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La Rue’s Requiem as Chronological Touchstone

Thu, March 26, 8:30 to 10:00am, Hauptgebäude, Unter den Linden 6, Floor: Second Floor, 3059


The Requiem mass of Pierre de la Rue is easily his best known composition. The work is unique among his masses in including polyphony for both Proper and Ordinary movements, shifting dramatically in range between different movements, and descending lower than any contemporary mass. At the same time, the Requiem also shares numerous traits with other of La Rue’s works, including the use of multiple melodic models and varied treatment of its preexistent material. Significantly, the Requiem is highly unusual in containing quotations from two different works of mourning that argue for the creation of the mass after the death of Philip the Fair in 1506. Because of this likely terminus post quem, the Requiem will be used as a starting point for construction of a tentative stylistic chronology of La Rue’s chant-based masses, the most numerous of his mass types.