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The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: EigenUser on May 31, 2014, 11:22:34 AM

Title: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: EigenUser on May 31, 2014, 11:22:34 AM
I used the GMG search for Ockeghem and got a rather interesting suggestion from the search engine. See for yourselves.

But seriously, no Ockeghem thread in the past seven years ??? ? I don't know that much about him, but isn't he pretty important? I feel bad starting this thread -- like the honor should be left to a big fan of his instead of a newbie. I guess no one cares, though, or they would have posted one.

What are some of his more well-known works? I am listening to his "Missa Prolationum" and I think it is stunning. Any suggestions?
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on May 31, 2014, 11:49:59 AM
He's a great composer, and deserves his own thread.

The Requiem is probably his best known piece. It may be the first requiem written by anyone. The Pro Cantione Antiqua recording on Archiv has a special place in my heart and record collection.

His music is extremely complex, and has attracted a lot of attention from modern composers. Ligeti cited him as an influence.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: The new erato on May 31, 2014, 12:07:18 PM
The Pro Cantione Antiqua recording on Archiv has a special place in my heart and record collection.
All the recordings they did I feel is pretty special.

Ockeghem is an extremely interesting composer. This recording is rather special:

Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 31, 2014, 02:46:40 PM

The Requiem is probably his best known piece. It may be the first requiem written by anyone.


I've heard only two recordings, The Hilliard Ensemble and The Clerks' Group. I do own The Clerks' Group and absolutely love it, their tone is more rugged than Hilliard, but stunningly gorgeous. The music itself is transcendent.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51skq6U-teL._SY300_.jpg)


The Pro Cantione Antiqua recording on Archiv has a special place in my heart and record collection.

Is this the album?

(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/a4/f0/0ec6c0a398a044cec293d110.L._SY300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on May 31, 2014, 03:11:21 PM
I used the GMG search for Ockeghem and got a rather interesting suggestion from the search engine. See for yourselves.

I tried it  :laugh:

Is this the album?

Yeah, that's it. I have the original LP issue. I had the Clerks Group for a while. I thought it was good until I heard Pro Cantione Antiqua. For me now, the Clerks sound too bright and emotionally neutral. The PCA recording is slower, much darker, and very fervent. It also has some discreet instrumental accompaniment, which adds a notable mournful undertone to the proceedings.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 31, 2014, 03:22:55 PM

Yeah, that's it. I have the original LP issue. I had the Clerks Group for a while. I thought it was good until I heard Pro Cantione Antiqua. For me now, the Clerks sound too bright and emotionally neutral. The PCA recording is slower, much darker, and very fervent. It also has some discreet instrumental accompaniment, which adds a notable mournful undertone to the proceedings.

Oh, then I must give this a try.
And I do like the addition of the instruments, I have a Dufay disc from Cantina Symphonia (http://www.amazon.com/Quadrivium-Motets-1-G-Dufay/dp/B000B0WOGW/ref=sr_1_5?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1401581897&sr=1-5&keywords=dufay+cantica) that uses sackbuts to accompany the voices, and you're right it adds that undertone.
Thank you for the rec, sir!  8)
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: The new erato on May 31, 2014, 09:57:19 PM
The PCA recording is slower, much darker, and very fervent. It also has some discreet instrumental accompaniment, which adds a notable mournful undertone to the proceedings.
I also have the LPs as well as CDs. The PCA are much darker and intense indeed - this can be heard to stunning effect in their Lssus disc of a couple of Penitential Psalms, perhaps my favorite renaissance disc ever.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on June 01, 2014, 09:16:12 AM
I am listening to his "Missa Prolationum" and I think it is stunning.

What recording of this do you have? There are a number of them which I'm curious about. In particular, has anyone heard the very old mono version by the Fleetwood Singers?
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: EigenUser on June 01, 2014, 11:32:59 AM
What recording of this do you have? There are a number of them which I'm curious about. In particular, has anyone heard the very old mono version by the Fleetwood Singers?
This one:



It's the only one I've heard and I'm very happy with it. Then again, I am not very picky about recordings if I am not very familiar with the music.

Okay, I've heard this four times in the past 36 hours. It's time for me to get more Ockeghem! Perhaps the Requiem should be next...

Edit: Ockeghem makes me sleepy. Not at all because it is boring -- it is actually very interesting. I am reading about how the prolation mass is a double mensuration canon and it seems extremely complex. The voices have this somber echo-y quality that are aesthetically very peaceful, I think.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: HIPster on June 11, 2014, 08:18:07 AM
All the recordings they did I feel is pretty special.

Ockeghem is an extremely interesting composer. This recording is rather special:



I agree!

Very special indeed.

I also recently purchased the Clerks Group Requiem disc and find that one to be excellent as well.

Velimir and New Erato - thank you for pointing me in the direction of the Pro Cantione Antiqua!  I just received their Lassus Requiem~Magnificat-Moteti disc on DHM and it is a real wonder.  Have the Ockeghem (Archiv) previously mentioned, wish listed. . .  ;)
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: king ubu on June 18, 2014, 12:24:01 PM
This is the one I've had for I guess close to 20 years:



(though I've got an older edition of course)
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on June 18, 2014, 05:01:17 PM
I just bought an old LP of the Missa Prolationum, Capella Nova conducted by Richard Taruskin (yes, that Taruskin). Specs on this recording can be found here:

http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/cds/asv103.htm

This is on Musical Heritage Society. I didn't know they made their own recordings; I thought they just licensed other companies'.

Anyway, had my first listen. A very dense piece, and your head can hurt if you try to follow the "prolation canons" closely. I'll keep going back to it.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: HIPster on July 23, 2014, 02:21:53 PM
I just bought an old LP of the Missa Prolationum, Capella Nova conducted by Richard Taruskin (yes, that Taruskin). Specs on this recording can be found here:

http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/cds/asv103.htm

This is on Musical Heritage Society. I didn't know they made their own recordings; I thought they just licensed other companies'.

Anyway, had my first listen. A very dense piece, and your head can hurt if you try to follow the "prolation canons" closely. I'll keep going back to it.

Interesting!  Thank you for posting, Velimir.   ;)

Thanks to you are also in order: I just received the Turner/Pro Cantione Antiqua you mentioned above in this thread:


On a first-listen here and it is indeed a special recording. . .  Dark and atmospheric, as you described.  It will be fun to compare this to the Clerk's Group recording (one I like very much too).
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on July 23, 2014, 05:19:51 PM

On a first-listen here and it is indeed a special recording. . .  Dark and atmospheric, as you described.  It will be fun to compare this to the Clerk's Group recording (one I like very much too).

Good to hear  :) yes it's special isn't it? I used to like the Clerks, but I don't much like that bright & clean style in early music anymore.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: EigenUser on September 21, 2014, 03:21:45 PM
Does anyone know of a good book about Ockeghem or early music in general? I looked at some renaissance music books in my library, but many of them seem way too technical for me. Ideas?
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: listener on September 21, 2014, 04:47:36 PM
There was a reissue of the complete secular works on 2 cds from the original 3 lps about 11 years ago, it appears to be out of print and fetches rather extreme prices now.   I have the lps.


Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Ken B on September 22, 2014, 05:33:35 AM
Does anyone know of a good book about Ockeghem or early music in general? I looked at some renaissance music books in my library, but many of them seem way too technical for me. Ideas?
I have not read it but Oxford has a very short introduction to early music.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: EigenUser on February 14, 2015, 05:11:35 PM
Cross-posted from listening thread. This deserves mention here.

I've heard this piece many times before, but I don't think I've heard this outstanding performance. Everything I like about Ockeghem is brought out -- dark, echo-y voices weaving in and out. Really, really great. Ken, have you heard this before? I bet you'd like it.

Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: The new erato on February 15, 2015, 02:03:55 AM
There was a reissue of the complete secular works on 2 cds from the original 3 lps about 11 years ago, it appears to be out of print and fetches rather extreme prices now.   I have the lps.
L'Oiseau-Lyre have promised a Renaissance box and the Ockeghem will undoubtedly be there. Though it will duplicate my Complete Dowland set, my Complete Dufay Secular Music set, and the Musicke of Sundrie Kindes set that I have, I will probably get it.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: San Antone on January 09, 2017, 09:41:18 AM
L'Oiseau-Lyre have promised a Renaissance box and the Ockeghem will undoubtedly be there. Though it will duplicate my Complete Dowland set, my Complete Dufay Secular Music set, and the Musicke of Sundrie Kindes set that I have, I will probably get it.

I just ordered the L'Oiseau-Lyre Medieval-Renaissance box from Presto, taking advantage of their boxset sale.  Yes, some of these recordings are dated, but still, most are very good and well worth having.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on January 09, 2017, 10:00:57 AM
All the recordings they did I feel is pretty special.

Ockeghem is an extremely interesting composer. This recording is rather special:



I am a great fan of Ockeghem, he is my favourite Renaissance composer of masses, but for some reason I find Missa Cuiusvis Toni hard to enjoy. It's probably me, or is this music really not very interesting to hear?  Which is your favourite mass in the collection, your favourite tone?

I have Kandel's recording, and Sound and Fury, and Clerks Group. None touch the G spot for me so far.

Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: radicle on January 11, 2017, 06:19:50 PM
Is anybody familiar with this recording?
The performers are unknown to me.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51rjeVdBw-L._SS500.jpg)
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: San Antone on January 11, 2017, 06:25:49 PM
Is anybody familiar with this recording?
The performers are unknown to me.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51rjeVdBw-L._SS500.jpg)

I was just listening to it last week.  Kevin Moll is one of the first generation of HIP/early music musicians, 1970s on.  I think he was involved in many of the L'Oiseau-Lyre EM recordings.  Good stuff.  Sorry, I got him mixed up with someone else, director of Schola Antiqua.  His name was familiar because it came up in some of the material I've been reading about Machaut.  He's  a bit younger than I thought, but a well respected EM scholar.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on February 19, 2017, 09:32:56 AM
(http://e.snmc.io/lk/f/l/6942d7565f25f001cad5f3ec561f412f/4216696.jpg)

A particularly robust, wide awake, visceral and exciting recording of Ockeghem's Missa Prolationum from Clemencic, I think OVPP or close, and just the voices. The balance is excellent, the ensemble is not dominated by the higher voices at all. The interpretation locates the music in the gothic rather than in the Renaissance: what I mean is that it's not sweet, angelic, smooth.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on June 04, 2017, 04:59:18 AM
(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/35/74/4260307437435_600.jpg)

Beauty Farm sing Ockeghem's Missa Quinti Toni. It's an interesting recording for the devotional and noble tempos, and above all for the way they ornament and voice the music to produce dissonances. Their sound is very dynamic and thrilling, which in a way befits the disorienting effect of the harmonies. There's a strong impression of individuals being receptive to each other but making no attempt to lose their identities in a blend.  It's impressive and challenging music making, and I can't say anything sensible about the quality of what they do, other than the experience of listening to it plunges you into an alien world - a world very very far from the way I'm used to hearing 17th and 16th century music.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Que on June 04, 2017, 05:22:58 AM
(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/35/74/4260307437435_600.jpg)

Beauty Farm sing Ockeghem's Missa Quinti Toni. It's an interesting recording for the devotional and noble tempos, and above all for the way they ornament and voice the music to produce dissonances. Their sound is very dynamic and thrilling, which in a way befits the disorienting effect of the harmonies. There's a strong impression of individuals being receptive to each other but making no attempt to lose their identities in a blend.  It's impressive and challenging music making, and I can't say anything sensible about the quality of what they do, other than the experience of listening to it plunges you into an alien world - a world very very far from the way I'm used to hearing 17th and 16th century music.

Gio aka Giordano Bruno found this Ockeghem issue dissapointing after their successful Gombert recordings:

- - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Alas! by Gio

I gave this young ensemble, Beauty Farm, an enthusiastic review for their performance of the harmonically risky music of Nicolas Gombert, who was widely regarded in his time as the successor to Josquin. I stand by that review; that CD is one of the four or five best performances of Gombert on the market.
Alas, imagine my distress at finding this CD not quite listenable, certainly not worth listening to a second time. The interpretation is brusque and bumptious, whereas Ockeghem was the suavest and most "Apollonian" of polyphonists. Perhaps the brusqueness is intentional, a manner of distinguishing Beauty Farm from the many other ensembles that have recorded Ockeghem, If so, I simply don't like it. But the individual voices seem coarse and brusque also, with little unity of affect. There's a fatal overload of reverberation on the CD as well. This is a CD is skip, in hopes that Beauty Farm will find its Gombertian voice again.


Q
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: GioCar on June 04, 2017, 06:28:22 AM
Gio aka Giordano Bruno found this Ockeghem issue dissapointing after their successful Gombert recordings:

- - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Alas! by Gio

I gave this young ensemble, Beauty Farm, an enthusiastic review for their performance of the harmonically risky music of Nicolas Gombert, who was widely regarded in his time as the successor to Josquin. I stand by that review; that CD is one of the four or five best performances of Gombert on the market.
Alas, imagine my distress at finding this CD not quite listenable, certainly not worth listening to a second time. The interpretation is brusque and bumptious, whereas Ockeghem was the suavest and most "Apollonian" of polyphonists. Perhaps the brusqueness is intentional, a manner of distinguishing Beauty Farm from the many other ensembles that have recorded Ockeghem, If so, I simply don't like it. But the individual voices seem coarse and brusque also, with little unity of affect. There's a fatal overload of reverberation on the CD as well. This is a CD is skip, in hopes that Beauty Farm will find its Gombertian voice again.


Q

Don't trust too much who gave 5 stars to a pasta made with spelt flour... >:D
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on June 04, 2017, 06:35:40 AM
Gio aka Giordano Bruno found this Ockeghem issue dissapointing after their successful Gombert recordings:

- - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Alas! by Gio

I gave this young ensemble, Beauty Farm, an enthusiastic review for their performance of the harmonically risky music of Nicolas Gombert, who was widely regarded in his time as the successor to Josquin. I stand by that review; that CD is one of the four or five best performances of Gombert on the market.
Alas, imagine my distress at finding this CD not quite listenable, certainly not worth listening to a second time. The interpretation is brusque and bumptious, whereas Ockeghem was the suavest and most "Apollonian" of polyphonists. Perhaps the brusqueness is intentional, a manner of distinguishing Beauty Farm from the many other ensembles that have recorded Ockeghem, If so, I simply don't like it. But the individual voices seem coarse and brusque also, with little unity of affect. There's a fatal overload of reverberation on the CD as well. This is a CD is skip, in hopes that Beauty Farm will find its Gombertian voice again.


Q

I hadn't seen that, the suave Apollonian conception is Clerks Group I think. I wouldn't like to say that that approach fits Ockeghem most naturally, that his music is naturally suave. Neither would I say that I find Clerks Group more stimulating than Beauty Farm, though it's probably more soothing. I don't know what he means by unity of affect, I do not agree that the individual voices sound coarse and brusque, though I agree they don't sound suave. Maybe coarse and brusque is just the opposite of suave, but art isn't so binary.

Anyway, I wouldn't be dismissive because, as I've tried to suggest, the approach is interesting, especially harmonically.

I didn't like the recorded sound at first, it's loud and close, I still don't really like it.  I think the treble is too bright. But it helps greatly to turn the volume down and have a glass of wine and you can imagine yourself in an old stone church, front row.

The Apollonian thing makes me think of what I see as the latest ideas in early music singing, a move towards sensuality. Apollo wasn't sensual was he?
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on June 23, 2017, 08:03:31 PM
(https://img.discogs.com/SYSLixARq6WemWkd_5NzCTEvca4=/fit-in/600x593/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-998071-1325018634.jpeg.jpg)

A very spiritual performance, full of life, of the l'homme armé mass here by Jeremy Summerly.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on June 25, 2017, 11:23:35 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71J70%2BZtLSL._SL1221_.jpg)

Today I discovered the L'Homme Armé mass from Ensemble Nusmido. The singers were students of Rebecca Stewart, and their style resembles the style in the early recordings of Cappella Pratensis as well as the Heinrich Isaac Fromm Cantus Modalis.

I love this way of singing, where the voice starts small and sweet. I expect this will become one of my favourite Ock recordings.

http://www.erhardt-martin.de/nusmido_eng.html
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Vinbrulé on March 24, 2019, 02:14:55 AM
Strong and vibrant sound from Diabolus in Musica (perhaps the pitch has been lowered ??  )
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on March 24, 2019, 02:18:40 AM
Strong and vibrant sound from Diabolus in Musica (perhaps the pitch has been lowered ??  )

I think it's more true to say that the pitch has been raised in most other recordings. My mistake, I'm mixing up the La Rue and the Ockeghem.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: San Antone on March 24, 2019, 04:47:33 AM
I don't believe that there was an idea of correct pitch for a piece during Ocheghem's time.  It was more a product of what was comfortable for a group of singers.  Manuscripts would describe intervals and could be done at different pitch levels.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on March 24, 2019, 06:08:07 AM
This is something I've been meaning to look into since hearing Diabolus in Musica  sing requiems, here's some notes from the recording by the Vox Ensemble

Quote
Extreme Singing La Rue Requiem and other Low Masterpieces of the Renaissance


In the Middle Ages the range of notated music was strictly limited. The lowest written pitch was the G an eleventh below middle C—the lowest line on a modern staff using bass clef—and the highest pitch was the E a tenth above middle C. These available pitches were known as the "gamut," a term derived from the formal name of the lowest G, "gamma ut." Although to modern eyes this gamut seems limited, it was more than adequate for music of the time. Not until the late fourteenth century did composers begin to venture below the gamut, and then only rarely. Even today most music for bass voices stays firmly on the staff.


Noteworthy, then, are the more than 100 pieces from the Renaissance that regularly descend to the E, E-flat, D, C, 13-flat, and even A below the gamut. These are concentrated largely in the period between 1475 and 1525, a time that is marked by a dramatic rise in polyphonic expressions of mourning. Although numerous elegiac compositions remained comfortably within the gamut, a large proportion of pieces that explore the lowest ranges are works of sorrow and loss. Indeed, four of the five compositions using the very lowest pitches are pieces about death or mourning. Extremes of grief inspired extremes of range.

The symbolic power of these low notes is obvious, and they raise the question as to whether they were, indeed, purely symbolic: were singers really expected to produce these pitches? There was no fixed pitch standard, after all, during the Renaissance or for quite some time thereafter. Yet a number of factors suggest that the low notes were not simply Augenmusik, music for the eyes, but rather had a sounding existence as well—that extreme singing flourished under the right circumstances.

Perhaps most telling is that some of these works exist in two versions, one at low pitch and another transposed into higher vocal ranges. Such transposition is completely unnecessary if written pitch lacks any relation to sounding pitch.

