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Richafort: Requiem in memoriam Josquin Desprez

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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  • Richafort: Requiem in memoriam Josquin Desprez
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Product details

  • Performer: Paul Van Nevel
  • Conductor: Paul Van Nevel
  • Composer: Jean Richafort
  • Audio CD (14 Jan. 2013)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Harmonia Musique d'Abord
  • ASIN: B00A2CL6SQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 157,290 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

We possess many works by Jean Richafort, but very little biographical information on the composer. In the 16th century he was the object of veneration and admiration. The great Ronsard himself spoke of him in the most enthusiastic terms, and most of his contemporaries - Mouton, Morales, Gombert, Palestrina - based Masses on his music. 'an astonishing work...Nobody with open ears and a reasonably functioning heart could possibly find such music solid and unexciting.' Stephen Pettitt, The Sunday Times, 14 April 2002 (***, Outstanding) 'Van Nevel s ensemble is on cracking form, and his programming deftly combines moods and registers.' Fabrice Fitch, Gramophone, October 2002

Review

Perf (5/5) ***** Rec (5/5) ***** The Hugelas s radiant performance of this magical six-part Requiem (1521 probably) would surely have delighted Josquin. Plus six gorgeous motets. --Barry Witherden, BBC Music Magazine January 2014

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 6 Aug. 2013
Format: Audio CD
I think this is a terrific disc. I was surprised by how much I liked it because I tried it mainly to compare it to last year's superlative recording of the Richafort Requiem by Cinquecento Richafort: Requiem (Hyperion: CDA67959) and expected it to sound rather mediocre by comparison. I was completely wrong; it's a different sort of performance but almost as good, in my view.

Richafort was a very fine composer and it is good to see this re-release (from 2002 originally) and other recordings giving him wider recognition. The Requiem is wonderful - based on Josquin's exquisite chanson Nymphes Nappées, it is beautiful, musically rich and deeply moving. There are also a number of lovely motets and a couple of chansons here (although not the Josquin, which is a mistake, I think). It makes for a lovely, quite varied programme.

The Huelgas Ensemble perform it brilliantly. They are a fairly large ensemble with sopranos taking top lines and recorded in a resonant acoustic, so the pitch is higher and the individual lines less distinct than with Cinquecento. However, they are beautifully balanced and blended and the overall effect is stunning with a beautiful wash of sound which never becomes blurred or messy, and they give true feeling to what they are singing. I find it enchanting and quite spellbinding in places, and it's exemplary work from a larger ensemble.

If I had to choose one recording of this Requiem, I'd probably still recommend Cinquecento, which I think was one of the very finest recordings of 2012. However, you can't go wrong here, especially at budget price. It's a terrific recording and wholeheartedly recommended.
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By E. L. Wisty TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Jan. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This re-release of a 2002 recording probably won't be the outright winner in a Best Recording Of A Requiem By Jean Richafort Composed In Memory Of Josquin Desprez category (that would be Cinquecento), but this a darn good recording nevertheless. I am surprised the more because my preference is for all-male ensembles with one voice per part, but as so often Paul van Nevel and his Huelgas Ensemble employing mixed gender and two voices per part have pulled the rabbit out of the hat with a deeply satisfying performance. Maybe I shouldn't really be that surprised. There are also three superb motets, plus three chansons, the latter which don't do a lot for me to be honest.

This issue comes in a foldout digipak with a foldout 'booklet' of sorts providing some basic notes in English/French/German. The booklet indicates that sung texts and translations can be downloaded from the Harmonia Mundi website but I am frankly boogered if I can find such anywhere.

The Requiem is probably in itself deserving of a five star rating, and perhaps the motets too for that matter, but I have to distinguish somehow in a coarse-grained ranking system between this and the Cinquecento recording. I can probably also justify knocking the star off because of the less interesting (to me at any rate) chansons, brevity of notes & lack of sung texts.
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Format: Audio CD
A long time ago I randomly came across this CD in a shop. I bought it and it turned out to be the best CD I've ever listened to. The music is written in the end of the polyphonic era. The requiem is the most complex polyphony you can imagine. Just 6 amazing melodies piled up almost randomly to form a monumental choir composition. The rendition is breath-taking. Van Nevel managed to make the choir sing every note perfectly in tune. There is no annoying vibrato. Vibrato always destroys my mood in English or French choirs performing old music. You can listen the requiem over and over again (which i did a lot) and never get bored by this honest and beautiful music.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Huelgas ensemble and the music itself are absolutely wonderful, but I happen to now that in the original product there was a very detailed and informative leaflet, unlike this one...which was a huge disappointment.
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