Cogita Mori

Requiem by Johannes Ockeghem, and homage motets by his contemporaries


Without a doubt, the Chigi manuscript kept by the Vaticana under the number Chigiana, C.VIII.234 is one of the most priceless documents of the entire history of music. Not only because of the fabulously detailed and colourful illuminations by which it ranks as a masterpiece of book illustration art, but first and foremost because of the number and diversity of major musical pieces included in it. Anyone who looks at it will want to sing and try out these tunes, just because their spirit is illustrated in such a vivid way by the pictures and illuminations surrounding them.

At the bottom of one page of the Ockeghem MISSA PRO DEFUNCTIS , a beribboned banner bears this sentence : COGITA MORI; MORIR CONVIENE (Rember Death – Dying is suitable)

Johannes Ockeghem (1410-1497), whose motets and numerous Masses are counted amongst the most clever and technically perfect masterpieces in the entire music of the Western world, is considered the first composer to have written a cycle around the Officium Defunctorum (Requiem). In this, each section is based on the corresponding plainchant while subsections (often 2 or 3 parts) convey an impression of simplicity. The work culminates in a final 4-part offertory, which offers a sound full and limpid at the same time.

Approx. duration: 1h15
6 performers (6 singers)

  • 2011
  • 9th September 2011, église St Germain, Rennes (35)
  • 12th September 2009, Cathédrale de Moulins (03)

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