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Johannes Ockeghem: Pierre de la Rue, Requiem Hybrid SACD, SACD


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Product details

  • Orchestra: Cappella Pratensis
  • Conductor: Stratton Bull
  • Composer: Johannes Ockeghem, Pierre de la Rue
  • Audio CD (27 Feb. 2012)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
  • Label: Challenge Classics
  • ASIN: B006SQ72RE
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 393,583 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Requiem: Introitus: Requiem aeternamCappella Pratenis 4:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Requiem: KyrieCappella Pratenis 4:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Requiem: Graduale: Si ambulemCappella Pratenis 4:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Requiem: Tractus: Sicut cervusCappella Pratenis 7:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Requiem: Offertorium: Domine Jesu ChristeCappella Pratenis 8:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. RequiemCappella Pratenis 4:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. RequiemCappella Pratenis 2:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. RequiemCappella Pratenis 3:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. RequiemCappella Pratenis 6:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. RequiemCappella Pratenis 5:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. RequiemCappella Pratenis 3:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. RequiemCappella Pratenis 2:41£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

For its third CD on the Challenge label, Cappella Pratensis turns the page back to two of the earliest known settings of the Requiem mass with works by two of the most important musical figures of the 15th and early 16th centuries, Johannes Ockeghem, and Pierre de la Rue. The Requiem Masses of Johannes Ockeghem and Pierre de la Rue form an ideal pairing as they are the first polyphonic versions of the Mass for the Dead from the Franco-Flemish school. La Rue clearly drew inspiration from his older colleague echoing Ockeghem's sober yet sonorous style. Founded in 1987 the Dutch-based vocal ensemble Cappella Pratensis, literally 'Cappella des prés', champions the music of Josquin Desprez and the polyphonists of the 15th and 16th centuries. The group combines historically informed performance practice with inventive programmes and original interpretations based on scholarly research and artistic insight. As in Josquin's time, the members of Cappella Pratensis perform from a central music stand, singing from the original mensural notation scored in a large choir book. Cappella Pratensis is now under the artistic direction of singer and conductor Stratton Bull, who succeeds other previous leaders Bart Demuyt and Peter Van Heyghen. Personnel: Cappella Pratensis, Stratton Bull (music director)

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. L. Wisty TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 May 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Requiems need not be dour, but no-one seems to have informed Stratton Bull, director of the eight member all-male ensemble Cappella Pratensis. Take Ockeghem's requiem, the oldest surviving polyphonic requiem, possibly only pre-dated by a lost Dufay composition - Ensemble Organum in their recording Ockeghem - Requiem have given the work immense gravitas yet life affirming energy. And the Clerks' Group with Ockeghem: Requiem; Missa Fors Seulement deliver something achingly beautiful.

Similarly, Pierre de la Rue's opus has been done better by the Clerks' Group again with De La Rue/Brumel: Requiems and also Ensemble Clément Jannequin's De La Rue - Requiem; Missa L' Homme armé, featuring some of the same personnel as Ensemble Organum.

Fine for completists who like to hear several versions of a work, but I would urge you to investigate the aforementioned recordings ahead of this one.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
"Bird Lives!" Well, so does Ockeghem! 10 Jun. 2014
By Giordano Bruno - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Johannes Ockeghem (c.1410 - 1497) was adulated by his contemporaries and successors as fervently as jazz master Charlie Parker was by his. I can imagine graffiti on cloister and cathedral walls saying "Ockeghem Lives." Unlike Parker, Ockeghem was well off and respected by the Powers That Were, awarded numerous lucrative sinecures by the French kings, including the office of Treasurer of the Church of Saint Martin at Tours, and dispatched to Spain in 1470 on a mission of diplomacy by Louis XI. He was reputed to be a kindly man of probity and piety. He lived some 87 years, compared to Parker's 35, and most probably his "drug of choice" was Music itself. He was patently the most influential composer of his era; among his 'disciples' were Josquin Deprez and Pierre de la Rue.

