Messes Ave maris stella et D’ung aultre amer
Tempus fugit...Métamorphoses and Biscantor ! vocal ensembles
Directed by : Maurice Bourbon
Messe Ave maris stella
Messe D'ung aultre amer
Volume 8, « Josquin et Milan », de l’intégrale des messes Josquin l’Européen
Ensembles Biscantor ! et Métamorphoses
Direction Juliette de Massy
Available in April 2020 !
Originally planned to include only the masses "Ave maris stella" and "D’ung aultre amer", as “Josquin and Milan” (1), the eighth volume of the complete masses “Josquin the European”, the project evolved into “Tempus fugit…”.
When the Musée Départemental de l’Isère invited Métamorphoses and Maurice Bourbon to perform at the opening of the exhibition “The Eternity Builders” in 2016, it was quite natural for them to combine the temporal and the spiritual.
Taking advantage of the unusual form of "D’ung aultre amer" and the relative brevity of the two masses, Maurice Bourbon concocted a programme that framed Josquin’s magnificent works with original compositions written on texts by Agrippa d’Aubigné, Ronsard, Baudelaire and Proust, as well as a sacred madrigal by Monteverdi. Like a nod from authors of centuries past to their glorious predecessor!
The mass "Ave maris stella" is based on a Gregorian hymn. Mainly sung by the Tenor in its first mode, it occurs throughout the mass. The four phrases are paraphrased in a writing style that emphasizes imitation of the motif among the different voices. It appears in a fragmentary way in the "Kyrie", and is repeated a second time in the other sections, except in the "Credo", where it occurs six times in phrases that are more or less recognizable due to ornamentation, variation, shortening, lengthening…
The mass was written for four voices, except for the "Pleni sunt" (3), the "Benedictus" and the "Agnus Dei 2" (2). The mass "D’ung aultre amer", entirely written for four voices, is one of Josquin’s shortest. The "Gloria" and "Credo" in particular are very taut and are essentially written “vertically”, or homophonically. The highly unusual Sanctus is without a "Benedictus" and includes a “Tu solis…”. This, along with the succinctness of the mass, triggered the idea of “Tempus fugit…”.
“Whether by using an Ockeghem song in the Missa "D’ung aultre amer" or by borrowing from plainchant to construct the Missa "Ave maris stella", Josquin’s sound architecture in fact coincides with the thought of Leonardo da Vinci, and was probably a subject of conversation between them in Milan when the latter wrote one of his many aphorisms about nature: Ciò che non ha termine [l’infinito] non ha figura alcuna (That which has no end has no form.).” (Jacques Barbier, 2019).
Maurice Bourbon enlisted Ronsard to evoke the passage of time in "Tempus secundus" and through the phrase “et tôt serons étendus sous la lame”, which introduces and “stages” the magnificent Agnus 1 in D’ung aultre amer. Agrippa d’Aubigné, in the "Prologus" (“et rien que Dien n’est permanent”), introduces the "Kyrie" of the "Ave maris stella" in a similar way.
Between the two masses a "Tempus primus" progresses through complementary texts by Proust and Baudelaire, on to Monteverdi’s "E questa vita un lampo", and finally to Tasso’s "Morte di Clorinda". The latter is “commented on” by the "Kyrie" that follows it. And finally, the “nos homines” leitmotif that opens the work is a constant reminder of the human dimension of the mass, and has the “last word” in the "Epilogus".