Another significant factor is that the composer who most frequently explored the lowest ranges, Pierre de la Rue (d. 1518), spent decades of his professional life writing for the chapel of the Habsburg-Burgundian court. This chapel was one of the musical wonders of the day. During the time that La Rue was there, from at least 1492 to 1516, there were never fewer than fifteen members and sometimes as many as thirty-eight, a staggering number for the period. They had a huge repertory and a heavy performing schedule, with a daily polyphonic mass and offices. They accompanied their rulers across Europe, and contemporary chronicles are unanimous in praise of the musicians. That this was an ensemble of extraordinary performers seems to go without saying, and that La Rue would tailor his compositions to their specific strengths appears equally obvious. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that he was writing for some fairly spectacular basses, and it is also noteworthy that La Rue's most famous predecessor in the use of low ranges, Johannes Ockeghem, was himself documented as a gifted bass.


We might reasonably ask whether the low B•flat of La Rue's time would have precisely matched that pitch today. We don't know, nor we will ever find out. But it is striking that the ranges used for "normal" music around 1500 are the same as those for "normal" music today, suggesting that, at least for voices, pitch standards haven't changed all that much, if at all. On this recording all of the compositions are performed at written pitch, and each selection is a first of its kind in some way. What the recording demonstrates conclusively is that the kind of extreme singing that these exceptional pieces seem to call for is perfectly possible—when done by exceptional singers.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: San Antone on March 24, 2019, 06:42:45 AM
My understanding is that a clef was used purely to have the range of a part fit on the four line stave as much as possible and not to indicate starting pitch. 
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on March 24, 2019, 08:38:07 AM
My understanding is that a clef was used purely to have the range of a part fit on the four line stave as much as possible and not to indicate starting pitch.

This is something which a medievalist who works at Kings College London once said to me in a discussion of the most appropriate types of voices for the Machaut mass, though I don't know about your word "purely". It may be that we just don't know about pitch conventions.

Even if it still applies in the C15 (which we didn't discuss) , it doesn't follow that

It was more a product of what was comfortable for a group of singers. 

and indeed this suggestion from Vox Ensemble is not uninteresting

Quote
We might reasonably ask whether the low B•flat of La Rue's time would have precisely matched that pitch today. We don't know, nor we will ever find out. But it is striking that the ranges used for "normal" music around 1500 are the same as those for "normal" music today, suggesting that, at least for voices, pitch standards haven't changed all that much, if at all.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: (: premont :) on March 24, 2019, 11:25:30 AM
Interesting discussion of this here (page 20 and 21):

https://books.google.dk/books?id=NMjNG3OSedUC&pg=PA22&lpg=PA22&dq=pitch+in+medieval+music&source=bl&ots=QqyKb6liqE&sig=ACfU3U3f-znoquiY_ohTLkNnt2LN7mbq_w&hl=da&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiEoIL6vZvhAhXFJVAKHaFyAaYQ6AEwC3oECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=pitch%20in%20medieval%20music&f=false

Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on March 24, 2019, 11:56:09 AM
Interesting discussion of this here (page 20 and 21):

https://books.google.dk/books?id=NMjNG3OSedUC&pg=PA22&lpg=PA22&dq=pitch+in+medieval+music&source=bl&ots=QqyKb6liqE&sig=ACfU3U3f-znoquiY_ohTLkNnt2LN7mbq_w&hl=da&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiEoIL6vZvhAhXFJVAKHaFyAaYQ6AEwC3oECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=pitch%20in%20medieval%20music&f=false

It's just assertion and no argument. She just tells us that sometimes it's challenging to sing at pitch and infers that singing at pitch isn't the right way to make the music. It's like those people who used to argue that you couldn't sing Machaut polyphony a capella because it's too difficult.

Look we now have two recordings of the De La Rue requiem at pitch I think, Vox Ensemble and Diabolus in Musica, so it can be done.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: (: premont :) on March 24, 2019, 12:25:24 PM
It is rather improbable, that any absolute pitch was defined in the Medieval age. As "late" as in the Baroque age we have records of very varying pitch, defined from preserved organ pipes, other musical instruments and tuning forks. According to Thurston Dart the a' might vary from 337 (Silbermann organ in Strassbourg) to 489 (organ in Sct. Jacobi Hamburg). It is indeed difficult to maintain that the pitch was better defined in the Medieval age. So the only logical conclusion is to assume, that the pitch which was used for a given musical work depended upon local circumstances. 
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on March 24, 2019, 01:33:08 PM
Roger Bowers in his paper on "English Church Polyphony" (in Boorman, Studies in the Performance of Late Medieval Music) says that it was not until the late 15th century at the earliest that the clef started to assume the role of conveying exact pitch. This is confirmed by some of the things that Peter Philips says in  his paper "Beyond Authenticity" (in Knighton and Fallows, Companion to Medieval Music)

You see the problem -- Ockeghem died in 1497 and de la Rue in 1518. They're at the start of this change.  I guess it's not out of the question that the clef signified exact pitch in the La Rue Requiem then.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: San Antone on March 24, 2019, 01:37:59 PM
Roger Bowers in his paper on English Church Polyphony says that it was not until the late 15th century at the earliest that the clef started to assume the role of conveying exact pitch. This is confirmed by some of the things that Peter Philips says in  his paper Beyond Authenticity.

So it would be incorrect to claim there was an idea of exact pitch regarding the works of Ockeghem.  Therefore, it is nonsensical to state that an ensemble "lowered the pitch" for their recording, since there is no such thing as "the pitch."

 
Quote
I guess it's not out of the that the clef signified exact pitch in the La Rue Requiem then.

I disagree.  "At the earliest" would imply that it was not widespread, if it occurred at all, and most likely these composers would not necessarily have been early adopters of a practice which had not existed for most of their lives.  Anyway, once the music was in the hands of cathedral choirs it would have been up to the singers to establish what pitch to use, in any event.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on March 24, 2019, 01:47:18 PM
.  Anyway, once the music was in the hands of cathedral choirs it would have been up to the singers to establish what pitch to use, in any event.

But we don't know what conventions and practices were around to limit their discretion about this.

So it would be incorrect to claim there was an idea of exact pitch regarding the works of Ockeghem. 

Similarly you can't say this, all you can say is that the pitch expectations of the composer may not have been embedded in the clef. But there may well have been all sorts of traditions of singing which guided the singers.

But it is true that I haven't ever seen any debate about pitch in the Ockeghem requiem. It's always been about the La Rue requiem.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: San Antone on March 24, 2019, 01:54:14 PM
I don't think the composers had any expectations regarding pitch, since they assumed different groups would be made up of a variety of singers who would find the most comfortable pitch.  It most likely didn't matter to them what the starting pitch was.  You must keep in mind that there wasn't even a composite score, each part was written out for the singers - but there was no "score" for a leader to conduct from.

It seems to me that you are (in an anachronistic manner) applying to the Medieval period ideas about key and pitch that we take for granted, but which did not exist during the Middle Ages.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on March 24, 2019, 01:58:28 PM
I don't think the composers had any expectations regarding pitch, since they assumed different groups would be made up of a variety of singers who would find the most comfortable pitch. 

Well now you're just begging the question.


What do you think of this thought from the Vox Ensemble people? If it's right then it would suggest that one constraint on pitch is that the low voices are low!!

Quote
Noteworthy, then, are the more than 100 pieces from the Renaissance that regularly descend to the E, E-flat, D, C, 13-flat, and even A below the gamut. These are concentrated largely in the period between 1475 and 1525, a time that is marked by a dramatic rise in polyphonic expressions of mourning. Although numerous elegiac compositions remained comfortably within the gamut, a large proportion of pieces that explore the lowest ranges are works of sorrow and loss. Indeed, four of the five compositions using the very lowest pitches are pieces about death or mourning. Extremes of grief inspired extremes of range.

The symbolic power of these low notes is obvious, and they raise the question as to whether they were, indeed, purely symbolic: were singers really expected to produce these pitches? There was no fixed pitch standard, after all, during the Renaissance or for quite some time thereafter. Yet a number of factors suggest that the low notes were not simply Augenmusik, music for the eyes, but rather had a sounding existence as well—that extreme singing flourished under the right circumstances.

Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: San Antone on March 24, 2019, 02:05:27 PM
Well now you're just begging the question.


What do you think of this thought from the Vox Ensemble people? If it's right then it would suggest that one constraint on pitch is that the low voices are low!!

I think the written parts were interpreted relative to each part and did not describe a notion of exact pitches.  Those claims of pitch values are speculative in the extreme since they are based on a notated manuscript which was written at a time when, as they admit "there was no fixed pitch standard, after all, during the Renaissance or for quite some time thereafter."
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on March 24, 2019, 02:11:09 PM
I think the written parts were interpreted relative to each part and did not describe a notion of exact pitches.  Those claims of pitch values are speculative in the extreme since they are based on a notated manuscript which was written at a time when, as they admit "there was no fixed pitch standard, after all, during the Renaissance or for quite some time thereafter."

All this is right I think; but the interesting thing for me is the idea that whatever pitch is chosen it has to be one which keeps the low voices very low, and the argument for that is contextual (the symbolic meaning of low notes.) This is the way that it can be true that the score doesn't contain any suggestion of absolute pitch and yet pitch wasn't left completely to singers' discretion.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: San Antone on March 24, 2019, 02:13:37 PM
Well, the vocal ensembles would have included only male voices and would have naturally been lower.  Ockeghem is known for writing low parts, but I am unconvinced this had to do with the meaning of the text.  He may have simply preferred a low tessitura.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Jo498 on March 25, 2019, 12:45:05 AM
So one should make a study of all compositions of "De profundis" vs. "Gloria in altissimis Deo" and similar texts wrt to pitches?
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on March 25, 2019, 01:19:08 AM
Well, the vocal ensembles would have included only male voices and would have naturally been lower.

Errr yes, but the question is, how low do they go.

I am unconvinced this had to do with the meaning of the text.

