01 July 2012
”As the earliest surviving example of a famous genre, a certain mystique attaches to Ockeghem’s Requiem, which now boasts an impressive discography. But there’s no getting around the fact (and I’ve tried to) that it is a strange work, its distinct sections very disparate stylistically. (...) That said, there are moments of invention that one struggles to associate with anyone else and which Ockeghem himself rarely surpassed: the duos in the Gradual and Tract, or the four-voice sections of the Offertory. No wonder it has attracted so many recordings and, as in Ars Nova Copenhagen’s offering, responses from modern composers.”
"Paul Hillier was the Hilliard’s director when they recorded Ockeghem’s Requiem and his view of the work has hardly changed, though the ensemble he now leads is very different. So, rather than reinvent the wheel, Hillier intersperses its movements (never intended to be heard continuously) with pieces by the Danish composer Bent Sørensen that draw on or extend the Requiem theme. Because of Sørensen’s smooth transitions from plainchant-inspired duos to resonant, richly dissonant harmony, the dialogue with Ockeghem (who alternates differently scored sections in much the same way) is very nicely managed. True, my preference in the latter is for all-male ensemble, but the trans-historical polyphonic project proposed here is more than sufficient compensation. Those who know their polyphony, by the way, will enjoy Sørensen’s splicing and looping together of Sanctus settings by Monteverdi and Ockeghem. Well, it made me smile.”
This is an excerpt of a review of two different CDs published in Gramophone july 2012; this excerpt presents all content dealing with Ockeghem/Sørensen: Requiem.