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Digital Program

MetLiveArts presents
The Clarion Choir & Orchestra
Ockeghem Marathon

Wednesday, June 12, 2024 from 3–7:30 pm
The Met Cloisters

The Clarion Choir & Orchestra
Steven Fox, artistic director
Scott Metcalf and Jesse Rodin, project advisors

This program is made possible by Kathryn O. Greenberg. 

About the Program
Schedule and Program
Performers and Crew
Texts and Translations
MetLiveArts Supporters and Staff

About the Program

Prepare for soaring melodies, stunning sonorities, and lively rhythms; for independent vocal lines that weave among one another to create an elegant polyphonic web; and for a degree of technical sophistication possibly unmatched in the history of music. All these qualities are concentrated in the works of Johannes Okeghem (d. 1497), a composer whose roughly forty surviving pieces are akin to lovingly cut gemstones, each different from but no less perfect than the others. (Incidentally: notwithstanding the modern convention, in fifteenth-century sources the name Okeghem is usually spelled without the “c”.)

Okeghem spent most of his career at St. Martin, Tours, a church in northern France connected with the royal courts of Kings Charles VII and Louis XI. He rose in the ranks to become treasurer, a prominent position that earned him renown as well as a handsome paycheck. As a composer he favored the major genres of his day: the polyphonic mass, comprising the five movements of the Ordinary (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus dei); the motet, in this period a Latin-texted sacred piece of usually four (but occasionally three or five) voices; and the forme-fixe chanson, that is, a French-texted song in one of a handful of traditional poetic and musical forms.

At the center of this evening’s concluding concert is the Missa Prolationum, a work that since the sixteenth century has led writers to characterize Okeghem’s music as being defined by complexity. In fact the mass doesn’t sound especially complex for its time. At the beginning we hear what one scholar has referred to as a “blob” of F sonorities, as the voices move repeatedly between the notes F, A, and C. The reason for the blob has to do with how Okeghem has notated the music. On one side of the choirbook opening we find what appears to be a single voice, only in place of a single “mensuration sign”—a symbol such as “O” or “C” that functions like a modern time signature—we find two such signs. The same situation obtains on the facing page: a single notated voice is preceded by two mensuration signs, one on top of the other. In each case, two singers must read the same music at different speeds, gradually pulling apart. And so the opening blob of F sonorities turns out to be the only way of managing the beginning of the section: notes 1 and 2, and notes 2 and 3, must be consonant with one another so that they will sound good when sung simultaneously.

The entire mass is constructed in this way, with two notated lines that generate four sounding voices through what musicologists call double mensuration canons. Indeed, the Missa Prolationum is a technical marvel—not only for the reasons mentioned so far, but also because in each successive mass section up to the Osanna the melodic interval between the canonic voices increases, such that whereas in the Kyrie the two voices begin on the same note, in the Christe they begin a second apart, in the Kyrie II a third apart, and so on. For all of this, the mass is in every other way perfectly conventional, from how Okeghem divides up the mass text into musical sections to his melodic and rhythmic language. Since the sixteenth century the piece’s notational complexity has led listeners to want to hear obscurity or even mysticism in Okeghem’s music. The reality is that although he experimented heavily with the limits of the fifteenth-century notational system, he also embraced the compositional lingua franca of his time. What really is exceptional is the quality of his music: during the period ca. 1450–80 Okeghem simply cannot be topped.

This judgment applies equally to the songs. The commonplace poetic forms to which virtually all of Okeghem’s chansons belong—rondeau, virelai, and ballade—afford extraordinary variety, from the silly S’elle m’amera to the high-minded D’ung aultre amer to the killingly sad Ma bouche rit. Indeed each song inhabits a world all its own, showcasing bespoke solutions to self-imposed musical challenges. This is true not only of the songs that most entranced Okeghem’s contemporaries (above all D’ung aultre amer, Fors seulement l’attente, and Ma bouche rit), but also of lesser-known beauties like Aultre Venus, Quant de vous seul, and Tant fuz gentement resjouy, each of which survives in only a single source. In every one of Okeghem’s twenty-two surviving songs we encounter a subtle mind capable of technical brilliance as well as emotional depth.

