Josquin des Prez “Mille Regretz”

The renaissance chanson Mille Regretz

Performers: Bruce Dickey, Cornetto
Hanneke van Proosdij, organ

The renaissance chanson Mille Regretz, composed by the incomparable Josquin des Prez, performed by Bruce Dickey & Hanneke van Proosdij, with divisions in the style of Ganassi and Bassano. Video from the Voices of Music Great Artists series, October, 2012.

Mille regretz was one of the most famous compositions of the renaissance, and was called “Canción del Emperador”, the song of the emperor, by the Spanish composer Narváez as it was reputedly the favorite of Charles the V. Josquin’s composition is a perfect miniature of contrapuntal simplicity and elegance, ending with a brief litany in declamatory style on the text “brief mes jours definer”, “so soon my days will end.”

In this performance, Bruce Dickey recreates the art of renaissance and early baroque ornamentation: first, the original chanson is performed, with the cornetto sounding the treble and the other parts played by the organ; next, two versions are performed using original techniques of ornamentation, with an interlude for solo organ.

Pitch and temperament are a vital part of the sound of this music. This video was recorded at the pitch of 467 Hz in quarter comma meantone.

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