Collection: For Ockeghem

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COMPOSERS: Crétin,Ockeghem
LABELS: Hilliard LIVE
WORKS: Missa Sine nomine; Lament on the Death of the late Ockeghem, Treasurer of St Martin of Tours (excerpts)
PERFORMER: Bob Peck (reader); Hilliard Ensemble
CATALOGUE NO: 2 HL 1002

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For the 500th anniversary of Ockeghem’s death the American Capella Alamire has resurrected the jewel-like Missa Sine nomine. This unique recording misses the point of the unusual parlando tenor part in the Credo, but it gloriously captures the shapely beauty of its movements. Its Missa Cuiusvis toni is more substantial. The work is cunningly designed to be sung in any ‘key’, with startlingly different results (after all, if you sing ‘I had a little nut tree’ in the minor key you end up with the Israeli National Anthem!). Here we have the mass in a major key, high and bright, but rather fast. The Hilliard Ensemble disc is altogether different: it gives us what is probably the most moving tribute to Ockeghem from this commemorative year. Selections from his masses are interspersed with eulogising motets by his admirers and readings from the lament on his death written by Guillaume Crétin. The result is poignant and often brilliant – especially in the Credo. Look out for the motet Ergone conticuit with words by Erasmus. A triumph for Hilliard’s do-it-yourself recording label. Anthony Pryer