Monday, September 17, 2007

What Josquin's "Eagles Wings" Sounds like

So far as I'm concerned, it was Michael Lawrence who re-discovered this amazing piece by Josquin written for 24 voices, but nothing had prepared me for what it actually sounds like. the piece is Qui habitat, and the essential musical motion here comes not from chord changes, modal shifts, or melody but from pure texture - changes here alone. You certainly do get this sense of flight and never seeing ground. It has to be one of the more spectacular, if strange, pieces I've ever heard from the 16th century. Tell me if you agree that it sounds nearly modern (does it sound like P. Glass?) or maybe not: maybe it is the audible rendering of a Gothic cathedral. Not sure. In any case, decide for yourself:

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