Because?

We're at the level of gathering evidence for the symbolism  (which in fairness to Vox Ensemble they've started to do) and trying to see how it would translate into music (which Vox Ensemble and Diabolus in Musica, followuing their example, have also done and made public. )
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: San Antone on March 25, 2019, 01:23:26 AM
Errr yes, but the question is, how low do they go.

I would expect that there is no set standard, and it would vary according to the ensemble.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on March 25, 2019, 01:26:39 AM
I would expect that there is no set standard, and it would vary according to the ensemble.

Yes but it still may be that they always went very low -- because of the symbolic meaning.

Distinguish between

1. there is no set standard
2. it would vary according to the ensemble
3. The ensembles had complete discretion.

1 and 2 I agree with, as far as 3 goes, I don't see why anyone would believe this.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on March 25, 2019, 01:27:36 AM
So one should make a study of all compositions of "De profundis" vs. "Gloria in altissimis Deo" and similar texts wrt to pitches?

Can you spell out your thinking a bit?
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Jo498 on March 25, 2019, 02:37:54 AM
I was not entirely serious. But beyond naive tone painting one would expect lower pitches for texts like "from deep despair" and higher for jubilating angels high in the sky. I am certain that occasionally this is being used. As late as Beethoven we have "naive" scales upwards at "ascendit" and movement downwards at "descendit", "vivos" loud and "mortuos" low and soft etc.
The research question would be how frequent and systematic such connections between pitch and textual meaning are. And if there is also a connection to the absolute pitch used.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Verena on March 25, 2019, 02:42:56 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71J70%2BZtLSL._SL1221_.jpg)

Today I discovered the L'Homme Armé mass from Ensemble Nusmido. The singers were students of Rebecca Stewart, and their style resembles the style in the early recordings of Cappella Pratensis as well as the Heinrich Isaac Fromm Cantus Modalis.

I love this way of singing, where the voice starts small and sweet. I expect this will become one of my favourite Ock recordings.

http://www.erhardt-martin.de/nusmido_eng.html

This recording is really wonderful. Belated thanks for pointing it out  :) . To my ears maybe the most beautiful Ockeghem recording I've heard so far.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on March 25, 2019, 05:08:03 AM
This recording is really wonderful. Belated thanks for pointing it out  :) . To my ears maybe the most beautiful Ockeghem recording I've heard so far.

You should write him an email and tell him you enjoyed it, it would make his day!
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Verena on March 25, 2019, 05:19:48 AM
You should write him an email and tell him you enjoyed it, it would make his day!

I'd love to for sure, but I've forgotten his email address   :( Maybe someone here can help.  ::)
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on March 25, 2019, 05:43:41 AM
I'd love to for sure, but I've forgotten his email address   :( Maybe someone here can help.  ::)

erhardt.martin@web.de

There's another CD that is inspired by the same sort of ideas, but  a different lineup

(http://www.erhardt-martin.de/bilder/cdstralsundensis.jpg)


This also, but maybe  more compromising and secular, but still very good

 (http://www.erhardt-martin.de/bilder/cdquintavoxinlay.jpg)

And for totally no compromises hardcore modal singing there's this, they take no prisoners

(http://www.erhardt-martin.de/bilder/cdcantusmodalis.jpg)
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Vinbrulé on March 28, 2019, 08:27:02 AM
But is this really Ockeghem's output ?  After having listened to the Missa Prolationum and the Requiem, I am inclined to say 'NO'  .
I can't deny that the result is electrifying , but now I have to put the disc in my shelves..... where ?  Under the name 'Ockeghem' or under 'Contaminations' next to Uri Caine's WagnerCafèConcerto or Frederiksen's Wolkenstein ?  ( I have nothing against contaminations , but I would like the performers' intentions to be declared in advance )
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Verena on March 28, 2019, 11:01:01 AM
erhardt.martin@web.de

There's another CD that is inspired by the same sort of ideas, but  a different lineup

(http://www.erhardt-martin.de/bilder/cdstralsundensis.jpg)


This also, but maybe  more compromising and secular, but still very good

 (http://www.erhardt-martin.de/bilder/cdquintavoxinlay.jpg)

And for totally no compromises hardcore modal singing there's this, they take no prisoners

(http://www.erhardt-martin.de/bilder/cdcantusmodalis.jpg)

Thanks so much! I've bought the Petitionen Cordis from Qobuz and love it  :) :) :) I think I'll need to invest in the others, too  ;D
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on March 28, 2019, 12:12:38 PM
Thanks so much! I've bought the Petitionen Cordis from Qobuz and love it  :) :) :) I think I'll need to invest in the others, too  ;D

Great!

This is an article about the approach to performing early music which is at the basis of these recordings

http://www.cantusmodalis.org/
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on March 28, 2019, 12:14:40 PM
But is this really Ockeghem's output ? 

I don't know, to be honest I just don't know what the question means.

After having listened to the Missa Prolationum and the Requiem . . .

You can't do that. You're always going to be listening to someone's performance edition of a manuscript which probably leaves a lot of material unclear given the current state of knowledge. The parts are probably not aligned with bar markings like a modern score; the text of some of the voices is probably not written under the music, if written at all; accidentals and rhythms and dynamics and speeds and absolute pitches aren't shown, or embellishments. (I need to say that I haven't explored the manuscripts of these masses, the only one I've looked at is L'homme arme. But what I'm suggesting is very common I'm told.)

What's more, singing style is not well understood -- I mean, how singers should make sounds, and how expressive they should be.

And this is all happening in a context where people have, for a while now, been singing C15 music in a way which is rather like the way they sing C18 music: consonance and chord resolution maximised, smoothly lyrical,  all the voices lined up like soldiers, singers projecting to the audience firmly and powerfully, like entertainers. The baroque-ation of the medieval. To bring Ockeghem to life, to give him back his medieval identity, it may be a good thing to make it sound strange. Hence my concern about your word

really   


Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Verena on March 28, 2019, 12:15:50 PM
Great!

This is an article about the approach to performing early music which is at the basis of these recordings

http://www.cantusmodalis.org/

Thanks! Looks very interesting.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Vinbrulé on April 08, 2019, 05:45:03 AM


There's another CD that is inspired by the same sort of ideas, but  a different lineup

(http://www.erhardt-martin.de/bilder/cdstralsundensis.jpg)



  Beautiful.  Perfect blend voices/instruments .  Thanks
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on April 08, 2019, 06:53:12 AM
Here's the man himself, Maurice van Lieshout with a bit of Marenzio, rather nice I think, with the same strangely chromatic blend, presumably caused by clever ways the singers use enharmonics etc.

But what most amused me about this is the way he conducts, which is very much like Bjorn Schmelzer! It looks ridiculous to me, but evidently it works . . . maybe where you give the singers so much freedom of expression you have to be clear about how you want to keep them all together, and so the big gestures are necessary.

https://www.youtube.com/v/lVupfEzXySk
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: San Antone on April 08, 2019, 05:02:21 PM
Really good recording of this work:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Puv2WOgZL._SX425_.jpg)

Ockeghem : Missa Prolationum
The Sound & the Fury

I like it better than the Hilliard's, which, like most of their recordings, is good but somewhat too smooth.  The Bo Holten and Musica Ficta recording on Naxos, with the large mixed choir is not something I prefer, nor does it suit the music, IMO.  I haven't heard Lucian Kandel's Musica Nova recording, but he usually chooses to depart from what I consider period performance.  The Clerks' Group has done this work, and they are usually reliable, but I have found their ensemble vocal blend to be somewhat severe to my ears.

So, the Sound and the Fury come out on top.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on April 08, 2019, 07:37:14 PM
The Sound and the Fury recorded it twice, the one in your picture is their second. The first (with L’homme armé) is here

(https://www.melomania.com/var/images/disques/biggest/539523.jpg)

There’s also Clemencic. I can upload Kandel’s recording for you if you want, and indeed the first S&F recording above.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Ken B on April 08, 2019, 08:00:43 PM
Really good recording of this work:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Puv2WOgZL._SX425_.jpg)

Ockeghem : Missa Prolationum
The Sound & the Fury

I like it better than the Hilliard's, which, like most of their recordings, is good but somewhat too smooth.  The Bo Holten and Musica Ficta recording on Naxos, with the large mixed choir is not something I prefer, nor does it suit the music, IMO.  I haven't heard Lucian Kandel's Musica Nova recording, but he usually chooses to depart from what I consider period performance.  The Clerks' Group has done this work, and they are usually reliable, but I have found their ensemble vocal blend to be somewhat severe to my ears.

So, the Sound and the Fury come out on top.
Up is down in Tennessee I guess! I stopped listening. The recorded sound is excellent, but I am astounded you can call the Clerks harsh compared to this. You could drive away alley cats with this.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on April 09, 2019, 03:15:05 AM
There’s also Clemencic.

And here it is, the whole thing’s there, well worth a listen I’d say

https://youtube.com/v/yI3B10b0CNc

In fact I don’t know much about this mass, or the other one that’s similar, Cuiusvis Toni.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on April 09, 2019, 07:19:18 AM
The Mass Quinti Toni is one of my favourite things by Ockeghem, if not my most favourite, because the music is so sensual and intimate and plastic. Who could fail to be moved to bits by the extraordinary stillness of the Credo??!!!

There is a recording on LP by the Syntagma Musicum which I haven't been able to hear. I know some of their work and they are exceptional. In addition Beauty Farm recorded it and of course, so did Clerks Group, but neither float my boat, the latter too loud and proud for me, and the former a bit too plain Jane . . . the effect of doing a complete survey maybe, you get the feeling of routine  . . . excellent routine but routine nonetheless.

