Josquin’s Praeter rerum seriem is a late piece (ca 1515) in six voices: soprano, two altos, tenor, two basses. This unusually low disposition creates difficulties – the under parts, especially require large range and intricate, close intuitive singing. The slower moving voices represent plainsong melody, moving in simple, stretched-out rhythms. The effect is of ritualistic webs of sound, characterized by what we call in our technology, phrase-shifts or photographic double images.
© John Harbison