Byline: Richard Duckett
WORCESTER - A Renaissance music Mass setting inspired by a courtly love song of the 16th century, and the French chanson itself, will be performed for what may be one of the first times in hundreds of years during a concert at 7:30 tonight by Capella Alamire at All Saints Church, 10 Irving St.
"To my knowledge it hasn't been performed since the 16th century," said Peter Urquhart, founder and director of Capella Alamire, about Franco-Flemish composer Noel Bauldeweyn's "Missa Du bon du cueur," one of the works in tonight's program titled "The Legacy of Jean Mouton."
"It's just a winner," Urquhart said of Bauldeweyn's composition. "It's good all the way through." The themes are complex, not antiquated, but it is a "happy piece," he said.
Capella Alamire explores and performs musical works of the Renaissance. Urquhart, who is also associate professor of music at the University of New Hampshire, said researching works that may not have been performed in centuries has been facilitated recently by institutions, especially European libraries, putting manuscripts online. However, for Bauldeweyn's Mass, Urquhart had to attain a copy of a manuscript from the Bavarian State Library in Munich. The music is in old notation. "There's no modern edition anywhere," he said.
In fact, the manuscript does not even have the composer's name. Not a lot is known about Bauldeweyn (circa 1480-1513), but he was a singing master at the prestigious St. Rombouts Cathedral in Mechelen (in modern day Belgium) from about 1509-1513 and his music was distributed in Europe.
In 2001, musical scholar Bernadette Nelson attributed composition of the Mass to Bauldeweyn. Others had thought that the author was Josquin des Prez, a much more famous composer of the time. But Urquhart said that he agrees with Nelson...