Nearly two years ago I wrote this about the Beauty Farm

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/35/74/4260307437435_600.jpg)

Beauty Farm sing Ockeghem's Missa Quinti Toni. It's an interesting recording for the devotional and noble tempos, and above all for the way they ornament and voice the music to produce dissonances. Their sound is very dynamic and thrilling, which in a way befits the disorienting effect of the harmonies. There's a strong impression of individuals being receptive to each other but making no attempt to lose their identities in a blend.  It's impressive and challenging music making, and I can't say anything sensible about the quality of what they do, other than the experience of listening to it plunges you into an alien world - a world very very far from the way I'm used to hearing 17th and 16th century music.

Now I have less tolerance for a "very dynamic and thrilling sound"  and I no longer think that this way of singing "befits the disorienting effect of the harmonies", on the contrary in fact, the dynamism smacks of the baroque and Beethoven.

Fortunately there is a recording of it which gets closer to how this sort of music sounds in my imagination, from the group Schola Discantus, an american ensemble directed by an academic in the field, Kevin Moll.

(http://i84.fastpic.ru/big/2016/1119/a4/7a280290ef7a22654d24c592f48958a4.jpg)

Kevin Moll has got his singers to produce sounds in a non explosive way, they sing expressively and independently, and it's not telephoned in.

The booklet essay is excellent and there's a section on performance which gives a bit of insight into some of the difficulties

Quote
PERFORMANCE

Probably the most signal accomplishment of musicological study in the last hundred years has been the transcription and publication of a large body of the music written before about 1600. In manuscript form, almost all music from the Middle Ages and Renaissance presents an insurmountable barrier to modern musicians. There are two main reasons for this: First, the notation itself, while appearing generally analogous to modern note shapes and functions, manifests certain conventions which are peculiar to the period in question, and as such require much study to master their meaning. Perhaps the best and most common example of such conventions is the writing of a series of notes bound together, which look like this:

<SNIP>

The relative rhythmic values of these so-called "ligatures" are determined by a set of complex rules dating back to the 13th century. The other main reason for inaccessibility is that the music of this period was displayed on the page almost exclusively in parts (one voice at a time), not in.score (with the various voices aligned with each other vertically). As a result, the pieces must literally be reconstructed into score format before the piece can be reliably understood and, subsequently, performed. Thus, the medieval and Renaissance repertories are not readily accessible to anyone (except highly qualified specialists) until the original notation is deciphered and presented in a more readable form. But the existence of a reliable modern edition of a given work is not yet a guarantee that all performance questions have been answered. Athough the pieces represented on this disc are indeed available in a modern edition by Dragan Plamenac (published originally in 1927 and revised in 1959), it is still impossible to perform them without making several additional, very fundamental decisions regarding performing forces, tempos, and, in many cases, even the pitches themselves. Sometimes these decisions are arrived at through familiarity of modern literature on performance practice; sometimes the original manuscripts themselves must be consulted to verify individual readings or policies of the editor; and sometimes decisions are made simply on the basis of musical necessity or individual taste.


The first question which must invariably be asked is: To what performing media do we assign the various parts? In the relatively recent past it had been standard practice to allot certain lines to instruments, either alone or doubling the voices. During the 1960s the New York Pro Musica recorded a mass by Obrecht utilizing a veritable symphony orchestra of period instruments, as well as soloists and a large choir of over 20 singers. Modern scholarship has largely debunked the historical validity of such a conception of performing forces. Instead, it seems clear from payroll and other archival records that sacred polyphony was most typically performed a cappella. The quantity of singers on a part is also a question, but it seems likely that in the major court chapels of the mid-15th century, choral performance involving a small number of singers was common practice. Therefore we have opted for a performance with three singers on the top part and two on each of the other two parts. Such an arrangement provides for clarity of line and tone without sacrificing volume. • In any performance of music incorporating words, the performer can scarcely afford to ignore their delivery and their relationship to the notes which carry them. This is particularly true in early music, where the words are seldom fitted to the music in an unambiguous manner. For this recording, it was decided to follow for the most part the decisions of the editor regarding text underlay, even though Plamenac himself indicates the problematic nature of texting in the manuscript sources of both masses, particularly for the third voice (Contratenor or Bassus). The pronunciation generally follows the standardized rules of ecclesiastical Latin, an anachronism adopted only on account of the paucity of authoritative information on the abstruse subject of how the language would have been pronounced in late—medieval Flanders..

Another problem involves the performing pitch of the works. This is a critical factor, for which the actual -I-1- vocal ranges of the individual performers must be taken into account. In the Missa Quinti toni, the decision was made to transpose the work up a minor second.; the piece is written in F, so the resulting sounding pitch is F=. Since there was clearly nopitch standard in the 15th century, a half-step transposition should be fully justifiable. Determining the pitch of the Missa Sine nomine, on the other hand, seas an altogether more daunting task, since, in its notated form, the tessituras of every voice part are improbably high. Given the fact that this piece is written in a G mode with a B flat signature, a condition which some contemporary theoretical evidence suggests was a signal for transposition, we have not hesitated to transpose the entire piece down fully a fifth, which puts the mass into voice ranges much more typical of the period_ No aspect of performance affects the hearer with more immediacy than the issue of tempos, an area of great complexity and one that is still under controversy. For this recording, the tempos were chosen according to a basic pulse, or Cactus, denoted by the undiminished time signatures: 0 and C, which represent about 60 beats per minute in triple and duple mensurations, respectively. The "diminished" time signatures (0 and C, discussed above) have been interpreted as being faster, in an approximately 4 : 3 proportion to the Cactus. However, these basic tempos have not been rigorously applied in all cases, as musical context seemed to dictate a somewhat more flexible conception of relative speeds. An additional component of performance which affects the listener strongly—if subliminally—is that of dynamics, or relative levels of volume (loud and soft). There are of course no dynamic markings in the manuscript sources, and this is one area in which the medieval theorists are virtually silent. It should not, however, be thus inferred that the music is to be performed at a constant volume level. On the contrary: factors of text, liturgical function, local musical texture, rhythmic context, and the very architectonic nature of the movements themselves, all contribute to a dynamic understanding of the individual movements, and indeed of the works as a whole.

The question of musica ficta, or application of sharps and flats not present in the manuscripts, is easy to minimize by simply adopting an editor's solutions, but it is far more advisable for the performer himself or herself to be well cognizant of the basic rules and conventions of ficta as discussed by the contemporary theorists. In the case at hand, Plamenac states that he has excercised "great restraint" in adding accidentals, "in order not to vitiate the modal character of the old works" (Introduction to Vol. 1 of the Collected Works, p. XI). In general, his decisions regarding ficta—when applied—are sound, but they are also very conservative. Upon close inspection of both masses, many additional instances were found which seemed to call for application of accidentals. Thus, most (but not all) of the ficta suggested by Plamenac has been adopted in this recording, but quite a few additional alterations have been made as well. These alterations were applied on the basis of several specific criteria, as follows:

1) Plamenac often chooses to disregard cadential motion occurring in the middle of sections. After careful examination of voice leading in relation to text phrasing, accidentals were added whenever it seemed that two or three voices made a significant interior cadence. (For example, at m. 190 in the Credo of the Missa Sine nomine, a sharp was added to the Superius note in order to effect a major-sixth-to-octave cadence with the Tenor, justified on textual and contrapuntal grounds.)
2) A smoother sonority was sometimes achieved by avoiding harmonic clashes (such as tritones) and false relations (simultaneous or contiguous notes in different voices which manifest differing inflections of the same note, for example C versus C#). Such situations obtain especially in the first section of the Gloria of the Missa Quinti toni. Here, the presence of an E flat in the signature of the Bassos seemed to call for a numberof alterations in the upper voices, particularly the Superius.


3) In the Missa Sine nomine, sharps were consistently added to the Contratenor at major cadences, in conformity with the sharps that Plamenac does add to the Superius. The result creates "double—leading—tone" cadences (discussed above), which, being typical of 14th century practice, heighten the stylistic contrast between this piece and the Missa Quinti toni. If, conversely, these sharps in the Contratenor had been omitted, the pre—cadential tritone dissonances between Superius and Contratenor would have made the entire Missa Sine nomine sound more "modern." This illustrates how a conscious ficta decision can have a quite fundamental effect upon the sonority of a work. After having worked with these two masses for many months, I am convinced that they are fully as successful aesthetically as any in the composer's canon. Why then have they never been recorded before? Probably this lack of attention is due to an unconscious bias against works with "only" three voices, when there exist many four— and five—voice works to choose from. I will leave it to the judgement of the listener as to whether the intrinsic beauty of these two masses justifies their being committed to disc. © KEVIN MOLL 1992

Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on April 12, 2019, 08:25:12 AM
https://www.youtube.com/v/3jf6II2RSoo


I know some people who rate Servir Antico very highly, when I saw them I was in such a bad seat, and in such a bad mood, that I couldn't judge. But listening to them sing a bit of Ockeghem I'd certainly go out of my my to give them another chance.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on November 02, 2019, 07:18:24 AM
Quote
Presque trainsi ung peu moins qu'estre mort
Vivant en dueil sans avoir nul confort
Veoir l'on me peut eslieus de Fortune
Qui sans cesser pis qu'aultre me fortune
Et me combas de plus fort en plus fort.

Helas je suis contre mon vueil en vie
Et si n'est riens dont tant j'ay d'envie
Que de pouvoir veoir ma fin bien prouchaine
Morir ne puis et tousjours my convie
Et m'est bien tart que du tout je desvie
A celle fin que soye hors de paine.

