Today marks the death, in 1521 of Josquin des Prez, and while this isn’t directly Tudor related, the music of Josquin greatly influenced our Tudor composers. In the 16th century he was the most famous composer of the age, yet after a century his work drifted away, and was only rediscovered in the 20th century. Because of this, very little is known about him.
He wrote both sacred and secular music, and in all of the significant vocal forms of the age, including masses, motets, and chansons. He spent his early life in France, singing in a choir in Anjou in the 1470’s, but then moved to Italy, where he spent much of his adult life, coming back to France when he was older. His reputation grew after he died, and by the end of the 16th century, he was the most famous composer of all time. Yet his work then drifted into obscurity, and was only rediscovered since the 1950’s.
That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com, where you can always dive deeper into Tudor music by checking out my weekly radio show the Tudor Music Hour.
(download the recent episode on Josquin here)
David Skinner on 16th century music - listen here