52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere
(currently suspended)


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Bruno Monteiro (violin)

More Preludes to Chopin
Kenneth Hamilton (piano)

Special Price and we are still delivering

Recordings of the Month


Feinberg Piano Sonatas

Schoenberg Violin Concerto

Early Keyboard

Nun Danket Alle Gott
Now Everyone Thanks God


Haydn Scottish Songs

Choral Music

Liszt Sonata

Renaissance Bohemia


Hahn Complete Songs

Piano Sonatas 6,7,8 Osborne


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

Pierre MOULU (1484?-c.1550) Mater floreat [5.41]; Missa Missus est Gabriel angelus [25.14]; In Pace [8.52]; Missa Alma redemptoris mater [22.50]; Kyrie (Missa Alma redemptoris mater), long version [2.49]; Agnus Dei (Missa Alma redemptoris mater), long version [5.01]
Josquin DES PREZ (c.1450/551521) Missus est Gabriel angelus [4.09]
The Brabant Ensemble/Stephen Rice
rec. Chapel of Harcourt Hill campus, Oxford Brookes University, 4-6 September 2009
HYPERION CDA67761 [74.38]

Experience Classicsonline

Not a lot is known about Pierre Moulu. Petrus Moulu is mentioned in a document in the Vatican; this Petrus Moulu was a cleric in the diocese of Meaux and was 21 in 1513. This is probably the composer of the five mass settings, twenty motets and ten chansons which date from the second and third decades of the sixteenth century. His music seems to have attracted the attention of his contemporaries as his works appear in numerous contemporary manuscripts. Pierre de Ronsard described Moulu as a disciple of Josquin, but no firm documentary evidence can be found for this.

His most famous work is his Missa Alma redemptoris mater and it has attracted considerable attention from musicologists. This is because at the top of the score the composer has placed a rubric which says that if you want to shorten the mass, then omit the longer rests. So that effectively the piece exists in two versions. In sixteenth century part books, where each part is notated separately, it is possible to perform either version from the same score, simply missing out the rests. Modern scores however need to be notated separately. But Moulu's notation seems to have caused some confusion with copyists, as he had to use special symbols to indicate where parts finish in the short version as omitting rests means that the different voices end up with parts of differing lengths. For their new recording of the mass, the Brabant Ensemble give the short version complete and add the long version of the Kyrie and Agnus Dei. These are taken from an alternative manuscript and so differ in small details from the short version. In the long version, the Kyrie expands from 2.08 to 2.49 and the Agnus Dei from 3.37 to 5.01

Moulu's style is substantially relaxed and contemplative, so the difference between the short and long versions is not great. But the shorter versions seem to be a little more urgent and contain a greater number of dissonances. It is a great tribute to the fascination of the sixteenth century musicians with mathematics that both versions of the mass work so well, each seeming complete and perfect in its own right.

Moulu's motet Mater Floreat is another puzzle work. It belongs to another speciality genre, that of the musician motet, whereby the text includes the names of contemporary musicians. Moulu's motet includes just about everyone who flourished internationally at the time. Though the list includes many musicians active in Paris, Moulu does not himself seem to have been. It is convincingly argued that the puns in Mater Floreat belong more suitably to an entertainment written at Meaux. But in that case, why does the motet survive in a single manuscript which was presented to Lorenzo de Medici at his wedding in 1518? No-one knows.

The motet itself is a charming piece whose musical content rather belies the skittish nature of the words, using a forthright and declamatory style to highlight the names of the composers. His setting of the compline responsory In pace is more contemplative, with long melismatic lines, the two tenor parts performing a slow canon and the other three parts weaving around them.

Moulu's Missa Missus est Gabriel angelus is based on a short motet by Josquin and this is the closest that Moulu's style comes to that of the older composer. Moulu's setting has a reflective and austere beauty which at times echoes Josquin. The group also include the original Josquin motet, so that listeners can decide for themselves how close the ties were between the composers.

The Brabant Ensemble are an eleven-voiced choir, using female altos and sopranos. They sing with a lovely clear, focused tone which allows the polyphony space to flourish and each line is clearly delineated. They sing the Latin with a form of French pronunciation which is entirely suitable for this composer.

Moulu is not a showy writer. Stephen Rice and his ensemble allow the composer's distinctive reflective voice to come over in these fascinating and rather enchanting pieces.

Robert Hugill



Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.