Il m'est advis que la mort me tient tort
Quant autrement elle ne fait son effort
De moi vengier de ma vie importune
Car je languis sans avoir joye aucune
Par mon maleur qui me devoure et mort.

    Presque trainsi ung peu moins qu'estre mort
    Vivant en dueil sans avoir nul confort
    Veoir l'on me peut eslieus de Fortune
    Qui sans cesser puis qu'aultre me fortune
    Et me combas de plus fort en plus fort.



I have four recordings of Presque Transi.

1. Orlando consort, a capella, all blokes including a countertenor singing the words, the rest vocalising.
2. La main harmonique, one tenor with a lute
3. Medieval Ensemble of London, one tenor and a lute
4. Clemencic - a little band of instruments, Dominique Visée singing  (to a rather jolly pulse)

How are we to judge Orlando’s performance, which is just so different from the rest? Has this experiment been a success or not? I don’t know.

What I can say is that Orlando’s take is drab and serious to the point of being grave, and that may well fit the lyrics of the song rather well. Presque transi, I was practically numbed listening to them.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: deprofundis on October 10, 2020, 02:18:41 AM
Hello Mandryka and folks, I purchase a fascinating, Johannes Ockeghem, his French-chanson on Musique en Wallonie a double album 2 cd's, release in 2020, made in Austria.

This is quite a release, luxurious one, you will get all you're favorite chanson by Ockeghem. Since Ockeghem, was not just notorious for his requiem and incredible missa Missa Prolationum I.e but incredible songs as well, you guys passionate by Ockeghem should pick this one up it's awesome, on of the best album for songs of his better than what was made before
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on October 11, 2020, 01:19:22 AM
Hello Mandryka and folks, I purchase a fascinating, Johannes Ockeghem, his French-chanson on Musique en Wallonie a double album 2 cd's, release in 2020, made in Austria.

This is quite a release, luxurious one, you will get all you're favorite chanson by Ockeghem. Since Ockeghem, was not just notorious for his requiem and incredible missa Missa Prolationum I.e but incredible songs as well, you guys passionate by Ockeghem should pick this one up it's awesome, on of the best album for songs of his better than what was made before

Well my first impression is that it’s very lively and extrovert and that makes for a lot of initial impact. Whether it’s better than the two other complete surveys - Medieval Ensemble of London and Blue Heron - is something I cannot say.

I have a sort of benchmark for singing Ockeghem, which is Cappella Pratensis’s Missa MiMi. And Cut Circle just don’t approach it with that same fluidity or sensitivity to the possibilities of interesting scrunchy harmonies. I appreciate this is just me, and anyway what they did with the mass may not even be possible with the songs.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: deprofundis on October 11, 2020, 10:12:43 AM
Well my first impression is that it’s very lively and extrovert and that makes for a lot of initial impact. Whether it’s better than the two other complete surveys - Medieval Ensemble of London and Blue Heron - is something I cannot say.

I have a sort of benchmark for singing Ockeghem, which is Cappella Pratensis’s Missa MiMi. And Cut Circle just don’t approach it with that same fluidity or sensitivity to the possibilities of interesting scrunchy harmonies. I appreciate this is just me, and anyway what they did with the mass may not even be possible with the songs.
Everyone has the right to have an opinion,,, I will check Blue Heron do. Thanks Mandryka
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: The new erato on October 11, 2020, 10:52:51 AM
I though Blue Heron had only released one disc yet?
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on October 11, 2020, 11:25:27 AM
I though Blue Heron had only released one disc yet?

If you look on their website I think it says that v2 is scheduled for 2022
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: The new erato on October 11, 2020, 02:14:51 PM
So it's not complete. Sorry to be pedantic.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: deprofundis on October 11, 2020, 02:55:32 PM
Fellows did anyone heard  Ockeghem Missa De Plus en Plus chansons of Orlando Consort on Brilliant somehow I did what Madryka tell me, there is more fluidity per instance from orlando consort I don't know but it seem to be adequate, perhaps because of the shorten ensemble of tree gentelmen, very nice offering and cheap to buy, neat quality of music, and  not wallet hurting  label, Brilliant Classical we love you, never said they ever falter but  this offering relief my pain in the teeths yow. I have severe teeths ache as you all may know and darn it a good thing the boy talking is'aint made of biscuit since I survive not sleeping for a week too much pain, but who care I'm seeing the dentidt  next thursday and give me moutth relief pills and that it.

Wait , it's not in cheaper buying if your cheap,, you might like Bo Holten Musica Ficta His missa Prolationum the quintescence of Ockeghem genius quote me on that it is well incarnate, well sung, it stood time I heard it couple of time.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on October 11, 2020, 10:16:50 PM
So it's not complete. Sorry to be pedantic.

Yes as it stands Blue Heron is no more complete than Philip Malfeyt’s cd,

I just compared Blue Heron and Cut Circle in D’un autre amer, I much prefer Blue Heron. Unfortunately I don’t have access to the Cut Circle booklet so I don’t know if they justify their approach in this song, which seems to me in need of justification.

On this little journey I stumbled across this interesting cd

(https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a1084871136_10.jpg)

https://trevocikitdownes.bandcamp.com/album/auro-2
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Que on October 12, 2020, 03:23:31 AM
Nearly two years ago I wrote this about the Beauty Farm

Now I have less tolerance for a "very dynamic and thrilling sound"  and I no longer think that this way of singing "befits the disorienting effect of the harmonies", on the contrary in fact, the dynamism smacks of the baroque and Beethoven.

This is my general problem with Beauty Farm, and its predecessor The Sound and the Fury..... And I agree this approach is anachronistic - the need for (overly) "highlighting" musical (besides dynamics, also tempo and rhythm) and emotional contrasts is IMO very much contemporary phenomenon.

My first impression of The Cut Circle's Ockeghem songs, reinforces my impression that this is the biggest pitfall of new Early Music groups. They all should have a chat with Paul van Nevel.  8)

Q
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Old San Antone on October 12, 2020, 03:32:49 AM
This is my general problem with Beauty Farm, and its predecessor The Sound and the Fury..... And I agree this approach is anachronistic - the need for (overly) "highlighting" musical (besides dynamics, also tempo and rhythm) and emotional contrasts is IMO very much contemporary phenomenon.

My first impression of The Cut Circle's Ockeghem songs, reinforces my impression that this is the biggest pitfall of new Early Music groups. They all should have a chat with Paul van Nevel.  8)

Q

Your opinion must have developed over time since a few years ago I remember you criticizing the Hilliard Ensemble because of their "angelic" sound and favoring instead The Sound and the Fury (I don't think Beauty Farm existed at that time).
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Que on October 12, 2020, 09:25:47 AM
Your opinion must have developed over time since a few years ago I remember you criticizing the Hilliard Ensemble because of their "angelic" sound and favoring instead The Sound and the Fury (I don't think Beauty Farm existed at that time).

I cannot recall ever making a comparison between the two...

But I've had mixed feelings about TSATF right from the start, and have posted about this. Which doesn’t take away from the fact that they've done some stuff that's IMO worthwhile: Mattheus Pipelare (vol. 1, unfortunately a sequel never materialised), Firminus Caron and Guillaume Faugues vols. 1 & 2. The Beauty Farm has produced some recordings I enjoyed as well: The Gombert motets vols. 1 & 2, the Bauldeweyn masses and probably the De La Rue masses.

I still find the "angelic" approach, including upward transposition of the score, problematic in Franco-Flemish repertoire. In a way, it's another form of "highlighting" and certainly not the opposite of what I was objecting to.

BTW the Hilliard is absolutely great ensemble, though I generally prefer them on their home turf.

Q
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Old San Antone on October 12, 2020, 11:27:04 AM
I cannot recall ever making a comparison between the two...

But I've had mixed feelings about TSATF right from the start, and have posted about this. Which doesn’t take away from the fact that they've done some stuff that's IMO worthwhile: Mattheus Pipelare (vol. 1, unfortunately a sequel never materialised), Firminus Caron and Guillaume Faugues vols. 1 & 2. The Beauty Farm has produced some recordings I enjoyed as well: The Gombert motets vols. 1 & 2, the Bauldeweyn masses and probably the De La Rue masses.

I still find the "angelic" approach, including upward transposition of the score, problematic in Franco-Flemish repertoire. In a way, it's another form of "highlighting" and certainly not the opposite of what I was objecting to.

BTW the Hilliard is absolutely great ensemble, though I generally prefer them on their home turf.

Q

It wasn't in the nature of a direct comparison, just that you responded negatively to my posting the Hilliard ensemble box of the Franco-Flemish composers. 

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71mBbPrzbpL._SL1200_.jpg)

When I asked you for other recommendations, one group you mentioned was TSatF.  I remember because I hadn't heard of them at the time.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on October 12, 2020, 11:42:16 AM
It wasn't in the nature of a direct comparison, just that you responded negatively to my posting the Hilliard ensemble box of the Franco-Flemish composers. 

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71mBbPrzbpL._SL1200_.jpg)

When I asked you for other recommendations, one group you mentioned was TSatF.  I remember because I hadn't heard of them at the time.

Are you an elephant?

(https://media4.giphy.com/media/3oz8xGCxGoOK1zw2Xu/giphy.gif)
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Que on October 12, 2020, 12:11:30 PM
It wasn't in the nature of a direct comparison, just that you responded negatively to my posting the Hilliard ensemble box of the Franco-Flemish composers. 

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71mBbPrzbpL._SL1200_.jpg)

When I asked you for other recommendations, one group you mentioned was TSatF.  I remember because I hadn't heard of them at the time.

