Johannes OCKEGHEM. Missa De plus en plus / The Clerks' Group
Johannes OCKEGHEM. Credo ‘De village’ · Gaude Maria (attr.)
Matthaeus PIPELARE. Salve Regina · Gilles BINCHOIS. De plus en plus · Jacobus BARBIREAU. Osculetur


AS&V "Gaudeamus" CD GAU 143

Matthaeus PIPELARE
(c. 1450—c.1515)
01. Salve regina  [8:39]

Missa De plus en plus
02. Kyrie  [2:48]
03. Gloria  [6:55]
04. Credo  [8:45]
05. Sanctus, Benedictus  [9:27]
06. Agnus Dei  [5:39]

(c. 1400—1460)
07. De plus en plus  [5:30]

08. Credo ‘De village ’  [7:09]

09. Osculetur me  [7:28]

10. Gaude Maria  [10:06]

Edward Wickham

soprano: Carys Lane, Rebecca Outram, Emma Brain-Gabbott
alto: Robin Blaze, William Missin, Fergus McLusky
tenor: Stephen Harrold, James Gilchrist
bass: Edward Wickham, Jonathan Arnold

Produced by Jonathan Freeman-Attwood
Engineered by Paul Proudman and ProudSound
Recorded at St. Andrew's Church, West Wratting, 30-31 October 1995

[from The Ockeghem Collection:]

After the relatively short Missa L'homme armé (1450s), Ockeghem established his name as a leading Mass composer with De plus en plus and Ecce ancilla Domini, two expansive cantus firmus cycles in which the rich counterpoint flows at a more majestic pace than anything he had written before or since. Missa De plus en plus seems to be the earlier of the two. It dates from around the time that Binchois, composer of the original song De plus en plus, died, in 1460. Ockeghem had responded to the older man's death with a musical lament, Mors tu a navré, and the choice of cantus firmus for the Mass may have been inspired by the same occurrence. Ockeghem lifted the voice labelled ‘tenor’ from Binchois' song, and used it as the tenor of every major movement of the Mass, with changing melodic ornamentation each time. There are several details in the work to suggest English influence; the Gloria seems close to that of such English cycles as Caput (1440s) and Walter Frye's Nobilis et pulchra (1450s or early 60s). Just as in Ockeghem's L'homme armé Mass, the music culminates in an Agnus Dei of such depth and reflectiveness as seem typical of Ockeghem alone.

Ockeghem's Credo ‘Sine nomine’ must date from the early to mid 1470s: it is not a strict cantus firmus setting but a free fantasy on the melody of the Gregorian Credo I - a type of setting that was often designated “Credo de Village” in the 15th century. In 1476/7, financial accounts of the church of St Donatian at Bruges mention a copying payment for a Credo “de Village” by Ockeghem - surely the piece recorded here. An extended musical portion of the “Et incarnates” is quoted literally in the Credo of Ockeghem's Missa Au travail suis (thought to be one of his later Masses).

Gaude Maria must be a work of the 1480s or 90s. The motet survives with an attribution to Ockeghem in a German set of partbooks from the 1540s, too late and peripheral for scholars to be confident of its authenticity. Among Ockeghem's securely ascribed works, the Missa Ma maistresse and especially the late motet Alma redemptoris mater closely resemble it in lucid contrapuntal texture and jubilant tone. Our image of Ockeghem's sacred music during the 1480s and 90s has traditionally been dominated by such sombre and austerely reflective five-part pieces as Intemerata Dei mater, and the Masses Fors seulement and Sine nomine. If Gaude Maria can be accepted as his, it would reveal a lighter, more outgoing aspect to his musical outlook at the end of his life.

© Rob C. Wegman