An update from David Hatcher on his project Consort Music Minus One

There are now over 140 pieces available as Consort-Music-Minus-One tracks, ranging from two-part pieces by Agricola to a thirteen-part canon from the Eton Choirbook by Robert Wylkyinson, with a wide variety of three, four, five and six part pieces in between. Palestrina’s complete settings of Canticum Canticorum (29 pieces) and Cipriano de Rore’s eleven spiritual madrigals Le Vergine are proving popular.

The project began with all 77 tenorlied in the 1535 publication Gassenhawerlin und Ruetterliedlin and I have recently added a selection of stunningly beautiful and moving settings of texts associated with the unfortunate Dominican friar, Girolamo Savonarola, centred on those of the text Infelix Ego, a meditation on Psalm 50 written by Savonarola during his last few days in captivity in the Palazzio Vecchio in Florence, before his grim execution on 23rd May 1498. To this set I have added settings of other Savonarolan texts such as Tristitia obsedit me, In te Domine speravi and Tribularer si nescirem by Palestrina, Clemens non Papa, Gesualdo, Lupus Hellinck and Claude le Jeune. All of these pieces refer to Josquin’s monumental five-part Miserere mei deus, which is included in the collection.

The next big project has begun! I wonder about the wisdom of it, but I have embarked on the task of editing and recording Ottaviano Petrucci’s ground-breaking publication of 1501, Harmonice Musices Odhecaton, or Canti A. This collection was the first musical publication to use movable type and is a marvellous display of technical proficiency in the art of printing. It contains ninety six pieces (it was intended to have one hundred) by many of the greatest composers of the late 15th century, including Josquin, Obrecht, Isaac, Agricola and many more. About half are in four parts, the rest in three (apart from two in five) and all are eminently suitable for all sorts of renaissance instruments. This will be an on-going project with a burgeoning folder of pieces!

You can see the entire catalogue and hear samples at my web site: