I have come to think of Josquin’s Mass settings
as an equivalent achievement to Beethoven’s nine symphonies: each one exploring a different aspect of the form, each one an intellectual and technical tour de force, each one showing a different side of his personality.
On August 27, 1521, Jossequin Lebloitte dit Desprez died in Condé-sur-l’Escaut, France. Known by the iconic first name Josquin even to his contemporaries, he was the leading composer of the early Renaissance in Europe, whose mastery and innovative development of the compositional techniques of his time brought unprecedented depth and breathtaking beauty to the vocal music of the Franco-Flemish school. Acclaimed around the world for their standard-setting performances of Josquin’s works, the Tallis Scholars and their music director Peter Phillips now bring an extraordinary project to the Pierre Boulez Saal to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the composer’s death and to close the season: 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.