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Encyclopedia > Jacob Obrecht
image:obrecht.jpg
Jacob Obrecht

Jacob Obrecht (November 22, 1458 – late July, 1505) was a Dutch composer of the Renaissance. He was the most famous composer of masses in Europe in the late 15th century, only being eclipsed by Josquin Desprez after his death, and in addition wrote many motets and songs. 15th century portait of jacob obrecht This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... November 22 is the 326th day (327th on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events January 24 - Matthias I Corvinus becomes king of Hungary Foundation of Magdalen College, University of Oxford George of Podebrady becomes king of Bohemia Pope Pius II becomes pope Turks sack the Acropolis Births February 15 - Ivan the Young, Ruler of Tver (d. ... 1505 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Renaissance music is European classical music written during the Renaissance, approximately 1400 to 1600. ... This article discusses the Mass as a standard form of classical music composition. ... (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... Josquin Des Prez Josquin Des Prez (diminutive of Joseph; latinized Josquinus Pratensis) (c. ... In Western music, motet is a word that is applied to a number of highly varied choral musical compositions. ...

Contents


Life

He was born in either 1457 or 1458, the only son of Ghent city trumpeter Willem Obrecht and Lijsbette Gheeraerts. His mother died in 1460 at the age of 20. His portrait, painted in 1496, gives his age as 38, establishing his birthdate. Events University of Freiburg founded. ... Events January 24 - Matthias I Corvinus becomes king of Hungary Foundation of Magdalen College, University of Oxford George of Podebrady becomes king of Bohemia Pope Pius II becomes pope Turks sack the Acropolis Births February 15 - Ivan the Young, Ruler of Tver (d. ... Gent at Night Ghent (Gent in Dutch, Gand in French, formerly Gaunt in English) is a city located in Flanders, Belgium. ...


Details of his early education are sparse, but he likely learned to play the trumpet, like his father, and in so doing learned the art of counterpoint and improvisation over a cantus firmus. Most likely he knew Antoine Busnois at the Burgundian court; at any rate he certainly knew his music, since his earliest mass shows close stylistic parallels with the elder composer. Trumpeter redirects to here. ... Counterpoint is a musical technique involving the simultaneous sounding of separate musical lines. ... In music, cantus firmus is the basic material to be set using polyphony. ... Manuscript of Missa O Crux Lignum, a mass by Busnois. ...


Obrecht seems to have had a succession of short appointments, many of which ended in less than ideal circumstances. At least twice he was in trouble for financial irregularities, more likely from careless bookkeeping than anything else, and there is one interesting record of his covering a shortfall in his accounts by a donation of his compositions to his employer. Throughout the period, though as an employee he may have been undesirable, he was held in the highest respect both by his patrons and by the composers who were his peers. Tinctoris, who was writing in Naples, singles him out in a short list of the master composers of the day—all the more significant because he was only 25 at the time Tinctoris made his list, and on the other side of Europe. Johannes Tinctoris (c. ... Naples (Italian Napoli, Neapolitan Nàpule, from Greek Νέα Πόλις - Néa Pólis - meaning New City; see also List of traditional Greek place names) is the largest city in southern Italy and capital of Campania Region and the Province of Naples. ...


While most of Obrecht's appointments were in Flanders in the Netherlands, he made at least two trips to Italy, once in 1487 at the invitation of Duke Ercole I d'Este of Ferrara, and again in 1505. Duke Ercole had heard Obrecht's music, which is known to have circulated in Italy between 1484 and 1487, and said that he appreciated it above the music of all other contemporary composers; consequently he invited Obrecht to Ferrara for six months in 1487. Flanders (Flemish, Fleming) (Dutch: Vlaanderen (Vlaams, Vlaming)) has two main designations: a geographical region in the north of Belgium, corresponding to the Flemish region, a constituent part of the federal Belgian state. ... Events Richard Fox becomes Bishop of Exeter. ... 1505 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Events January 25 - Peter Arbues, chief of the Spanish Inquisition, is assassinated when he is praying in the cathedral at Saragossa, Spain July 6 - Portuguese sea captain Diogo Cão finds the mouth of Congo River December 5 - Pope Innocent VIII gives the inquisition a mission to hunt heretics and... Events Richard Fox becomes Bishop of Exeter. ...


In 1504 Obrecht once again went to Ferrara, but on the death of the Duke at the beginning of the next year he became unemployed. In what capacity he stayed in Ferrara is unknown, but he died in the outbreak of plague there just before August 1, 1505. 1504 was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Works

Obrecht wrote mainly sacred music: masses and motets, though a few secular chansons have survived. This article discusses the Mass as a standard form of classical music composition. ... In Western music, motet is a word that is applied to a number of highly varied choral musical compositions. ... Chanson is a French word for song, and in English-language contexts is often applied to any song with French words, particularly a cabaret song. ...


Stylistically, Obrecht is a fascinating example of the contrapuntal extravagance of the late 15th century. He usually uses a cantus firmus technique for his masses, but uses a staggering variety of constructive devices in transforming simple source material into multi-movement mass compositions. Sometimes he takes his source material and divides it up into short phrases; sometimes he uses retrograded versions of complete melodies, or melodic fragments; in one case he even extracts the component notes and orders them by note value, long to short, constructing new melodic material from the reordered sequences of notes. He prefers episodic structures,where each section of a work uses different motivic material: clearly to Obrecht there could not be too much variety. His procedures show a startling contrast to the work of the next generation, for example Josquin, who favored unity and simplicity of approach. Counterpoint is a musical technique involving the simultaneous sounding of separate musical lines. ... (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... In music, cantus firmus is the basic material to be set using polyphony. ... Counterpoint is a musical technique involving the simultaneous sounding of separate musical lines. ... In music, a motif is a perceivable or salient reoccurring fragment or succession of notes that may used to construct the entirety or parts of complete melodies, themes. ... Josquin Des Prez Josquin Des Prez (diminutive of Joseph; latinized Josquinus Pratensis) (c. ...


As a masterful handling of the cantus firmus technique, one only has to look at Obrecht's Missa Sub presidium tuum, which incorporates altogether six different Marian chants: Sub presidium tuum (Antiphon, Soprano, all movements), Ave preclara maris stella (Sequence verse 7, Soprano II, Credo), Aurea virga prime matris Eve (Sequence verse 9b, Soprano II and Tenor II, Sanctus), Aurea virga prime matrix Eve (Sequence verse 3b, Soprano II and Tenor I, Agnus Dei I & II), Regina caeli (Antiphon, Soprano II and Tenor I, Agnus Dei III), and Verbum bonum et suave (Sequence verse 3b, Alto I, Agnus Dei). In addition, the number of voice parts increases from three in the Kyrie, to four in the Gloria, and so on, until there are seven voice parts in the Agnus Dei. The title chant is clearly heard in the top voice throughout the work.


For his source material he clearly preferred the popular chansons of the day. While it may seem strange to a modern listener that a composer would build a sacred composition upone fragments of secular, even profane popular songs, this procedure was neither considered improper nor even particularly irreverent at the time (for example, there is a mass by MoutonMissa faulte d'argent ["lack of money"]—based on Josquin's chanson of the same name in which a man wakes up in bed with a prostitute, realizing painfully that he does not have enough money to pay her). Jean Mouton (c. ...


Though he was renowned in his time, Obrecht had little influence on subsequent generations: most likely he simply went out of fashion. The superabundant inventiveness seen in his works is an interesting analogue to the contemporary style of painting, shown most famously by Hieronymus Bosch (also born in 1450). Hieronymus Bosch; alleged portrait (around 1560) Hieronymus Bosch, (also Jeroen Bosch or Jerome Bosch) (c. ... Events March - French troops under Guy de Richemont besiege the English commander in France, Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, in Caen April 15 - Battle of Formigny. ...


External links

The Werner Icking Music Archive, often abbreviated WIMA, is a web archive of public domain sheet music. ...

Sources and further reading

  • Article "Jacob Obrecht," in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie. 20 vol. London, Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 1980. ISBN 1561591742
  • Gustave Reese, Music in the Renaissance. New York, W.W. Norton & Co., 1954. ISBN 0393095304
  • The Concise Edition of Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 8th ed. Revised by Nicolas Slonimsky. New York, Schirmer Books, 1993. ISBN 002872416X
  • Rob C. Wegman, Born for the Muses: The Life and Masses of Jacob Obrecht. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1994. ISBN 0-19-816382-7

Gustave Reese (November 29, 1899 – September 7, 1977) was an American musicologist and teacher. ...

Recording

  • Flemish Masters, Virginia Arts Recordings, VA-04413, performed by Zephyrus. Includes the Obrecht Missa Sub tuum presidium, as well as motets by Willaert, Clemens non Papa, Ockeghem, Des Prez, Mouton, and Gombert.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Jacob Obrecht (1389 words)
Jacob Obrecht (1457/1458 – late July, 1505) was a Flemish Composer of the Renaissance.
While most of Obrecht's appointments were in Flanders in the Netherlands, he made at least Two trips to Italy, once in 1487 at the invitation of Duke Ercole I d'Este of Ferrara, and again in 1505.
Stylistically, Obrecht is a fascinating example of the contrapuntal extravagance of the late 15th Century.
Jacob Obrecht - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (791 words)
Jacob Obrecht (November 22, 1458 – late July, 1505) was a Dutch composer of the Renaissance.
While most of Obrecht's appointments were in Flanders in the Netherlands, he made at least two trips to Italy, once in 1487 at the invitation of Duke Ercole I d'Este of Ferrara, and again in 1505.
Stylistically, Obrecht is a fascinating example of the contrapuntal extravagance of the late 15th century.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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