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Josquin Desprez
c.1440 - 1521
The Netherlands / Belgium
J. Desprez
Josquin Desprez -also: Josquin des Pres and Josquin Despres- (c.1440 - 27/08/1521), a Flemish composer (from Condé-sur-Escaut), who wrote masses, motets, songs, etc.
Source:Grove’s dictionary of music and musicians
Requiem aeternam
Period:Early Renaissance
Musical form:motet
A six-part motet.
Requiem, 'La deploration de Johannes Ockeghem'
Period:Early Renaissance
Composed in:1497
Musical form:song
In memory of:Johannes Ockeghem
Label(s):Centaur 2548
A beautiful five-part work with its cantus firmus "Requiem aeternam" and its touching conclusion with all the voices in solemn harmony on the words 'Requiescat in pace, Amen'.
Source: Grove’s dictionary of music and musicians
J. Ockeghem
Absolve quaesumus
Period:Early Renaissance
Composed in:1506c
Musical form:motet à 6 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin Exsequiarum Ordo Defunctorum
In memory of:Philip the Fair
Label(s):Eufoda 1167
KTC 1214
BMG/Conifer 51353
RCA Red Seal 61814
The “Absolve quaesumus” - see Liber Usualis page 1766 – is in this case the “oratio” standard prayer prayed at the end of the ceremony Ad elationem cadaveris out of the Exsequiarum Ordo which is the starting part of the Officium Defuntorum. Josquin starts with the plainchant Requiem aeternam (not in the original score), followed by the Absolve quaesumus for six voices ( SAATBB) and ends in polyphony (SAATBB) with Requiescant in pace, Amen as we always pray at the end of a ceremony of the Dead. Josquin uses interesting imitative polyphony. The Altus II is singing in long paraphrased notes the plainchant “Requiem aeternam Dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis”. But which person is dedicatee in this Requiem? Probable three possibilities: Philip the Fair (1468-1506), Jacob Obrecht (1450-1505) or Josquin itself?
In the six-part work probably the name of Jacob Obrecht has processed in the disguise of a number. The end-phrase (From bar 92) of these composition counts 98 notes. And we also get that number as we add up the rank numbers of all characters in Obrecht’s Christian name and surname. So the opinion of Slef van Leunen, and Edward Wickham, conductors. On the other hand this work could be, and that’s more relevant, dedicated to Philip the Fair who died in September 1506 : See the Latin text: “Absolve., quaesumus, Domine, animam famuli tui Philippi …….. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine”,: We pray you, Lord, to free the soul of your servant Philip……..Grant him eternal rest, o Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.
I think and suppose this last opinion fits better. Because Josquin lets pray for a certain person called Philippi, Philip, Philip the Fair? Most reasonable Philip the Fair who died in September 1506. On the other hand if it is proved this work has been composed before 1506 it could possible strengthen to conclude Jacob Obrecht can be the dedicatee. I am not sure. But then remains the question why did Josquin Philippi mention in his prayer? And who is this mentioned Philippi? It is the same puzzling as in the Da Vinci code!? The dedicatee is at least challenged. This work is found among others in Toledo, Catedral, Biblioteca Capitolar, Libros de facistol, Ms 21 and in Rome Sancta Maria Maggiore, Arch. Liber Cod. 26.
Author:Wim Goossens
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei.
Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine.
Absolve, quaesumus, Domine, Animam famuli tui Philippi, ab omni vinculo delictorum
Ut in resurrectionis gloria, inter sanctos et electos tuos resuscitatus respiret.
Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen
Requiescant in pace. Amen.

Grant him eternal rest, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.
We pray you, Lord, to free the soul of your servant Philip, from the bond of all sins.
That in the glory of the resurrection he may breath again, among your Saints and chosen ones.
Through Christ our Lord.
May they rest in peace. Amen.
Contributor:Wim Goossens
Philip the Fair