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Johannes Ockeghem

Johannes Ockeghem

When his ex-student Josquin Desprez wrote his Nymphes des bois, a moving and impressive work to lament the death of his master, Ockeghem reputation as one of the greatest composers of the 15th century was truly established. And Josquin wasn't the only one who praised him. Many poets and musicians regarded him as a genius, both as a composer and as a musician. Nowadays, his music is mostly described as relatively inaccesible, because often it is one single polyphonic stream without pauses for breaths. Yet, this particular aspect of his music is also what makes it so exciting and focused.

Ockeghem's music might not always be easy on the ears, but its structure is incredibly refined with a soft sound. This is especially the case in his missas, with his melancholic Missa Mi-Mi as the pinnacle. Other highlights are his Missa prolationum and his Requiem (the first polyphonic requiem in the history of music!). Ockeghem also wrote several motets and about twenty chansons. 


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Cappella Pratensis

Johannes Ockeghem, Pierre de La Rue
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