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When the Duke of Ferrara was looking for a composer to head up his Court Chapel in 1502 he was advised to avoid Josquin because his fee was too high, and anyway he only composed when he felt like it.
Josquin’s popularity in his own day was augmented by the then-new music printing industry.Its all-vocal sound is beautiful in an otherworldly kind of way, always moves at a sedate pace, and usually comes shrouded in the vast echo of a cathedral.All these things shout “spiritual” to the modern listener, and that word acts like a veil, blotting out the music.Our program tonight is representative of this split between the actual and apocryphal,containing six works deemed spurious or inauthentic by the editors of The New Josquin Edition.
Some of the most cherished masterpieces of Josquin’s oeuvre, Absalon, fili mi, El grillo, and Mille regretz were perhaps not composed by Josquin at all.
Something else to listen for is the use of triple-time versus duple time.