From Majesty to Contemplation to Mystery

josquin.jpgBY FRED KIRSHNIT [NY Sun, 1 August 2006]
Renaissance Flemish master Josquin des Prez made one of the most important aesthetic breakthroughs in Western musical history.Although it is a bit simplistic to state that Josquin (his fame was so widespread that he became known by only one name, like Cher) invented the identification of the minor keys with the more dolorous emotions, his sensitive ear-to-heart connection broke the standardized Gregorian rules that had guided composition for a thousand years. And as a Catholic, his possessed profound influence in the Protestant church, especially since his most ardent exponent was a contemporary composer of hymns named Martin Luther.