This is the fourth volume of music by Josquin Desprez that Cantica Symphonia has released on Glossa. Giuseppe Maletto and the ensemble released two volumes of Josquin’s motets, plus one of chansons. Their next release was a collection of Marian motets (compositions in praise of the Virgin Mary) by various Renaissance composers.
This recording seems the next logical step — a collection of Marian motets by Josquin Desprez. It’s actually a little broader than that. The program also includes instrumental songs and a Stabat Mater (also about the Virgin Mary).
The Cantica Symphonia knows Josquin well, and their performances show it. Their vocal blend is almost seamless. There’s enough separation to hear how each line fits together, created harmonies solely through interaction.
These were motets written to inspire contemplation, and they do. Maletto’s direction shapes the music in subtle ways. The ensemble performs calmly, invoking a feeling of serenity. Closer listening reveals subtle phrasing that gives these performances their expressive power.
This is a wonderful collection of Josquin’s music. He was considered the greatest composer of his age. As this release shows. even within this tightly focused grouping, Josquin’s imagination was limitless.
Josquin Desprez: Stabat Mater
Marian motets and instrumental songs
Cantica Symphonia; Giuseppe Maletto
Glossa GCD P31909