Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ockeghem, Johannes. (c. 1410-1497) Missa Caput. Parisian Machicotage for the Mandatum Ritual.

New acquisition.
Bought in October 2016.
First listen: 25-10-2016.
Label: Glossa,
Recording dates: August 2004.
Recording venue: Sint Pauluskerk, Antwerp, Belgium.
Recording engineer: Jo Cops.
Running time: 58:52.
Classical relevance: Essential.

Works performed:
See heading.

Performed by:
Graindelavoix, Björn Schmelzer.

Unusual is the first thing that comes to mind. Fascinating is the second predominant feeling. Sung by professional and semi professional singers, and creating a very authentic sound, probably a very common performing practice in Ockeghem's time. However that may have been, to hear this music brought to the foreground by Graindelavoix is a revelation to me, and the truth of this very organic interpretation rings in my ears with every note. The Byzantine background is very audible.
It has a raw tinge to it all, musicality is more important as the technical perfection of every note, and that suits me fine. The meaning and intent of the Missa Caput has never been more clear to me, thus with eyes closed one steps into a world long forgotten but becomes so real when listening to Graindelavoix. In all respects Schmelzer is a valuable musician, driven and highly motivated to get every ounce of discovery out of the music for centuries hidden. For me this one counts as a reference interpretation. As for the recording that is nearly State of the Art. All wishes fulfilled, I am waiting with eagerness on the Cypriot Vespers by Jean Hanelle of the same ensemble which I ordered some days ago. It's hard to understand the technical essay by Schmelzer in the booklet, added the fact that all the French is not translated, and the Dutch text is a classic textbook disaster, one quickly gets lost in a labyrinth of intellectual humbug. Better read some excellent essays on the internet, which will lead to a better understanding.

Recommended.



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