Rogier van der Weyden, Visitation, around 1445, Leipzig, Museum der bildenden Künste

Loyset Compère – Magnificat, Motets & Chansons

Loyset Compère is known for his lovely songs. New recording by The Orlando Concert lets us enjoy the vibrant sounds to the full

loyset compere - the Orlando Concert-hyperionLoyset Compère (c 1445-1518)
Magnificat, motets & chansons
The Orlando Consort

The last twenty years have brought us a better understanding of some of the major composers of the second half of the 15th century. First of all, the date of birth of the major composers – Josquin Des Prez, Jacob Obrecht and Alexander Agricola – have all been moved forward ten to twenty years. Those years may seem to be of no significance. However, the internal chronology and understanding of the musical development in this period has shifted. One consequence has been that Loyset Compère, who was believed to be a contemporary to Josquin Des Prez, now seems much earlier. As such, he has been reinstated as the true originator of the imitative style, which characterises the period.

Perhaps, this should have no real impact on our joyous listening to his music. Nevertheless, it does help to understand him as less of a parergon, while Josquin Des Prez must be considered the composer who continued and perhaps perfected the new form of music.

Loyset Compère was born some time around 1445 somewhere near the French-Belgian Border. However, he is not registered on the scene until he is recorded as singer in the chapel at the Sforza court in Milan 1474 -1477. Later, he was working at French courts.

His compositions mainly come in the form of chansons and motets.

Recently ‘The Orlando Concert’ recorded ten of his compositions for Hyperion. The Orlando consort was formed in 1988 and has performed a repertoire including both High and Late Medieval music. The have performed at a number of top festivals including the BBC Proms). Currently, the group is working on a grand project, presenting Carl Th. Dreyer’s silent masterpiece: La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc with a soundscape of music from the period in which the film is set, namely the early 15th century.

The recording is generously provided with a pamphlet telling the story of Loyset Compère and with texts and English translations of the recorded songs. The recording took place in 2013 in the Parish Church of St John the Baptist, Loughton, Essex, United Kingdom


Ove Juul Nielsen





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