Missa L'homme arme
Morton / Busnoys / Ockeghem / Agricola
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Ensemble Nusmido grapples with 600-year-old music and attempts - in four-voice a cappella and instrumental settings - to come as close as possible to the sonic ideals of early polyphony. As singers and instrumentalists, the musicians focus their attention on a flexible musicality beyond the rigid metrical framework of bar lines, on active contrapuntal interplay, and on a natural connection with the acoustics of the performance space. 'Johannes Ockeghem - Missa L'homme armé' thus creates an exciting journey into long gone worlds of knights, castles, and beautiful music. The chanson 'L'homme armé' (The Armed Man) is one of the most popular songs of the Middle Ages. The brave knights presented in this song, its certain victories and bloody battles, played a central role in the minds of fifteenth-century people: as soon as the Hundred Years War had come to a close, the Turks conquered Constantinople and threatened to attack Europe. The seemingly simple melody of L'homme armé functioned as the basis of over thirty Mass settings in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. One of these was written by the Flemish composer Johannes Ockeghem. Ensemble Nusmido, who have dedicated their work to the music of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, have combined the individual movements of this Mass with instrumental compositions with much care and deliberation - some of these works are by Ockeghem himself, others by his contemporaries.