Yes, that image rings a belll... That was a while ago...

https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,11592.msg1189329.html#msg1189329

No mention of TSATF.

Q
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Old San Antone on October 12, 2020, 12:21:28 PM
I like it gritty, as in sung by real people, not angels. Which is also an effect of using a smaller number of voices in an more intimate acoustic. A personal preference and view I've come to after listening to this music for 40 years. Which doesn't mean you have to agree. But after hearing this music sung by Singer Pur, Capella Pratensis, The Sound and Fury, Cinquecento etc the traditional English choral style just seems mostly dull to me in this strictly polyphonic music, beautiful, but lacking sentiment.  And it also blurs the sense of the polyphonic lines so important in this music.

It was The new erato responding in the same thread.

Anyway, what I got out of it was a number of vocal groups I have come to enjoy besides the Hilliard Ensemble and am grateful for the exchange.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Que on October 13, 2020, 12:05:24 AM
Good to hear.  :)

And to further the discussion, here my first impressions on a recent run of the Ockeghem masses by Beauty Farm:

Listening now:


Let me try an idea about the Missa Mi Mi, probably unfair, see what you think. They sing the mass as if it’s dramatic music, not as if it’s spiritual music. Rebecca Stewart once said that it’s impossible to sing a mass in a shopping mall, the ambience wouldn’t be conducive to the right sort of rapport, the right sort of feeling. Well BF could do their stuff in shopping mall alright!


The two volumes of Ockeghem masses by Beauty Farm have the same style.
Though I'm not nearly as negative as Gio in his Amazon review, I definitely understand his remark about "brusque" style and "little unity in affect". I also get Mandryka 's comments. The approach is highly individualised, "dramatised" if you will, creating tension between the different voices vocally and emotionally. The result is definitely less reverential than we are used to in performances by the Ensemble Musica Nova, for instance. It does remind me of The Sound and the Fury, though to a to a lesser extent and technically (much) more accomplished.

Personally, I think it's interesting, pretty even, but it doesn't pull me in emotionally.
The music feels "objectified" and individualised, which is basically a very contemporary way of approaching this music.

Q
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on October 13, 2020, 11:19:35 PM
I only know four vocal recordings of J’en ai deuil (that’s modern spelling) - Cut Circle and Ensemble Gilles Binchois (in the collection called Chansons Françaises de la Renaissance) are both a cappella, and Philippe Malfeyrt and Medieval Ensemble of London, who both accompany with instruments, rather tastefully. Gilles Binchois the slowest and for that reason gives the impression of being particularly sensitive to the text. Cut Circle seems the most dramatic, madrigalesque almost.  All are not without interest, my preference is for Ensemble Giles Binchois and Medieval Ensemble of London, the latter especially. There’s a simplicity about what Medieval Ensemble of London do, there’s lots of space and air in the texture, and the give me the impression of great authenticity.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 15, 2021, 08:35:31 AM
TTT w/ some bio information, discography, etc. - Ockeghem's date of birth is usually given as c. 1410, although 1425 is sometimes quoted; he died in 1497, so virtually spanned the entire 15th century, the latter half being the earlier part of the Renaissance - he was born in what is now Belgium and was a Franco-Flemish composer of fame (bio quoted below).  His surviving music output is not large, listed HERE (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Ockeghem), just over a dozen masses and some motets and chansons. However, his discography is rather extensive (although much is likely OOP) - just updated in Aug 2021 HERE (http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/composers/ockeghem.html).

My collection is small (shown below) and includes mainly the masses and a handful of motets; with a couple of versions of the Requiem Mass; so just wondering about newer/better versions of the masses and whether I might want more of the motets and chansons?  Comments and suggestions appreciated.  Dave :)

Quote
Johannes Ockeghem, composer of sacred and secular music, one of the great masters of the Franco-Flemish style that dominated European music of the Renaissance. His earliest recorded appointment was as a singer at Antwerp Cathedral (1443–44). He served similarly in the chapel of Charles, Duke de Bourbon (1446–48), and later in the royal chapel. He was chaplain and composer to three successive French kings, Charles VII, Louis XI, and Charles VIII. As treasurer of the Abbey of Saint-Martin at Tours, he received a handsome salary. Like many of his Flemish contemporaries he traveled widely and used his visits to distant cities to extend his musical knowledge. As a teacher he had great influence on the following generation of composers. His death was mourned in writing by Erasmus, whose text was set to music by Johannes Lupi; a Déploration by Molinet was set by Josquin des Prez.

Ockeghem’s surviving works include 14 masses, 10 motets, and 20 chansons. His work sounds richer than that of his predecessors Guillaume Dufay and John Dunstable; during Ockeghem’s era the instrumentally supported vocal lines of earlier music were gradually modified for a sonorous choral harmony. The bass range in Ockeghem’s compositions extends lower than in his predecessors’ music, and the tenor and countertenor voices cross in and out of each other, creating a heavier texture. The long melodic lines of the different voices cadence in different places, so that a continuous flow of music results. Melodic imitation occurs here and there but is not prominent. His Missa prolationum and Missa cuiusvis toni are examples of his highly developed contrapuntal and canonic technique, but the strict device of canon, of which he was a master, is subtly used and is rarely apparent to the listener. He frequently used preexistent material as a device for musical unity.

Ockeghem’s ten motets include Marian texts, such as Ave Maria, Salve regina, and Alma redemptoris mater, and a complete setting of the responsory Gaude Maria. Unlike other composers of the early 15th century, he wrote his masses in a style more solemn than that of his secular music. They are normally in four parts (two are in five parts), in contrast to the three parts commonly used in chansons. The melodic lines in the masses are longer than those of the chansons. Melodic imitation is more frequent in the chansons, and the rhythms of the chansons are more straightforward than those of the masses. (Source (https://www.britannica.com/biography/Jean-de-Ockeghem), edited)

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51oAKH2uV%2BL.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71vlWARCNZL._SL1200_.jpg)

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/915S9vozT3L._SL1392_.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51skq6U-teL.jpg)  (https://webbg.com/images/148/the-clerks-group-johannes-ockeghem-missa-de-plus-en-plus-5-motets.jpg)
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on September 15, 2021, 09:05:47 AM
Obviously I can’t say whether the versions are “better”, but I can say that you should listen to Ensemble Numisdo’s L’Homme Armé and L’ultima Parola’s Missa Prolationem and Capella Pratensis’s Missa MiMi. I’d also be interested to know what you think of the Missa Caput from Graindelavoix, and some people love the Ockeghem recordings from Beauty Farm (I can’t remember what I think of them!)

There has been a lot of interest in Ockeghem’s songs recently, and you should certainly see what you think about the new recordings from Cut Circle and from Blue Heron. I personally am very fond of the old one from Medieval Ensemble of London. The songs are good!

Why not go off the tracks and get yourself a good anthology CD? That’s what I’d do if I were you - Ockeghem and Compère from La Main Harmonique comes to mind. I’m playing it now and I think it’s fabulous.  Or even The Leuven Chansonnier from Solazzo Ensemble, with a bit of Ock and other bits by anonymous and Binchois and the usual suspects.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 15, 2021, 01:00:43 PM
Obviously I can’t say whether the versions are “better”, but I can say that you should listen to Ensemble Numisdo’s L’Homme Armé and L’ultima Parola’s Missa Prolationem and Capella Pratensis’s Missa MiMi. I’d also be interested to know what you think of the Missa Caput from Graindelavoix, and some people love the Ockeghem recordings from Beauty Farm (I can’t remember what I think of them!)

There has been a lot of interest in Ockeghem’s songs recently, and you should certainly see what you think about the new recordings from Cut Circle and from Blue Heron. I personally am very fond of the old one from Medieval Ensemble of London. The songs are good!

Why not go off the tracks and get yourself a good anthology CD? That’s what I’d do if I were you - Ockeghem and Compère from La Main Harmonique comes to mind. I’m playing it now and I think it’s fabulous.  Or even The Leuven Chansonnier from Solazzo Ensemble, with a bit of Ock and other bits by anonymous and Binchois and the usual suspects.

Hi again Mandryka - are you and I the only ones interested in this music at the moment?   :laugh:

Thanks for all of the suggestions above - been reviewing the recordings on Amazon and also a lot available for a listen on Spotify.  Don't feel that I need a lot more of him, the Missa Prolationum is not in my collection, and several of the others might have 'better' recordings/reviews - there are a lot of song/motet recordings that could be considered; again I could setup another Spotify playlist - not sure I need to 'buy' this media in whatever form (CD, MP3, etc) vs. just playing a streaming playlist?  Just don't listen to this genre as much as in the past - well, I'll consider - again thanks for the help.

As to an 'anthology' or 'compilation' of multiple composers, usually not my 'bailiwick' - I'd rather have CDs filled w/ the same composer or maybe a few tracts w/ others, but a mix of a bunch is not what I like to own - these end up in a corner of my den storage and are forgotten (and their listing in my simplistic database is problematic, but just me).  Anthologies are probably nice for someone who may want just a half dozen or so discs to be representative of the entire period; for me I'd rather just pull the composer stack out for a listen.  Dave :)
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: T. D. on September 15, 2021, 02:34:15 PM
Hi again Mandryka - are you and I the only ones interested in this music at the moment?   :laugh:

Thanks for all of the suggestions above - been reviewing the recordings on Amazon and also a lot available for a listen on Spotify.  Don't feel that I need a lot more of him, the Missa Prolationum is not in my collection, and several of the others might have 'better' recordings/reviews - there are a lot of song/motet recordings that could be considered; again I could setup another Spotify playlist - not sure I need to 'buy' this media in whatever form (CD, MP3, etc) vs. just playing a streaming playlist?  Just don't listen to this genre as much as in the past - well, I'll consider - again thanks for the help.

