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Antoine Brumel

Antoine Brumel Manuscript

(c.1460 - c.1520)

Brumel was a top composer in the Franco-Flemish tradition during the time of Josquin and Obrecht. Brumel was a pupil of Josquin, and historically significant as the first truly French composer to be associated with the court in Burgundy. Much of his fame rests on the 12-voice "Missa Et ecce terrae motus," which was to be cited until the end of the 16th century and led to the composition of more laments on his death than were received by his contemporaries Obrecht, Mouton and Agricola combined.

Brumel's style in this Mass (and in much of his work) is primarily chordal, largely eschewing contrapuntal intricacy and making sparing use of imitation. As such, his style has more in common with the later Renaissance style as exemplified by Palestrina than the style of Ockeghem or Josquin. The "Missa Et ecce terrae motus" ("Earthquake Mass") is hence historically significant for its style which is somewhat anticipatory of later developments and for its through-composed twelve voices, that produce massive blocked chordal structures.

On the whole, Brumel's music should appeal those who enjoy the later Renaissance style who will, no doubt, find this an interesting example of earlier large chordal music sparse in contrapuntal ideas. ~ Todd McComb (6/94)

Recommended Recordings


Sony Legacy 89613
Mass "Et ecce terra motus" (Earthquake Mass); Dies Irae Dies Illa/Sony Vivarte SK46348 or Legacy 89613
Paul Van Nevel/Huelgas Ensemble
Mass "Et ecce terra motus" (Earthquake Mass); Lamentations, Magnificat secundi toni/Gimell 26
Paul Van Nevel/Huelgas Ensemble
Mass "Berzerette savoyenne" & Motets/Chanticleer CR-8805