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History of Music
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Brassart, Johannes (1/1)

Early Modern Period

Johannes Braßart: O rex Fridrice

Johannes Brassart probably composed the motet O rex Fridrice for the coronation of Friedrich III in 1442. Brassart's life is almost completely undocumented - we don't even know the dates of his birth and death. The only iformation we have about him is for the years 1424 to 1444. These show that he served at two of the most important courts of the day in Europe, among others: that of Pope Eugene IV and of Friederich III, who referred to him as capelle nostre cantor principalis (the first singer in our chapel).The motet O rex Fridrice is included in the Aosta Codex and demonstrates how a motet in praise of a ruler was composed in his day using an isorhythmic tenor pattern. The motet begins with a duet (Cantus I und II). After that the isorhythmic construction of the tenor is relatively well-proportioned. In contrast, the upper voices attract attention with their rhythmic complexity. The term Isorhythm refers to a compositional process used in the polyphonic music of the 13th to the 15 centuries, in which a rhythmical model that stretches over a large area is repeated in exactly the same form while the melody develops indepently. It is possible to use this method on all of the voices or, as in this motet, only in one of them (here, the tenor). The musical example shows the beginning of the section for four-voices. (E. Stadler)

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© Catkanei - Studio für Alte Musik, Graz. (Aufnahme: GM-Tonstudio-Musikverlag Dr. Werner Jauk, Ludwig-Benedek-Gasse 19, A-8054 Graz)
Links to other albums:
Encyclopedia of Austria Brassart, Johannes, Friedrich III, Hofmusikkapelle
Video Album Friedrich III.
Picture Album Friedrich III. - Tafelbild, Friedrich III. - Wappenbuch

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