Jean RICHAFORT (1480-1547)
Vladimir RANNEV
Klaus LANG
in memoriam Josquin Desprez
and ХХI century composers
INTRADA Vocal Ensemble
conductor Ekaterina Antonenko
Aylen Pritchin (violin)
Sergey Poltavsky (viola)
Sergey Suvorov (cello)
Carlos N. Herrero (double bass)
Roman Catholic Cathedral Moscow
The project «Requiem in memoriam Josquin Desprez» is the Renaissance masterpiece of the Franco-Flemish composer Jean Richafort — Requiem (1532) in dialogue with five new compositions, setting the missing in the Richafort's Requiem texts of the canonical Roman Catholic Requiem mass. The new parts have been written specially for this project by five contemporary composers: Arman Gushchyan, Vladimir Rannev, Alexey Sysoev (Russia), Klaus Lang (Austria), Franck C. Yeznikian (France).

The new Requiem is not a reconstruction of the finished work by Richafort. It is a new construction, a kind of time-machine, through clashes of different forms of expression in one musical space allowing the listener to go beyond the closed systems of conventions and concepts of beauty, and enter deeper in the "spirit of music" – of the past and the present. The premise for this kind of unity is the inhomogeneity of the original Requiem by Richafort, written in memoriam Josquin Desprez, which includes citations of Desprez's music, as well as French poetry incorporated within the latin text of the Requiem mass.

The world premier of the «Requiem in memoriam of Josquin Desprez» was performed by the INTRADA Vocal Ensemble under direction of Ekaterina Antonenko, accompanied by soloists –Aylen Pritchin (violin), Sergey Poltavsky (viola), Sergey Suvorov (cello), Carlos N. Herrero (double bass).

The concert took place in the framework of the IV International Opera Apriori Festival for Vocal Music with the support of the French Institute on the 25th of March 2017 in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Holy Virgin Mary in Moscow, Russia.

«Requiem in memoriam Josquin Desprez» – is a crossroad of two epoches and two musical compositions: one is the complete piece by the prominent Renaissance polyphonist Jean Richafort – «Requiem», the second is a new experimental collective piece by six composers – Jean Richafort and 21st century composers — Franck C. Yeznikian, Vladimir Rannev, Alexey Sysoev, Klaus Lang and Arman Gushchyan, that constitutes a fuller version of the Requiem, completed by the canons of the Requiem mass of Roman rite.

Richafort's requiem – is a completed musical composition and does not require additions or restoration. It was created in another liturgic tradition than the canonic Roman Catholic Requiem mass is. It's «incompleteness» is in the absence of the now canonic parts: the «Absolve, Domine» tract and the «Dies Irae» sequence, as well as the «Libera me» and «In Paradisum» prayers, sung traditionally after the Requiem mass. These parts, as well as «Pie Jesu» – the last verse of the «Dies Irae» sequence separated out later by composers into an independent part – are written in the «Requiem in memoriam Josquin Desprez» project by contemporary composers and included in Requiem in their traditional order, thus creating an involuntary form and a protocol of the dialogue of times.

The absence of these parts in Richafort's requiem is only a cause for an augmentation. This cause, as well as Richafort's own aspiration for dialogue with other music and another composer and the absorption of different cultural layers - spiritual and secular – into a single unity enables the creation of a new supercomposition on this basis.

The experimental character of this collective composition is in its unpredictability of the aesthetic outcome and of its possible or impossible unity, as it is in a real and unstaged dialogue between different Others, admittedly like-minded. The problem of unity in this supercomposition is a matter of a phenomenological reflection at the end of the listening. But it not less important — the process of this dramatic dialogue that each of the six authors undergoes with an Other — by each of the six authors is also extremely important; the dialogue that is only controlled only by the living composers (at the moment of composing) with Josquin – with Richafort – with the Renaissance epoch and latin liturgic or other poetic text – or with a third person that the new part might be dedicated to by the contemporary composer. The genre of Requiem is only the place of the dialogue, the language of the dialogue – is the "time, expressed with sounds". In this experiment everyone is speaking a different language, but — with desire to be heard, with desire of communication.

