The Tallis Scholars
Peter Phillips



Josquin des Prez

Missa "Fortuna desperata"

Josquin des Prez

Missa "Malheur me bat"

Approximate running time: 1h 30m with one intermission

Settings Based on Secular Models


Josquin des Prez, the leading composer of the early Renaissance in Europe, died on August 27, 1521. To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the composer’s death and to close the season, the Tallis Scholars and their music director Peter Phillips, acclaimed around the world for their standard-setting performances of Josquin’s works, bring an extraordinary project to the Pierre Boulez Saal: Over the course of four days, they will perform Josquin’s complete masses in what will be the ensemble’s first-ever cyclical presentation of these works.


Like many mass settings of the time, Josquin’s Missa “Malheur me bat” and the Missa “Fortuna desperate” are based on pre-existing melodies, yet no other composer employed compositional techniques as complex as Josquin’s to transform the given material into stupendously polyphonic masterworks—whose musical origins hardly ever come to the surface.