Josquin Des Prez: Missa D’ung aultre amer; Motets; Chansons

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COMPOSERS: Josquin Des Prez
LABELS: Obsidian
ALBUM TITLE: Josquin des Prez
WORKS: Missa D’ung aultre amer;
Motets; Chansons
PERFORMER: Alamire/David Skinner;
Andrew Lawrence-King (harp)




With early Josquin, revealingly-plotted Tomkins and the madrigals of Verdelot marking the first releases by David Skinner’s vocal consort, no one could accuse Alamire of sticking to the well-trodden path. Academic, ex-choral scholar, and former co-artistic director of the Cardinall’s Musick, Skinner is triply equipped to make something special of Alamire, and signs are he’s doing just that. The Josquin disc is particularly fine, its nexus an early Mass celebrating Ockeghem’s little rondeau ‘D’ung aultre amer’, a piece which must have haunted Josquin who, not content with weaving it into every movement of the Mass, revisited it in a Sanctus published by Petrucci in 1505 (the singing here rich and ear-stretching) and again in Victimae pascali laudes, published a few years earlier. Among secular works included are the almost iconic ‘Mille regretz’ and of course ‘D’ung aultre amer’ itself, sung with beguiling simplicity by Clare Wilkinson to Andrew Lawrence King’s plangent Renaissance harp (harp solos also serving as adroitly-judged palate-cleansers). Alamire’s singing is glorious. Confident, precise and with an almost urgent concision which suits the compactness of the Gloria and Credo. ‘Clean’ but always expressive, they reward Skinner’s insightful direction with a wonderfully sculpted Ave Maria and sumptuous heartfelt Planxit autem David.Paul Riley