Fifteen of his polyphonic masses have survived in whole or in part, along with a mere six motets and roughly 21 chansons. Of the masses, this Requiem is the most often recorded, and that's peculiar. It's not by any means his best work, nor is it typical of his intricate style. It's almost certainly incomplete, known only from one source, the Chigi Codex. Musicologists have disagreed about its authenticity and about its claim to have been the "first polyphonic requiem" ever composed. The competitor for that latter honor would be a lost Requiem Mass by Guillaume Dufay. Dufay (1397-1474) is properly regarded today as the greatest master of the generation before Ockeghem, although the two composers met and perhaps shared music. Some musicologists have suggested that Ockeghem's Requiem in fact includes or paraphrases portions of the lost Dufay. In any case, Ockegehm's work is not structured around and unified by a recurring "tenor" chant or by themes from a secular chanson, as were the mass of the masses of the "Franco-Flemish" masters. Each of its five movements is built around a different segment of chant, chiefly sung without embellishment, and the whole work is largely "homophonic" rather than complexly polyphonic in Ockeghem's usual vein. The effect is almost archaic. It's not a work of intellectual unity ... and yet it IS unified in its affect of resigned serenity and profound (deep) sonority. Ockeghem was known as a magnificent bass singer and 'profundity' - descending to C or B-flat below the bass clef - was a hallmark of his manner.

Cappella Pratensis luxuriates in Ockeghem's serenity and profundity. The lower voices are lusciously dark and strong. The tempi of portions of this performance are perilously/peerlessly slow; such serene stillness is harder to "pull off" than a more animated rendition, but Pratensis sustains the solemn rhetoric of phrases while luxuriating in the consonance of the music's homophony. The Requiem is ostensibly a four-voice composition, though about four fifths of it is assigned to three or two voices. Pratensis sings two-on-a-part ... or do they? The precision of diction and tuning is so fine, especially between the countertenors Statton Bull and Andrew Hallock, that my ears are often uncertain when and if parts are being doubled. If pressed, I'd say not.

In short, this Requiem is superbly and movingly sung, a performance a notch above any other on CD.

Pierre de la Rue (c. 1452 - 1518) was a generation younger than Ockeghem, but it's possible that his Requiem was composed rather soon after Ockeghem's. The mere idea of setting the funeral liturgy in polyphony was still unorthodox and indeed approved reluctantly. Nevertheless, following Ockeghem's lead, composers including at least Fevin, Prioris, Richafort, and Brumel produced Requiem masses within Pierre's generation, and Pierre's Requiem was chosen for weekly performance by the Order of the Golden Fleece starting in 1501. Pierre's mass bears obvious similarities to Ockeghem's, especially in voicing, but it's both thematically more unified and stylistically more diverse. There's a touch of flamboyance in its sobriety, a vibrancy that Pratensis captures with delicate virtuosity. Despite the reverence felt for Ockeghem and his Requiem, Pierre's setting was more widely disseminated. At least six manuscripts of it have survived. Pierre was, if anything, even more professionally successful than Ockeghem, serving as a singer and composer of the highest rank in the Habsburg-Burgundian "Grande Chapelle" for most of his mature career. His Requiem is ineluctably one of the musical monuments of the 15th Century, and Pratensis gives it a performance commensurate with its genius.
0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Ockeghem lives! Well so does Frank Zappa! 7 Oct. 2014
By Matthew David Sweat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
It seems Charlie Parker & Ockeghem both died some time ago, so I don't understand how both Bird & Ockeghem could live (according to certain obdurately obfuscatory reviewers)...the parallel seemed strange - I would rather juxtaspose the work of Ockeghem with that of Frank Zappa. The comparison is purely arbitrary...the final goal or zeitgeist of which is not to help the unlearned & untutored, but to encourage their early exit as they realize they are hopelessly out of their element with the elitist cognoscenti who lurk on the classical music discussion boards. Ockeghem was fine in his time but has since lost much of his relevance with the 99% of the general population that has better ways to amuse itself other than fencing with cardboard swords in the middle of the woods with a lunatic fringe medieval reenactment society. All of which has absolutely nothing to do with the Cappella Pratensis - this ensemble is absolutely magnificent in every way. For those who love medieval/renaissance period music, one hour of sheer choral excellence! Those who don't can simply go back to the prison rhymes of Little Wayne, for now.
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