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Johannes Ockeghem (c. 1410-97)
One of the most original and idiosyncratic of 15th century composers. Serving as chaplain for over 40 years in the French royal chapel, he was entrusted with the occasional diplomatic assignment alongside his musical chores. He is regarded as the spiritual forbear to just about every composer of the next generation, including Josquin Desprez, who composed a lament as a tribute to the elder master after his death. Despite his influence, Ockeghem's music resembles that of no other composer. Though the individual strands of his polyphony are "nearly equivalent to each other in speed, floridity, and function, individual lines are subordinate to the total effect of the interplay among all voices." The scholar Reinhard Strohm describes his "Alma redemptoris" as a "masterwork of pure vocal music, without any motivic, imitative or even modal artifice."  
Works of Ockeghem published by Notre Dame Choir Editions
NDC004: Ave Maria
NDC026: Alma redemptoris Mater
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