Agnus Dei from Missa sexti toni "L'homme armé"


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Peacock Press

Composer: des Prez- Josquin

Arranger: Joanna Brown

Instrumentation: 2 Descants - 2 Trebles - Tenor - Bass

Period/Genre: Renaissance

Grade: Easy

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Josquin des Prez (c.1450 - 1521) was born on the borders of France and Belgium. Little is known about his life, but he is thought to have been a choirboy in his early years. 

This Agnus Dei is rather unusual in that the four upper voices are in two paired canons at the unison. The two lower parts have their melodies in both direct and retrograde forms - this can be seen very clearly if one looks at the individual bass part. Although the piece is in 'cut-common' time, the tenor and bass parts generally sound as if they are moving in a slower triple time beneath the more rapidly-moving upper parts. These lower parts, at first glance very straightforward, are in fact the most difficult to carry off well in performance, requiring excellent tone and breath control to make them sound convincing. 

Dynamics and articulation are left to the players' discretion. I would suggest a smooth tongued legato for the upper four parts, and also that great care is taken with the exact placing of the tenor and bass notes so as to give a solid foundation to the piece. Joanna Brown - August 2020

Score: 9 pages. 6 parts @ 1-2 pages ea. 

NB: Cover colour may vary.

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