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The difficult life of Josquin

Josquin had family members burned alive, had his employer arrested by a king, and escaped the plague.

While looking for information about musical settings of David’s lament--”Absalom, oh my son" etc, I found Josquin des Prez.

Josquin’s setting of Absalom, fili mi is quintessential High Renaissance music. Josquin was born in 1450 and died in 1521. Some would say he is the best representation of the musical styles of his day.

Josquin was Franco-Flemish, it is unclear if he was born in Belgium or France. He held posts in Paris, Milan, Rome, and Ferrara.

In 1483, Josquin was required to travel back to Belgium. His aunt and uncle had named Josquin their heir and they were most likely killed when Louis XI laid siege to their town, rounded up the civilians, locked them in the church and burned them alive.

Later, while employed in Milan, Louis XII conquered Milan and arrested Josquin’s aristocratic employer. Josquin returned to France and was connected to Louis’ court as a composer.

Duke Ercole of Ferrara hired Josquin away from Louis but that job ended when plague broke out.The Duke and his family were evacuated from the town. Josquin’s replacement died of the plague.

Josquin lived out the rest of his days in Conde and when Petrucci published an early edition of Josquin’s music he became famous.

This publication is still in existence and is the oldest surviving book of music by a single composer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2MuqpcfuM4

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While looking for information about musical settings of David’s lament--”Absalom, oh my son" etc, I found Josquin des Prez.

Josquin’s setting of Absalom, fili mi is quintessential High Renaissance music. Josquin was born in 1450 and died in 1521. Some would say he is the best representation of the musical styles of his day.

Josquin was Franco-Flemish, it is unclear if he was born in Belgium or France. He held posts in Paris, Milan, Rome, and Ferrara.

In 1483, Josquin was required to travel back to Belgium. His aunt and uncle had named Josquin their heir and they were most likely killed when Louis XI laid siege to their town, rounded up the civilians, locked them in the church and burned them alive.

Later, while employed in Milan, Louis XII conquered Milan and arrested Josquin’s aristocratic employer. Josquin returned to France and was connected to Louis’ court as a composer.

Duke Ercole of Ferrara hired Josquin away from Louis but that job ended when plague broke out.The Duke and his family were evacuated from the town. Josquin’s replacement died of the plague.

Josquin lived out the rest of his days in Conde and when Petrucci published an early edition of Josquin’s music he became famous.

This publication is still in existence and is the oldest surviving book of music by a single composer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2MuqpcfuM4

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Comments
1

I thought from your subtitle that he ORDERED the deaths and arrests.

That would have been disappointed as he is one of my favorite composers of scared polyphony.

His Ave Verum gives me chills. Here's a (little bit too slow) version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLBG9-aQTE0

April 10, 2013

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