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Missa pro defunctis (Jean Richafort)

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  • (Posted 2020-04-19)  CPDL #58061:   
    • MIDI files I. Introitus:   II. Kyrie:   III. Graduale:   IV. Offertorium:   V. Sanctus & Benedictus:   VI. Agnus Dei:   VII. Communio:  
Editor: Andrew Fysh (submitted 2020-04-19).   Score information: A4, 60 pages, 997 kB   Copyright: CC BY SA
Edition notes: Complete setting, at original pitch (for SATTTB, SATTBB or ATTTBB). Original note values retained. Transcribed and edited from the Modena and München sources listed below. Revised edition uploaded 9 August 2020.

General Information

Title: Missa pro defunctis (Requiem in memoriam Josquin des Prez)
Composer: Jean Richafort
Number of voices: 6vv   Voicings: SATTTB, SATTBB or ATTTBB
Genre: SacredRequiemMass

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1532 in Viginti missarum musicalium (Pierre Attaingnant), Volume 6, no. 1
 Manuscript c.1520–30, Duomo, Biblioteca e Archivio Capitolare di Modena, Modena, MS Mus. X
 Manuscript c.1555–63, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München, Mus. MS 46
 Manuscript 1559, Leiden, Archieven van de Kerken, Ms. 1440 (Koorboek III / Codex C) — misattributed to Josquin des Prez

Description: One of the most ingenious and complex settings of the Requiem mass from the High Renaissance. Richafort combines chant paraphrase and freely composed counterpoint with a canon that quotes from two of Josquin des Prez's secular works — Faulte d'argent and Nymphes, nappés. Although no historical evidence supports any direct linkage between this work and Josquin's death in 1521, Richafort's setting was nonetheless clearly intended as a memorial to the great master who was also believed to be his mentor or teacher. See Editorial Notes to CPDL #58061 above for further discussion.


Original text and translations

For information, refer to the Requiem page. For texts and translations, see the individual pages:

Intr: RequiemKyrie • Gr: Si ambulem • Off: Domine Jesu ChristeSanctus & BenedictusAgnus Dei • Comm: Lux aeterna

Richafort's setting follows the Parisian Rite, which contains minor variances in the text of the Introitus and Offertorium (see CPDL #58061 above for full texts and translations), and includes the Graduale Si ambulem between the Kyrie and Offertorium.

In addition, two texts alluding to works by Josquin are sung by the canonic voices: Circumdederunt me (from the Office of the Dead but also a cantus firmus in Nymphes, nappés):

Latin.png Latin text

Circumdederunt me gemitus mortis,
dolores inferni circumdederunt me.

English.png English translation

The groanings of death have encircled me:
the sorrows of hell have enclosed me.

and a line from Faulte d'argent:

French.png French text

C'est douleur non pareille.

English.png English translation

… 'tis a sorrow without equal.