The Tallis Scholars & Peter Phillips – Josquin Masses (2020) [FLAC 24bit/176,4kHz]

The Tallis Scholars & Peter Phillips – Josquin Masses (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/176,4kHz | Time – 01:11:16 minutes | 2,65 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Gimell Records

The Tallis Scholars and Peter Phillips started their incomparable service to the 15th-century composer Josquin des Prez in 1986. And with this, the ninth volume, they conclude their journey magnificently. The “Missa Hercules Dux Ferrariae,” written for Duke Ercole I d’Este of Ferrara, is a work of extraordinary complexity and compositional virtuosity, but its sheer emotional power is remarkable. The Tallis Scholars’ purity of tone, their total identification with the idiom, and their diamond-like articulation are glorious. The “Missa D’ung aultre amer” and “Missa Faisant regretz,” simpler but equally communicative, are also superb. Atmospherically recorded, this is a gem of an album.

This release is the last in a series of nine Josquin mass recordings by The Tallis Scholars and their director, Peter Phillips. The series began in 1986, and Phillips has been the group’s director since it was founded in 1973. The Tallis Scholars are, thus, a well-oiled machine, and they’re capable of a flawless vocal blend that’s hard to match even among England’s superb collection of small choirs (the Scholars are ten strong). There are other ways to sing Josquin, but their hyper-clarity works well in his music, for it brings out the music’s striking, Bachian complexity. This particular album, despite its ultimate position, is especially good, for in the Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie and Missa Faysant Regretz, it’s best to have no distractions from the strikingly bold underlying structure. The former work was written for Ercole (Hercules) d’Este, the Duke of Ferrara (Dux Ferrarie). Josquin derives solmization syllables from the vowels of the phrase “Hercules Dux Ferrarie” and repeats the resulting musical figure almost obsessively, presumably in the Duke’s honor. It is, one might say, a cantus firmus mass on steroids. It’s hard to imagine how striking this must have sounded in the first decade of the 16th century, but this uncannily precise recording helps in the effort. The Missa Faysant Regretz is of similar construction, but the Missa d’ung aultre amer is in the freer contrapuntal style of Josquin’s teacher Ockeghem and was apparently a tribute to him. Even more than most of the other releases in The Tallis Scholars’ series, this one gets at his genius and the nature of his compositional decisions. Not to be missed.

1. Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie: 1a. Kyrie I (01:06)
2. Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie: 1b. Christe (00:45)
3. Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie: 1c. Kyrie II (00:54)
4. Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie: 2a. Gloria in excelsis Deo (01:54)
5. Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie: 2b. Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere (02:04)
6. Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie: 3a. Credo in unum Deum (02:53)
7. Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie: 3b. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto (01:46)
8. Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie: 3c. Et in Spiritum Sanctum (02:21)
9. Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie: 4a. Sanctus (01:24)
10. Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie: 4b. Pleni sunt caeli (01:28)
11. Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie: 4c. Hosanna I (01:05)
12. Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie: 4d. Benedictus (01:04)
13. Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie: 4e. Hosanna II (01:09)
14. Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie: 5a. Agnus Dei I (02:25)
15. Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie: 5b. Agnus Dei II (02:05)
16. Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie: 5c. Agnus Dei III (02:58)
17. Missa D’ung aultre amer: 1a. Kyrie I (00:56)
18. Missa D’ung aultre amer: 1b. Christe (00:38)
19. Missa D’ung aultre amer: 1c. Kyrie II (00:39)
20. Missa D’ung aultre amer: 2. Gloria in excelsis Deo (01:58)
21. Missa D’ung aultre amer: 3a. Credo in unum Deum (02:24)
22. Missa D’ung aultre amer: 3b. Et resurrexit tertia die (01:52)
23. Missa D’ung aultre amer: 4. Sanctus (01:46)
24. Missa D’ung aultre amer: 5a. Tu solus qui facis mirabilia (01:46)
25. Missa D’ung aultre amer: 5b. Ad te solum confugimus (00:39)
26. Missa D’ung aultre amer: 5c. Ad te preces effundimus (00:37)
27. Missa D’ung aultre amer: 5d. D’ung aultre amer (00:44)
28. Missa D’ung aultre amer: 5e. Audi nostra suspiria (00:59)
29. Missa D’ung aultre amer: 6a. Agnus Dei I (00:57)
30. Missa D’ung aultre amer: 6b. Agnus Dei II (00:46)
31. Missa D’ung aultre amer: 6c. Agnus Dei III (01:04)
32. Missa Faysant regretz: 1a. Kyrie I (00:52)
33. Missa Faysant regretz: 1b. Christe (01:02)
34. Missa Faysant regretz: 1c. Kyrie II (00:50)
35. Missa Faysant regretz: 2a. Gloria in excelsis Deo (02:10)
36. Missa Faysant regretz: 2b. Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere (02:07)
37. Missa Faysant regretz: 3a. Credo in unum Deum (02:07)
38. Missa Faysant regretz: 3b. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto (01:35)
39. Missa Faysant regretz: 3c. Et in Spiritum Sanctum (02:27)
40. Missa Faysant regretz: 4a. Sanctus (01:45)
41. Missa Faysant regretz: 4b. Pleni sunt caeli (01:27)
42. Missa Faysant regretz: 4c. Hosanna I (01:01)
43. Missa Faysant regretz: 4d. Benedictus (01:51)
44. Missa Faysant regretz: 4e. Hosanna II (01:05)
45. Missa Faysant regretz: 5a. Agnus Dei I (01:10)
46. Missa Faysant regretz: 5b. Agnus Dei II (01:29)
47. Missa Faysant regretz: 5c. Agnus Dei III (03:10)