Magazine article Gramophone

Josquin: Missa Ave Maris Stella

Magazine article Gramophone

Josquin: Missa Ave Maris Stella

Article excerpt


Missa Ave maris Stella. Mittit ad virginum.

Missus est Gabriel Angelus

Cappella Pratensis/Stratton Bull

Challenge Classics [F] [SACD] CC72632 (60' * DDD)

As one of his most perfect works, Josquin's Mass Ave maris Stella is now available in a wide range of great performances--a substantial change from the situation 20 years ago, when the versions by Andrew Parrott (EMI, 5/93) and Bernard Fabre-Garrus (Astree/Nalve, 2/94) were the first on CD.

Among the distinctive details here are that it is performed at probably the lowest possible pitch. This worried me at first, and it is true that some of the lowest notes are inclined to disappear; but the textures are in general exceptionally clear and, partly as a result of that pitch, the lines are beautifully relaxed. Another distinctive detail is of course that the Cappella Pratensis have always based their repertory around music of the Josquin period, as a result of which everything sounds a lot less forced than some other performances. …

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