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Clemens non Papa – Priest and bon vivant
Jacobus VAET (1529 - 1567) Continuo lacrimas [3.06] (4)
Jacobus CLEMENS (Clemens non Papa) (c.1510–c.1556) Si mors dissolvit [3.43] (1)
Jacobus CLEMENS (Clemens non Papa)/Antonio de CABAZON (c.1510-1566) Cancion francesca [1.59] (3)
Anonymous Amy helas [1.14] (2)
SANDRIN (Pierre Regnault) (c.1490–c.1561) Elas amy [1.49] (2)
Jacobus CLEMENS (Clemens non Papa) Adieu delices de mon coeur [3.28] (4); Godt es mijn licht [1.51] (1);
Jacobus CLEMENS (Clemens non Papa)/ Elias Nicolaus AMMERBACH (1530 –1597) Godt es mijn licht [2.39] (3)
Jacobus FLORI (1569–1599) Godt es mijn licht [2.05] (4)
Enriquez de VALDERRABANO (c.1500–1557) Fantasia I [1.27]; Sonetto [1.12] (2); Petercken sprack tho Petercken [2.35] (3); Fantasia II [1.19] (2)
Thomas CRECQUILLON (c.1490–1557?) Dedens Tournay [1.28] (1)
Anonymous / Piet STRIJKERS Suite after Sebastian Vreedman [3.18] (4)
Jacobus CLEMENS (Clemens non Papa) (c. 1510–c. 1556) La, la, la Maister Pierre [1.39] (1); Iuvons beau jour [2.28] (4); De lustelijcke mey [1.13]; Frisque et gaillart [1.46] (1);
Jacobus CLEMENS (Clemens non Papa) (c. 1510–c. 1556) / Giovanni Bassano (1558 - 1617) Frisque et gaillart [3.16] (3)
Jacobus CLEMENS (Clemens non Papa) (c. 1510–c. 1556) Te schepe waert gaan [1.21] (1)
Antonio de CABAZON (c.1510-1566) Diferencias sober la Pavana Italiana [3.24] (3)
Thomas CRECQUILLON (c.1490–1557?) Oncques amour me fut [1.21] (2)
Jacobus CLEMENS (Clemens non Papa) (c. 1510–c. 1556) Domine quando veneris [5.35] (1)
Paulus BARONUS (?) Fantasia [4.41] (2)
Hernando de CABEZON (1541 – 1602) Je prens en grey (Glossada) [3.33] (3)
Capilla Flamenca (Marnix de Cat – countertenor, Jan Caals – tenor, Lleven Termont – baritone, Dirk Snellings – bass) (1); Jan van Outens (lute) (2); Joris Verdin (organ) (3); La Caccia (Patrick Denecker – pommer, recorder, Mirella Rulgrok – pommer, dulcian, Marleen Leicher – cornett, Christian Braun – trombone, Dani Pelagatti – pommer, shawn, dulcian – Bernhard Stilz – dulcian) (4)
rec. 26-29 April 2005, Parkabdij, Heverlee
ETCETERA KTC 1287 [63.20]


Pierre Phalese (Petrus Phalesius) set up business as a bookseller in Louvain in 1545; Louvain (Leuven) is the oldest University town in the Netherlands. From 1551 he began to print music from movable type. His output included sacred music (masses, motets, magnificats) and secular music(chansons, pieces in French lute entablature).
 
In 2005 the town of Louvain held a long festival, Townscape – Soundscape/Sounds of Louvain from the 16th century which focused attention on music from the town in the 16th century, highlighting Phalese and the composers that he printed. One of the items to come out of this festival is this disc of music associated with Phalese.
 
A composer most strongly associated with Phalese is Clemens non Papa, so the publishers have taken advantage of this connection to give the disc its rather misleading title. Rather than concentrating on Clemens, the disc could quite reasonable be called Sounds of Louvain from the 16th century.
 
We don’t even know for certain that Clemens was a bon vivant. From 1545 to 1549 Clemens was in service to Philippe II de Croy, one of Emperor Charles’s generals. After Philippe’s death Archduke Maximilian approached Philippe’s son (Philippe III) on the subject of Clemens becoming Maximilian’s master of music to his court. Philippe III replied with a strongly negative opinion saying that Clemens was a drunkard and a rake. We have no way of knowing whether this was true, or just Philippe’s way of preventing Maximilian from poaching Clemens from him.
 
On this disc Capilla Flamenca, a four man vocal group, perform a selection of Clemens’ music. They give us a varied anthology including examples of his motets, French chansons and Dutch songs. These latter used Psalm texts and were written for Phalese’s rival publisher Sousato. They were intended to enable the young to entertain themselves without danger of being corrupted.
 
Another Louvain-based composer was Thomas Crecquillon who studied at Louvain University and was a priest in the town. There is another link between Crecquillon and Clemens. At various times, there has been some confusion over attribution of works to the two composers. Capilla Flamenca give us Crecquillon’s chanson Dedens Tournai in praise of the town of his birth and Jan van Outryve plays one of Crecquillon’s lute entablatures.
 
This is where I should perhaps give some statistics about the disc, so that you can understand the way the programme is constructed. Of the 26 tracks, 12 are by Clemens non Papa, 8 are sung by Capilla Flamenca, 7 are played on the lute by Jan van Outryve, 6 on the organ by Joris Verdin and 6 by the instrumental ensemble La Caccia. So the disc contains an interesting and varied programme, one which is extremely well put together.
 
The lively instrumental group, La Caccia, play a suite arranged by Piet Strijkers from the music of Sebastian Vreedman, whose lute entablatures were printed by Phalese. La Caccia also play instrumental versions of motets and chansons; the results are remarkably effective. La Caccia open the disc with an instrumental version of a motet by Jacobus Vaet, Continuo lacrimas; Vaet was Maximilian’s master of music at the time of Clemens’ death and the motet was a lament for Clemens; so even though Maximilian was unable to employ him, Clemens was obviously held in high regard by his court.
 
Lutenist Jan van Outryve allows us to hear some of the entablatures played as written. Amongst the organ solos, Joris Verdin plays contemporary arrangements of Clemens’ music by Antonio de Cabezon, Elias Nicolaus Ammerbach and Giovanni Bassano; he also includes some of Cabazon and Ammerbach’s own compositions. The Ammerbach and Bassano arrangements are rather usefully preceded by performances of Clemens’ originals by Capilla Flamenca
 
If you ignore the rather misleading title, this is an attractive and informative programme. Performances are lively and intelligent, mixing in subtlety where needed. The performers are effective at distinguishing the various styles of performance required, depending on the nature of the piece. The decision to mix genres and performers means that we get a rather effective mixed programme. More than anything else, this helps to articulate the varied nature of Phalese’s printing output.
 
The CD booklet provides an interesting essay about Clemens with some further information about Pierre Phalese. Texts are given for all the songs, including the one in purely instrumental versions, which is very helpful. Unfortunately translations are not provided and whilst people might cope with the French and Latin, I’m not sure how many people will be able to translate the Dutch easily.
 
The notes are not very helpful when it comes to the other composers included on the disc. It would be interesting to know more about the connection between the blind Spanish organist Antonio de Cabezon, his son Hernando and Phalese. Antonio de Cabezon served King Philip of Spain and travelled abroad with him.
 
Pierre Phalese might not be known to you, but this charming disc provides an enjoyable means to learn more about the music printed by this influential publisher.
 
Robert Hugill
 

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