Kyrie from the Missa L'ami baudechon -Josquin DesPrez (c.1440-1521)
Sanctus from the Missa L'ami baudechon
Sanctus from the Missa Fortuna desperata -Josquin DesPrez
Sanctus from the Missa L'homme armé -Johannes Mouton (1459-1522)
Gloria from the Missa De beata Virgine
-Antoine Brumel (c1460-c1515)
Gloria from the Missa De beata Virgine -Josquin DesPrez
* * * intermission * * *
tous biens plaine
Credo Sine Nomine -Johannes Ockeghem (c.1410-1497)
Agnus Dei from the Missa Cuiusvis toni
"Fragmenta Missarum" was the title of a 1505 publication by Ottavio Petrucci. It contained "parts of masses," mass segments which were meant to stand alone, and were not necessarily movements taken from complete masses. We have used this title to describe our concert, which is cobbled together from sections of masses the Capella has explored over the past few years.
From the Missa L'ami baudechon, we are performing the Kyrie and the first section of the Sanctus. This mass has been judged to be one of Josquin's earliest works by many commentators, because of its simple tenor cantus firmus and C-major tonality. Thus it has been placed next to some other apparently early works such as the masses Ad fugam and Una musque de Biscaye, which are anything but simple. Simplicity can also be the result of craft and clarity of purpose, and we have found that to be the case with the Missa L'ami baudechon. While the piece does seems to have stylistic links with an earlier era--Dufay's masses come to mind--might not these links be the result of conscious reference and citation, rather than youthful attempts to emulate great predecessors?
We are performing the L'ami baudechon movements from copies of the manuscript VienNB 11778, a Hapsburg-Burgundian court manuscript. Performing from mensural notation, especially from manuscripts of the "Alamire" scriptorium, was one of the original purposes behind Capella Alamire. Another work performed from an Alamire MS, Cappella Sistina 160, is the Sanctus from the Missa L'homme arme, by Johannes Mouton or Mathurin Forestier. This complex canonic mass appears in four scriptorium sources: three of them assign the work to Forestier, including CS 160. The ascription makes some sense in the context of Forestier's other works, which include the canonic Missa Basies moy and the Veni sancte Spiritus, which is also attributed to Josquin. On the other hand, the quality and canonic artifice of the Missa L'homme armé are also commensurate with Mouton's work. Perhaps only greater aural experience with the music by both composers will suggest who the author may have been.
There is some evidence that Josquin's Gloria from the Missa De beata Virgine was an independent movement before the compilation of the entire mass. It appears separately in a few early sources, sometimes associated with the Credo from the mass (as in Cappella Sistina 23). Secondly, an earlier and clearly related Gloria De beata Virgine by Josquin appears in the Petrucci 1505 Fragmenta Missarum print. Finally, the theorist Glareanus reported in 1547 "a certain very laudable competition" between Josquin DesPrez and Antoine Brumel in the creation of their settings of the Gloria De beata Virgine:
In this song Brumel has omitted absolutely nothing in displaying his skill to singers, but rather with all the intense vigor of his talent he has taken pains to leave posterity a proof of his ability. Yet in my own opinion Josquin has by far excelled him in natural ability and keenness of intellect, and has borne himself this rivalry in such a way that nature, the mother of all, as if wishing to create a most perfect structure from the four elements, seems to me to have exerted her utmost strength so that a better song could not be invented. (transl. Miller)The Capella will perform both of these Gloria settings to allow the listener to judge the competition once again.
Most of the works in the Petrucci's Fragmenta Missarum are Credo movements, many of them entitled "Patrem de Vilayge," an enigmatic name whose precise meaning has yet to be explained. All Patrem de Vilayge settings share one feature, a reliance on the plainchant Credo I, an old melody of some tonal ambiguity, with its frequent use of Bb and a surprising E-phrygian ending. Josquin was particularly fond of quoting this melody in his masses and independent Credo settings. The Capella will perform one of these from the 1505 Petrucci publication: the Credo super De tous biens plaine, which simultaneously quotes Credo I and the popular chanson melody of its title, a feat of considerable tonal daring, given the completely separate modalities of the two melodies. We are following the partial signature reading of the Petrucci print, which differs from the Vatican manuscript source; the lack of a flat signature in the altus creates considerable B-flat/B-natural tension, but allows the Credo I melody to be expressed in its proper modality.
Another polyphonic setting which relies on Credo I is the Credo Sine nomine by Johannes Ockeghem; this may be the same piece as the "Patrem de Vilayge" by Ockeghem which was reported to have been copied in 1475. The identification seems especially reasonable for this work, a fantasia on the Credo I melody, in which the tune appears in all four voices at three different pitch levels.
For the Agnus Dei, we are turning to a work contained in the Chigi Codex, the earliest choirbook in the Hapsburg-Burgundian scriptorium. The Cuiusvis toni mass is thought to be a work expressible in all modes. Glarean states this in a slightly different way: "it should be sung according to three tones only, corresponding to the three fourth-species . . . . the tenor can begin on ut, re, or mi." We have chosen to follow this idea in our performance of the Agnus Dei from copies of the Chigi Codex. The Agnus Dei 1 is being sung with the final on ut, the Agnus Dei 2 with it sung as re, and the third Agnus Dei (identical to the first in notation) sung as mi.
Jennifer Baker Charles Kamm
Roger Stratton Paula Warner
Karin Hagaman Paul Merrill
Terry Halco Susan Ward
Melinda McMahon Edward Hinson
Charles Turner Liesbeth Wenzel
Peter Urquhart, director