Continuing our perusal of the Sacred Repertoire of Josquin des Prés, we feature today his Missa Hercules Dux Ferrariae, which he composed most probably 1484 to 1486, when he was likely at the court of the Ercole, Duke of Ferrara.
This mass was the first of its kind, for its use of soggetto cavato, a technique for forming a cantus firmus based on the letters of notes in the name of the Noble Patron of the work.
The piece was written to be performed at any non festive occasion. We owe a great debt of gratitude to the Duke of Ferrara, who was a great patron of music, and whose patronage led historically to what we know today as Italian Opera, for this magnificent piece.
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