Considered the greatest composer of the High Renaissance, Josquin Des Préz was such a superstar in his day that like Valentino, Prince, and Madonna he was—and remains—known simply by his first name (pronounced shah-skan).
The chamber choir of Idaho, Anam Cara, will present a free concert of Josquin's music at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, at St. Thomas Church in Ketchum.
The 22-member Aman Cara performs under the direction of founder Dick Brown of Hailey. The performance will also include the voices of four singers from the Wood River Valley--Sheri Kessler, Paul Taylor, Billie Brown and Dick Brown himself.
Born in about 1440 in Flanders (France), Josquin's music was widely distributed due to the recent invention of the printing press. A favorite of Martin Luther, he came into eminence at the turn of the century, when he was about 50 years old.
"The late 1400s was the beginning of the Renaissance, but his music had a touch of medieval in them still," Brown said. "Primitive rhythms but beautiful. It's very exciting stuff, and the earliest music we've ever done."
Josquin wrote both sacred and secular music, as well as vocal forms of the age, including masses, motets, chansons, and frottole that suited both audiences and the rooms in which the work was performed. He has been consistently praised for both his supreme melodic gift and for being the father of harmonic singing.
Anam Cara, which is based in Idaho Falls, toured Northern Ireland and Scotland last summer with the Wood River Valley-based Caritas Chorale. They often appear here in the valley, and are planning a concert of Broadway jazz music in June.