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Wot No Bars!
June 15, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm£15 – £20
A workshop for voices working from partbooks on Richafort’s Missa pro defunctis with Tutor David Hatcher
Despite having been considered one of the most important polyphonists of his day, Franco-Flemish composer Jean Richafort is known to a relatively small audience today. He was born around 1480 in Flanders, probably in a town called Ricartsvorde. In 1507 he became head of the chapel at the cathedral of St Rombaud in Mechlin, and sometime around 1515 he might have been in the service of the French royal court, having wrote for the funeral of Louis XII in that year. He was in Italy by 1516; associations with Bologna and Rome have been suggested, and his last known post was as head of the chapel at St Gilles in Bruges. Nothing is known of his movements after 1547.
The six-voice Missa Pro Defunctis is undoubtedly a masterpiece of Franco-Flemish polyphonic music, possibly written around 1532 in response to the death of Josquin to whom both of the canonic canti firmi refer.
We will be singing from parts with original note values and no bar lines in an edition prepared by David from the manuscript held by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. Hopefully, later in the day we will also use facsimiles of the original itself. Singing from parts without barlines can be daunting at first, but I hope that singers will soon realise the freedom and greater closeness to the composer’s own thought process that this encourages. The manuscript itself is a beautifully written document in very clear notation, so fear not!
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