Friday, 24 August 2012

A - Z of Music - J

Josquin Des Prez - usually referred to just as Josquin - was a Franco-Flemish composer of the Renaissance. During the 16th century, Josquin gradually acquired the reputation as the greatest composer of the age, his mastery of technique and expression universally imitated and admired.
Josquin wrote both sacred and secular music, and in all of the significant vocal forms of the age, including masses, motets, chansons and frottole.
His music was so admired and imitated over the years, that, with the advancement of scholarly knowledge, a number of works have been removed from the cannon of his output and attributed to his contempories.
Because of his immense prestige in the early sixteenth century, many scribes and publishers did not resist the temptation of attributing anonymous or otherwise spurious works to Josquin. The German editor Georg Forster summed up the situation admirably in 1540 when he wrote, "Now that Josquin is dead, he is putting out more works than when he was alive."
Josquin's fame lasted throughout the 16th century, and indeed increased for several decades after his death, eventually being replaced in popularity by the works of Palestrina (we'll come to him later!)
As usual, I struggled to decide which work to protray here, but decided on this one:  Miserere Mei Deus

Now, what shall we have for J? The all too obvious choice would be Michael Jackson, the so-called 'King Of Pop', and indeed, his was an extraordinary talent, even if his life was somewhat weird. I guess when you achieve such heady fame at the age of 5, it will take its' toll on your lifestyle and personality.
However, rather than Michael, I've opted for the Jacksons as a whole.
This is the Director's Cut of their amazing (for its' time) video to an equally great song - 'Can You Feel It'

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