Music of the High Renaissance: Josquin des Prez

Josquin des Prez (c. 1450/1455 – 1521)

Josquin des Prez (c. 1450/1455 – 1521), was a French composer, and a central figure of the Franco-Flemish School. He is widely credited as the first master of the high Renaissance, so admired that many anonymous compositions were attributed to him. He wrote both sacred and secular music in all major forms including masses, motets, chansons, and frottole, all of which bears a stamp of supreme melodic gift and ingenious technical skills.

The featured motet (Ave Maria) represents a technique of composition much practised by composers of the high Renaissance, in which Gregorian chant provides the thematic material but is treated very freely as to rhythm, with a good deal of ornamentation such as the use of longer notes in some parts and melodic leaps with added notes.

Josquin des Prez, Motel, Ave Maria

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