As to an 'anthology' or 'compilation' of multiple composers, usually not my 'bailiwick' - I'd rather have CDs filled w/ the same composer or maybe a few tracts w/ others, but a mix of a bunch is not what I like to own - these end up in a corner of my den storage and are forgotten (and their listing in my simplistic database is problematic, but just me).  Anthologies are probably nice for someone who may want just a half dozen or so discs to be representative of the entire period; for me I'd rather just pull the composer stack out for a listen.  Dave :)

I'm not expert enough to suggest any specific Ockeghem recordings, but recommendable anthologies exist.
I also generally avoid anthologies/compilations, but very much enjoy this one:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51xHgvsa9DL.jpg)

Works by individual composers are mostly grouped, for instance disc 4 of the set is all Ockeghem.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on September 15, 2021, 11:37:05 PM
I'm not expert enough to suggest any specific Ockeghem recordings, but recommendable anthologies exist.
I also generally avoid anthologies/compilations, but very much enjoy this one:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51xHgvsa9DL.jpg)

Works by individual composers are mostly grouped, for instance disc 4 of the set is all Ockeghem.

I’m not so keen on the songs by the group called Romanesque
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on September 15, 2021, 11:43:55 PM
I only know four vocal recordings of J’en ai deuil (that’s modern spelling) - Cut Circle and Ensemble Gilles Binchois (in the collection called Chansons Françaises de la Renaissance) are both a cappella, and Philippe Malfeyrt and Medieval Ensemble of London, who both accompany with instruments, rather tastefully. Gilles Binchois the slowest and for that reason gives the impression of being particularly sensitive to the text. Cut Circle seems the most dramatic, madrigalesque almost.  All are not without interest, my preference is for Ensemble Giles Binchois and Medieval Ensemble of London, the latter especially. There’s a simplicity about what Medieval Ensemble of London do, there’s lots of space and air in the texture, and the give me the impression of great authenticity.

I just want to repeat this. Reviewing the three large collections of songs makes me feel very positive about the old one from Medieval Ensemble of London, for the reasons cited. As everyone here knows, these things are very personal, particularly where voice is involved.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: aukhawk on September 16, 2021, 01:56:56 AM
As already mentioined by Mandryka - my suggestion would be the Missa L'homme armé by Ensemble Nusmido.  It's available (rather expensively) from the usual outlets and on Spotify.  I will admit though that a large part of the attractiveness of this for me is the inclusion of a most unusual instrumental interlude lasting about 11 minutes (not by Ockeghem), inserted between the Credo and Sanctus.  Ultimate chill-out music!
If I could only have two early music recordings this would be one of them.

(https://www.amazon.co.uk/images/I/71SXqVPvacL._SS500_.jpg)
Ockeghem, Missa L'homme armé, Ensemble Nusmido
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 16, 2021, 08:05:02 AM
As already mentioined by Mandryka - my suggestion would be the Missa L'homme armé by Ensemble Nusmido.  It's available (rather expensively) from the usual outlets and on Spotify.  I will admit though that a large part of the attractiveness of this for me is the inclusion of a most unusual instrumental interlude lasting about 11 minutes (not by Ockeghem), inserted between the Credo and Sanctus.  Ultimate chill-out music!
If I could only have two early music recordings this would be one of them.

(https://www.amazon.co.uk/images/I/71SXqVPvacL._SS500_.jpg)  (https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-Jbr3Mc7/0/542a4432/O/Ockeghem4Playlist.png)
Ockeghem, Missa L'homme armé, Ensemble Nusmido

Thanks Guys for the suggestions - unfortunately many are not available as physical discs (or at reasonable cost - Mandryka's Medieval Ensemble of London can be bought for $60 used on Amazon, and is not on Spotify); and even Spotify can be 'spotty' w/ the early music -  ;) 8)

However, I did set up the recordings inserted above as a playlist - despite the comments, 'Cut Circle' which seems to cover the songs on two discs has received some decent reviews; plus have not heard 'Missa Prolationum', so put on a couple of recordings on the list - thanks again.  Dave :)
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Que on September 16, 2021, 10:00:46 AM
TTT w/ some bio information, discography, etc. - Ockeghem's date of birth is usually given as c. 1410, although 1425 is sometimes quoted; he died in 1497, so virtually spanned the entire 15th century, the latter half being the earlier part of the Renaissance - he was born in what is now Belgium and was a Franco-Flemish composer of fame (bio quoted below).  His surviving music output is not large, listed HERE (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Ockeghem), just over a dozen masses and some motets and chansons. However, his discography is rather extensive (although much is likely OOP) - just updated in Aug 2021 HERE (http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/composers/ockeghem.html).

My collection is small (shown below) and includes mainly the masses and a handful of motets; with a couple of versions of the Requiem Mass; so just wondering about newer/better versions of the masses and whether I might want more of the motets and chansons?  Comments and suggestions appreciated.  Dave :)

Hi Dave, my two cents... I like Ockeghem very much, and maybe that's why I have a hard time getting the recordings I like.

There is no need to discuss UK ensembles in this repertoire, since you seem to have covered those (not my "cup of tea").

I tried and failed to like the recordings of several masses by The Sound and The Fury (TSTF) and Beauty Farm (see discussions further up this thread). If you like smooth and mellow, Ensemble Nusmido might be for you (but not for me). Rebecca Stewart with the Cappella Pratensis in the Missa MiMi is a display of very particular ideas, and lots of them. An experiment is applying different influences and styles that does not work for me.

The recent recording of the Missa Prolationum by L'Ultima Parola as mentioned by Mandryka  - yes, definitely. All singers have served in the Huelgas Ensemble with Van Nevel, and you can tell. A very promising new ensemble.
Also the the two recordings by the Ensemble Musica Nova with Lucien Kandel - quite purist and abstract. Perhaps an acquired taste, but it absolutely works for me - wonderful.

Cappella Pratensis, this time with Stratton Bull, also made a more recent recording of the Requiem. I liked it, but found it a bit dour.  A recent (unexpectedly) dissapointing recording by Diabolus in Musica made me appreciate the Cappella Pratensis recording more. An old personal favourite is with the Ensemble Organum.

For the songs it clear to me that the Cut Circle missed the mark, and that Blue Heron (hard to find, expensive) (clearly) wins the day. BTW the Capilla Flamenca did a gorgeous recordings of Flemish songs (of various composers).

The line up:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51It%2BskEahL._SY500_.jpg)   (https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71y5xivUKpL.jpg)

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71hd3Kxiq5L._SS500_.jpg)

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81zhzPPYdKS._SS500_.jpg)   (https://images-eu.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41DjcorLNfL.jpg)

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/91-XktzLzbL.jpg)   (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71qxEwo0W-L.jpg)


Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on September 16, 2021, 11:07:55 AM
All you can do is suck everything and see.
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 16, 2021, 12:49:09 PM
Hi Dave, my two cents... I like Ockeghem very much, and maybe that's why I have a hard time getting the recordings I like.

There is no need to discuss UK ensembles in this repertoire, since you seem to have covered those (not my "cup of tea").

I tried and failed to like the recordings of several masses by The Sound and The Fury (TSTF) and Beauty Farm (see discussions further up this thread). If you like smooth and mellow, Ensemble Nusmido might be for you (but not for me). Rebecca Stewart with the Cappella Pratensis in the Missa MiMi is a display of very particular ideas, and lots of them. An experiment is applying different influences and styles that does not work for me.

The recent recording of the Missa Prolationum by L'Ultima Parola as mentioned by Mandryka  - yes, definitely. All singers have served in the Huelgas Ensemble with Van Nevel, and you can tell. A very promising new ensemble.
Also the the two recordings by the Ensemble Musica Nova with Lucien Kandel - quite purist and abstract. Perhaps an acquired taste, but it absolutely works for me - wonderful.

Cappella Pratensis, this time with Stratton Bull, also made a more recent recording of the Requiem. I liked it, but found it a bit dour.  A recent (unexpectedly) dissapointing recording by Diabolus in Musica made me appreciate the Cappella Pratensis recording more. An old personal favourite is with the Ensemble Organum.

For the songs it clear to me that the Cut Circle missed the mark, and that Blue Heron (hard to find, expensive) (clearly) wins the day. BTW the Capilla Flamenca did a gorgeous recordings of Flemish songs (of various composers).

The line up:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51It%2BskEahL._SY500_.jpg)   (https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71y5xivUKpL.jpg) (https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71hd3Kxiq5L._SS500_.jpg)

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81zhzPPYdKS._SS500_.jpg)   (https://images-eu.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41DjcorLNfL.jpg) (https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/91-XktzLzbL.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71qxEwo0W-L.jpg)

Hi Que - thanks for the great comments above and all of the artwork!  8)  I'm planning to listen to the Spotify playlist made which includes a number of the recommendations in recent posts - also need to look at availability (and COST!) of these discs - I certainly have no need to replace most of what I have now, but if I can add a few and/or replace a number of the masses at reasonable price, then will be pleased.  Dave :)
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Que on September 16, 2021, 01:56:44 PM
All you can do is suck everything and see.

Usually the only way that works.  :D
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 16, 2021, 03:07:02 PM
Usually the only way that works.  :D

Well, depends on the price per suck, I guess?  :laugh:  Dave
Title: Re: Ockeghem's Office
Post by: Mandryka on September 16, 2021, 11:13:40 PM
if I can add a few and/or replace a number of the masses at reasonable price, then will be pleased.  Dave :)

Try Graindelavoix Missa Caput. You may love it, someone must love it.