Arman Gushchyan, author of the idea and artistic director of the project

REQUIEM in memoriam Joaquin Desprez
Russian Premier/World Premier

Jean Richafort Introitus
for choir а cappella
Jean Richafort Kyrie
for choir а cappella
Jean RichafortGraduale
for choir а cappella
Arman GushchyanAbsolve, Domine
for choir, violin and chello (world premier)
Vladimir RannevDies Irae
for choir а cappella (world premier)
Jean RichafortOffertorium
for choir а cappella
Jean RichafortSanctus
for choir а cappella
Alexey SysoevPie Jesu
for choir and viola solo (world premier)
Jean Richafort Agnus Dei
for choir а cappella
Jean Richafort Communio
for choir а cappella
Klaus Lang freedom. cats. (libera me.)
for choir and violin solo (world premier)
Franck Christoph Yeznikian IN PARADISVM
for choir, chello, double bass and sound track
(world premier)

Jean Richafort
Jean Richafort (c. 1480 – c. 1547) – is one of the the most prominent polyphonist of the early XVI century.

In 1556 well-known Parisian music printer Le Roy et Ballard published a posthumous volume devoted exclusively to the music by Richafort that comprised composer's 19 motets. Richafort's music was included in more than seventy anthologies between 1519 and 158 containing one or more of his works. It is even more impressive that more than two hundred manuscripts included copies of compositions by Richafort. Among them are few created on the command of the upperclass society. His motet Quem dicunt homines was listed as one of the best compositions of the time and has been performed multiple times by the Sixtine Chapel Choir for at least 70 years. Until the end of the sixteenth century Richafort's compositions remained in the «top ten» list of composers. Divitis, Mouton, Lupus, Morales, Gombert, Ruffo, Pullauer and even Palestrina composed Masses based on models by Richafort. Surely the composer could not have dreamt of any greater homage.

After all this, one might assume that Richafort's life and career would be amply documented in contemporary archives. However, we are here faced with a paradox: the amplitude of the survival and transmission of his œuvre is in inverse proportion to the known facts of his life. The following are some of the sparse details.

Jean Richafort was a French-speaking Netherlander and was born in 1480 in a place that was probably called Ricartsvorde. Nothing is known of his early life and education. In 1507 he became Maître de Chapelle at the cathedral of Saint Rombaud in Mechlin [Fr. Malines]. What happened to him after this is not clear. He must at one time have been associated with the French court, and was employed there for some not lengthy time in the king's household or chapel. The Pope Leo when met among the royal court musicians in Bologne was impressed with his ability and granted dispensations to Richafort that allowed him to hold incompatible benefices.

In July 1542 Jean Richafort took on as maître de chapelle of St Gilles in Bruges, a position he held through 1547. Since 1548 nothing more about Richafort is found in archives, he is presumed to have died about that time, probably in Bruges.

In the dedication to Livre des meslanges (Paris, 1560), Pierre de Ronsard listed Richafort among the numerous «pupils» of Josquin des Prez. Direct reflections of Josquin's music appear in Richafort's motet Misereatur mei, which emulates the tenor ostinato around which Josquin constructed his gigantic psalm setting Miserere mei, and his Requiem mass, which uses as its structural scaffolding a canon on the Sarum chant Circumdederunt me originally devised by Josquin for his six-voice chanson Nymphes nappés.

The very summit of Richafort's art is undoubtedly his six-part Requiem (tracks 1-7). The work is based on two cantus firmi, both of which refer to Josquin Desprez. It was probably written on the death of Josquin (1521) and is in every respect a tribute to the latter's art. The 1rst cantus rmus, which occurs in all the parts of the Requiem, is the Gregorian citation, «Circumdederunt me gemitus mortis, dolores inferni circumdederunt me». It is a citation that was also frequently used by Josquin Desprez. This cantus firmus is used in canon only in two tenor parts. In the majestically constructed Graduale and Offertorium Richafort makes additional use in the same tenor parts of the fragment «C'est douleur sans pareille» from Josquin's chanson «Faulte d'argent».

Around these two cantus firmi Richafort contrives a counterpoint that excels in a balanced building up of meditative melodic lines that are sparingly but effectively coloured by musica acta and commixtio (the simultaneous use of more than one mode).

