Josquin: Masses Di Dadi, Une mousse de Biscaye

The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips
71:13
Gimell CDGIM 048

Another winner! This latest Josquin offering from the Tallis Scholars brings together two of the early masses. The opening Missa Di Dadi  is particularly interesting, both for its use of gaming symbols in the notation of the tenor cantus firmus (though, fascinatingly, these disappear after the ‘Pleni sunt caeli’, possibly reflecting the concomitant Elevation of the Host) and for its echoes of the late, great Missa Pange Lingua  – for example, at the end of the Gloria, with its typically Josquinian close-wrought driving sequential ostinati.

The Missa ‘Une mousse de Biscaye’ (mousse being not culinary, but derived from the Castilian ‘Moza’ for girl) is more loosely structured, but no less musically satisfying.
Performances are, as usual, meticulously crafted. Tempi are relatively relaxed, allowing the music’s textural complexities full breathing space. Tuning, ensemble and overall shaping are as good as it gets.

The accompanying notes are models of scholarly precision; a generous bonus is the inclusion of the complete score of the Missa Di Dadi  as a PDF download, ideal for following and revelling in Josquin’s compositional genius.

Highly recommended!

Alastair Harper