Josquin polyphonissimus

March 19, 2021

Continuing my observance of the Josquin anniversary year I’ve been listening through his motets, and this week came to the mighty Qui habitat, written for 24 voices. To write for such a large number of parts was rare for him, and I wish I knew more about the circumstances for which it was composed. It’s a beautiful piece, like eavesdropping on the angelic choirs around the heavenly throne.

Here is a nice video performance of the piece by Kammerchor Josquin des Prez. The musical texture is fairly static, as though time has stopped, and we hear only the voices cascading over one another in repeated patterns. But as the piece unfolds you’ll hear that the texture does change as the material migrates through pitch ranges. (Following along with the score is rewarding.) Only in the last few minutes does he bring in all 24 voices simultaneously.

One Response to “Josquin polyphonissimus”

  1. Rob G Says:

    Marvelous!


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