The original scores by Jean Richafort

Contemporary Composers
Arman Gushchyan
Arman Gushchyan was born in 1981 in Yerevan, Armenia. He graduated Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory with honors in 2005, where he studied composition with Roman Ledenyov, as well as with Roland Moser at the Basle Music Academy and Mark Andre at the University of music Dresden. He works in various fields – symphonic, chamber, electroacoustic music and interactive sound installations, as well as creates music and sound design for drama theatre. He has been laureate of the Swiss Federal Scholarship and of the DAAD scholarship, the Shostakovich competition, of the International Pre-Art competition and of the Grand-Prize at Pythian Games. He has had a one-year artistic residency at Richard-Wagner-Stätten near Dresden.
Arman Gushchyan has taught theoretical subjects, orchestration and composition at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in 2008-13.
His music has been performed by numerous ensembles and orchestras in Russia and Europe. As arranger of classical music for orchestra he has had collaborations with different orchestras in Russia, Spain and France, as well as written music for theatre plays in Russia, Lithuania and Latvia.
As a new music curator he initiates international projects since 2013 and has founded for that the "Trajectory of Music" platform in 2015.
Vladimir Rannev
Vladimir Rannev was born in 1970, Moscow. He is a composer and a lecturer at the St. Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory and the St. Petersburg State University. In 2003 he graduated from the composition department of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where he studied with Professor Boris Tishchenko. In 2003-2005 he studied electronic music at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne with Professor Hans Ulrich Humpert. Rannev is a recipient of a Gartow Stiftung scholarship (Germany, 2002), the winner of the Salvatore Martirano Award of the University Illinois (USA, 2009), Gianni Bergamo Classic Music Award (Switzerland, 2010). His opera «Two acts» to a libretto by Dmitri A. Prigov was premiered in the Hermitage Museum in November 2012 and took the Grand-Prix of Sergey Kouryohin Prize 2013, the opera «Drillalians» was nominated to the National Theatre Golden Mask Prix 2016. Rannevs' music has been performed in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the UK, Finland, Japan and the USA by various ensembles, Rannev is a member of the StRes (Structure Resistance) group of composers (Russia). .
Alexey Sysoev
Alexey Sysoev was born in 1972, Moscow. After graduating from the College of Improvised Music, he toured as a jazz pianist. He took part in a wide range of jazz, electronic and experimental music projects. In 2011 he completed his student and post-graduate studies at the Moscow Conservatory.
Sysoev's music has been performed at concerts and festivals throughout Russia, Ukraine, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Poland and Japan.
Experimental and improvisatory music forms another aspect of his creative output. He has collaborated with such musicians as Vladimir Tarasov (Lithuania), Sachiko M (Japan), Toshimaru Nakamura (Japan), Boris Baltchun and others.
Sysoev composed music for dramatic productions created by Kirill Serebrennikov, Filipp Grigoryan, Vadim Zakharov, and the Club Guy & Roni dance group (the Netherlands). In 2013 he received a Golden Mask award for best composer in a musical production.
Klaus Lang
Klaus Lang was born in 1971 Graz, Austria. He lives in Steirisch Lassnitz. Lang studied composition and theory of music (with H.M. Preßl, B. Furrer and Y. Pagh-Paan) and organ. Klaus loves tea and dislikes lawnmowers and Richard Wagner. Lang's music is not a means to convey extramusical contents, such as emotions, philosophical or religious ideas, political propaganda, advertisement etc… His music is no language used to communicate non-musical content. Music is seen as a free and selfstanding acoustical object. In his work he is not using sound, sound is explored and given the opportunity to unfold its inherent rich beauties. Only when sound is just sound it is percievable as that what it really is: a temporal phenomenon – audible time.
Klaus Lang sees time as the genuine material of a composer and at the same time also the fundamental content of music. In his view musical material is time perceived through sound, the object of music is the experience of time through listening. Music is time made audible.
Franck Christoph Yeznikian
Franck Christoph Yeznikian was born in 1969 in Besançon, France. In 1987-1989 he studied music and singing at the Centre Polyphonique and 1989-1991 piano and improvisation at the C.N.R. Dijon; 1991-1994 he had classes in composition with Denis Dufour and in acousmatic and instrumental music with Jean-Marc Duchenne at the C.N.R. Lyon. 1991-1994 took private classes with Klaus Huber as well as workshops with Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Gérard Grisey, Brian Ferneyhough, Michael Jarrell, James Dillon; 1994-1997 studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Lyon, specialization in counterpoint (medieval times and renaissance).
1998-2000 had composition studies at the Hoogeschool Maastricht with Robert H.P. Platz and a course at the IRCAM (Paris).
Franck received the first prize «Hidden Potential» at the Boswil seminar and competition (Switzerland), became laureate of the Festival International de Musique de Besançon, and received advancement award of the Academy of Arts (Berlin).
Franck has written music on commissions by International festival in Donaueschingen; Diotima Strings Quartet, SWR Stuttgart, Concert portrait in Brussels and the Centre Henri Pousseur in Liège.
under the direction of Ekaterina Antonenko
Carlos N. Herrero

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