If one were to say that the end of the 15th century also marks the beginning of the period of Western tonality, a period that reigns supreme until today, one would not be far from the truth. If one were to say that the end of the 15th century also marks the end of centuries of French musical domination over Europe, few would disagree. If, on the other hand, one were to say that the entire 15th century, a century in which French composers were being 'devoured' by the greatest Italian courts, papal or otherwise, was a century in which Italian tonality, harmony, melody, rhythm and formal structures could already be found in the music of the oltramontani, one could be forgiven for saying: 'Prove it!'
That is the object of Project Week IV: to show to what extent such ultra-Italian institutions as the lauda and the Ambrosian hymn, as well as characteristics such as the long-short cadence of the Italian language, the diatonic melody, parallel thirds, the duet for two upper voices, the triad, the repetition of textual and melodic phrases, the use of sequences and finally a rich and 'full-bodied' vocal color which imitated that of spoken Italian gradually became absorbed into the vocabulary of Northern composers who would have developed very differently had they not been so warmly welcomed into Italy in the 15th century.
Of these composers, the Frenchmen Josquin des Prez (†1521) and Loyset Compère (†1518), and the Flemings Johannes Martini (†1497/8) and Gaspar van Weerbeke (†1518?) come immediately to mind because they all sang in (and composed for) the Milanese chapel of the Sforzas. Martini and Compère was there together in the middle of the 1470s, Gaspar during most of the '70s and part of the '80's, Josquin at least in 1484. Beginning in 1484 the Italian composer and theorist Franchino Gaffurio (†1522) became maestro di cappella at the cathedral, in which capacity he was in charge of both the (Ambrosian) chant and the polyphony. He knew both Weerbeke and Josquin (and even Leonardo da Vinci). He studied music and theory with one Fleming-in-Italy, Godendach, and was much influenced by a second, Tinctoris, while they both were in Naples.
The practical musical goal of this Project Week will be to construct a convincing cycle of motets (often referred to as motetti missales) designed to replace various sections of the mass, interspersed with, in this case, the Gregorian chant preferred in the Francophilic Sforza court. All of the above-mentioned composers wrote motets which could replace or augment the normal mass sections at both the Sforza court and the cathedral. During this Milanese Week it is hoped that by combining individual motets from each of these composers a clear and at least somewhat homogeneous picture may emerge of a unique moment in the fusion of Italian 'popular' musical traits with the far more 'learned' ones of the long established and highly respected Franco-Flemish polyphonic schools. In this light it is interesting to note that by the middle of the 16th century Italian-oriented compositional thinking had gained such an upper hand that the prevalent impression of this same 'Northern' polyphony was that it was largely unintelligible and therefore no longer really relevant.
Teachers: Rebecca Stewart and Martin Erhardt.
L'historia della vita e morte de nostro signore Jesu Criste
nelle parole d'un motetti missales
de Weerbeke (1472-'80/'89...'98), Compère ('73-'77),
Prologue: 'Laudiamo la vergine Maria, madre de Domine Nostri Jesu Christi'
Loyset Compère: Ave Maria gratia plena
I. Loco introitus: ad missam in annuntiatione DNJC
a. Franchino Gaffurio: Florem ergo genuisti (uit zijn motet cyclus: Salve mater salvatoris)
b. " " : Magnum nomen domini Emmanuel (uit zijn motet paar van dezelfde naam)
II. Loco gloria: ad missam in nativitate DNJC
a. Franchino Gaffurio: Prodiit puer de puella (uit zijn motet cyclus: De nativitate DNJC)
b. " " : Joseph conturbatus est... Verbum caro factum est (zie IIa)
c. Loyset Compère: Hodie nobis de virgine (uit zijn motet cyclus In nativitate DNJC)
III. Loco credo: ad missam in circumcisione DNJC
a. Loyset Compére: O admirabile commercium (zie IIc)
b. Josquin des Prez: Sancta dei genitrix (uit zijn motet cyclus Vultum tuum)
IV. Loco offertorium: ad missam/ad officium in passione DNJC
a. Johannes Martini(?): Hora prima ductus est (uit zijn motet cyclus De passione DNJC)
b. " " : Crucifige clamitant hora tertiarum (zie IVa)
c. Loyset Compère: Crucifige clamitant hora tertiarum (uit zijn Officium de Cruce)
V. Loco sanctus: ad missam/ad officium in passione DNJC
a. Johannes Martini(?): Iugi est cruce conclavatus (zieIVc)
b. Loyset Compère: Hora nona dominus jesus exspiravit (zie IVc)
VIa. Ad elevationem: ad missam in dominica resurrectionis
a. Loyset Compère: Adoramus te, Christe (uit zijn motet cyclus Ave DNJC)
b. Franchino Gaffurio: Ave verum corpus factum (uit zijn Missa brevis octavi toni)
VIb. Post elevationem: ad missam in dominica resurrectionis
Josquin des Prez: O domine jesu christe propter illam (uit zijn motet cyclus O domine jesu christe)
VII. Loco agnus dei: ad missam in ascensione DNJC
Josquin des Prez: Tu solus qui facis mirabilia (uit zijn Missa Dung aultre amer)
VIII. Loco deo gratias: ad missam in dominica pentecostes
a. Gaspar van Weerbeke: Spiritus domini (uit zijn motet cyclus In honorem sancti spiritus)
b. " " " : Loquebantur variis linguis (zie VIIIa)
Epilogue: 'Laudiamo la vergine Maria madre de DNJC
Josquin des Prez: Ave maria gratia plena
Zangers: Marsja Mudde, Anne Schneider, Eliska Kondrova, Lenka Kralova, Katharina Guhlmann, Marijke Meerwijk, Silvia Müller, Naomi Yasumura, Gesine Friedrich, Markéta Maid, Thea Scholten, Daniela Vodácková, Harald Maid, Tomas Vrba, Hidesato Sugiyama, Paul Shannon, Thomas Höhne and Vladimir Kosik
o.l.v.: Rebecca Stewart and Martin Erhardt