Josquin ave maria dating
Josquin was so revered that dozens of dubious pieces were attributed to him, to give them extra lustre.The motet Absalon Fili Mi, sung here by the Oxford Camerata, is one of them (it may actually be by Pierre de la Rue, but that doesn’t stop it being masterpiece).
Scholars think this one may commemorate the death of Pope Alexander VI’s son in 1497, or Emperor Maximilian I’s in 1506.
Bob Hanning, one of our basses, remembers hearing the Collegium sing Josquin’s motet Ave Maria…virgo serena when he took Music Humanities as a student at Columbia in the 1960s.
This tradition continues: the Collegium sang for 18 Music Humanities sections this semester.
Its all-vocal sound is beautiful in an otherworldly kind of way, always moves at a sedate pace, and usually comes shrouded in the vast echo of a cathedral.
All these things shout “spiritual” to the modern listener, and that word acts like a veil, blotting out the music.
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The mingling of sacred and secular music was a common feature of the period, as two of the motets on tonight’s program demonstrate.