Pomerium (27:6), among the best of a long list of recordings of this work that began as far back as 1957. This version ranks with the best. Miserere has been well served as well, two of the best versions being coupled with this same Mass by the Hilliard Ensemble and A Sei Voci (21:1). Virgo salutiferi has fared less well, found most recently on another A Sei Voci disc. One of the best of several versions of the Salve Regina comes with Josquin’s interesting Missa Lesse faire a mi under Rebecca Stewart. (Fallows in his new book dismisses out of hand the fascinating research underlying the interpretation of the Mass.) Yet taken as a group the interpretations of the four works heard together here command attention. Along with Lassus (31:2) and Gesualdo (33:3), Walter Testolin has now given us four fine discs. This one is especially worthy of a hearing.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1. Salve, regina ŕ 5 by Josquin Des Préz
Conductor:  Walter Testolin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  De Labyrintho
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  L'Oratorio del Gonfalone a Vincenza 
Length: 7 Minutes 18 Secs. 
2. Missa "Hercules Dux Ferrariae" by Josquin Des Préz
Conductor:  Walter Testolin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  De Labyrintho
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Italy 
Venue:  L'Oratorio del Gonfalone a Vincenza 
Length: 26 Minutes 31 Secs. 
3. Virgo salutiferi by Josquin Des Préz
Conductor:  Walter Testolin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  De Labyrintho
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  L'Oratorio del Gonfalone a Vincenza 
Length: 7 Minutes 39 Secs. 
4. Miserere mei, Deus by Josquin Des Préz
Conductor:  Walter Testolin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  De Labyrintho
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  L'Oratorio del Gonfalone a Vincenza 
Length: 16 Minutes 54 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Excellent Performances! April 15, 2014 By Clifford H C. (Thompson, MB) See All My Reviews "For any Renaissance Fans this is a must have. The performance is stunning with really good sound and clarity. This mass is an excellent addition Josquin canon. Any collector would be happy with this disk." Report Abuse
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