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Johannes Ockeghem: Complete Songs, Volume 2

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BHCD 1013
Release date: May 3, 2024


Johannes Ockeghem (c. 1420-1497) was one of the most celebrated musicians of the fifteenth century and one of the greatest composers of all time. He was every bit the equal of J.S. Bach in contrapuntal technique and profound expressivity, and like Bach able to combine the most rigorous intellectual structure with a beguiling sensuality. His two
dozen songs set French lyric poetry in the courtly forms of his era—rondeau, virelai, and ballade—to exquisitely crafted polyphony in which all voices are granted equally beautiful and compelling melodies.

This CD is the companion to Blue Heron’s 2019 release, Johannes Ockeghem: Complete Songs, Volume 1, which was named to the Bestenliste of the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik and acclaimed in Gramophone for “performances of absolute clarity, beautifully in tune, beautifully balanced and beautifully recorded”; Early Music enthused that “the Boston-based ensemble is at its finest—a summit quite sublime.… The group’s extraordinary rapport with the music is evident everywhere in the recording; each melodic line is not only clear and precise but also imbued with obvious affection.”

Besides twelve of Ockeghem’s songs, the disc includes two related works (Gilles Binchois’s Pour prison, quoted by Ockeghem in his song La despourveue, and Johannes Cornago’s Qu’es mi vida, arranged by Ockeghem) and an anoymous instrumental arrangement of Ockeghem’s Je n’ay dueil. The CD booklet contains complete texts and translations, and notes by music historian Sean Gallagher and Blue Heron’s artistic director, Scott Metcalfe.

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Scott Metcalfe, harp & fiddle, artistic director


Track Listing

  1. Prenez sur moi vostre exemple amoureux 05:08
  2. Tant fuz gentement resjouy 03:37
  3. Ung aultre l’a, n’en querés plus 04:58
  4. Baisiés moy dont fort, ma maistresse 05:45
  5. Binchois Pour prison ne pour maladie 06:25
  6. La despourveue et la bannye 08:29
  7. L’autre d’antan, l’autrier passa 03:17
  8. Ma bouche rit et ma pensée pleure 07:20
  9. Presque transi, ung peu mains qu’estre mort 06:48
  10. Les desloyaulx ont la saison 03:20
  11. Je n’ay dueil que je ne suis morte 05:46
  12. Je n’ay dueil (arr. anonymous) 03:55
  13. Il ne m’en chault plus de nul ame 04:40
  14. Cornago ¿Qu’es mi vida preguntays? 04:08
  15. Cornago/Ockeghem ¿Qu’es mi vida preguntays? 05:41

    Total time 79:27