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Pierre de La Rue

Pierre de La Rue

(c.1460 - 1518)

La Rue was a Franco-Flemish master of vocal polyphony, and a highly regarded composer in his native Flanders. La Rue spent some years in Italy, before returning to Flanders in order to begin his main compositional output. He served consecutively as singer in the Imperial Chapel of Maximilian, the Chapel of Philippe le Beau, and finally as court favorite of Margaret of Austria. La Rue's output consists entirely of vocal music: masses, motets and chansons.

Though he was a younger contemporary of Josquin Des Préz, his style is more properly a continuation of that of Ockeghem, with its varied technical resources, long finely-spun melodies, and sonorous lines. La Rue's music also displays an unusual rhythmic vitality. His magnificently dark Requiem and intricate "Missa l'Homme arme" (No. 1) are especially admired today. ~ Todd McComb (6/94)

Recommended Recordings

Core Repertoire - Start Here! Requiem

Masses "Pro Defunctis" and "L'homme arme"/Harmonia Mundi HMC901296
Ensemble Clément Janequin
Mass "Pro Defunctis" (also see Josquin Des Préz)/Amon Ra CD-SAR24
James Wood/New London Chamber Choir