Johannes Ockeghem: Les Chanson

Album cover art for upc 5425008319957
Label: MEW
Catalog: MEW1995


Intimacy, intensity, passion—this album explores the unfamiliar idea that fifteenth-century songs might cause us to sigh, weep, or laugh out loud. In bringing to life a world in which crying in public was not just acceptable but required, we have to take seriously the crushing despair of a line like “My only sorrow is that I am not dead,” or the undisguised sarcasm of “This is how she chopped and cooked me up.” In Johannes Ockeghem’s roughly two dozen songs we find not only unparalleled compositional prowess, but feelings that range from happiness to loss, anger to despair, and bitterness to merriment. The album’s all-vocal, fully texted, close-mic’d performances are rooted in a flexible, full-blooded vocal technique that aims to capture the music’s technical brilliance and emotional depth.

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