Ensemble Clement Janequin

Brumel: Missa “Et ecce terrae motus”

In a way, the music of the mass was, for Franco-Flemish masters, what the symphony is for more modern composers. It was the major large-scale form. Antoine Brumel was a student of the great Josquin Desprez, who had studied with Johannes Ockeghem, all great masters who are rarely heard today. (In case you’re new to Renaissance polyphonic music, that’s like saying: “Beethoven, who studied with Haydn, who knew Mozart.”) This sublime vocal music, a must for all lovers of mystery, is graced with an ever-flowering lyricism that takes your breath away. Rich in virtuoso vocals and glorious sounds, it is superbly performed and recorded. This special piece, written for a large group of 12 voices and optional instruments, remains Brumel’s most famous mass. It’s compelling.