Josquin des Prez (1450–1521) understood this. We can tell from the powerful lament he composed for Okeghem (Nymphes des bois), in which the tenor quotes the Requiem chant while the other voices sing a French text by the poet Jean Molinet. Even the musical notation dons the mourning shroud: all the notes are black. The opening lines are a forceful marshaling of the troops. Nymphs, goddesses, expert singers—change your voices into piercing cries and lamentations. In the famous second section, the poet calls on Josquin and his fellow musicians at the French royal court to put on mourning clothes and weep openly for Okeghem, “your kindly father” (vostre bon pere). The tenor, silent during this passage, returns theatrically (and up the octave) in the concluding phrase to sing “Requiescat in pace.”

Jesse Rodin is an associate professor in Stanford University's Department of Music. He directs the Josquin Research Project and the Renaissance vocal ensemble Cut Circle.

Schedule and Program
Unless otherwise noted, all works are composed by
Johannes Ockeghem (c. 1410–1497)

3:05–3:25 pm

Viol Consort in the Saint-Guilhem Cloister (Gallery 03)
Ave Maria
La despourveue

Choir in the Chapter House from Notre-Dame-de-Pontaut (Gallery 06)
Kyrie from Missa fors seulement

Recorder Consort in the Late Gothic Hall (Gallery 20)
Fors seulement l'attente

Brass Consort on the West Terrace
Ma bouche rit
Mort, tu as navré/Miserere

3:45–4:15 pm

Viol Consort in the Boppard Room (Gallery 16)
Se votre cuer
Ung aultre l’a

Choir in the Langon Chapel/Romanesque Hall (Galleries 04 & 01)
Sanctus and Benedictus from Missa cuiusvis toni (Phrygian mode)

Recorder Consort in the Early Gothic Hall (Gallery 08)
Ma maîtresse
Je n'ay dueil

Brass Consort in the Trie Cloister (Gallery 12)
¿Qu’es mi vida?
Tant fuz gentement resjouy

4:35–5:15 pm

Afternoon Tea with Brass, Viol, and Recorder Consorts in the Trie Cloister (Gallery 12)
S'elle m'amera/Petite camusette
O rosa bella
Aultre Venus estes sans faille

5:25–5:50 pm

Early Evening Songs in the Cuxa Cloister (Gallery 07)
Quant de vous seul
D'un aultre amer
Permanent vierge
Nymphes des bois 
(by Josquin des Prez, c.1450–1521)


Brass Prelude in the Chapter House from Notre-Dame-de-Pontaut (Gallery 06)
Ung aultre l'a

6:15–7:15 pm

Finale in Fuentidueña Chapel (Gallery 02)
Missa prolationum
Sanctus and Benedictus
Agnus Dei
Alma Redemptoris Mater (performed between Credo and Sanctus)


The Clarion Choir & Orchestra
Steven Fox
, artistic director
Scott Metcalf and Jesse Rodin, project advisors


Olivia Greene
Aine Hakamatsuka
Linda Jones
Raha Mirzadegan
Nacole Palmer
Erinn Sensenig
Motomi Tanaka

Hannah Baslee
Kristen Dubenion-Smith
Clifton Massey
Timothy Parsons

Tim Hodges
Oliver Mercer
John Ramseyer
Emerson Sieverts

Scott Dispensa
Tim Krol
Julian Morris
Neil Netherly
Jose Pietri-Coimbre

Brass Consort
Kiri Tollaksen, cornetto
Greg Ingles, sackbut
Erik Schmalz, sackbut
Mack Ramsey, sackbut

Recorder Consort
Nina Stern
Rainer Beckmann
Rachel Begley
Daphna Mor

Viol Consort
Jude Ziliak, violin
Elizabeth Weinfield, tenor viol
Daniel McCarthy, tenor viol
Caroline Nicolas, bass viol

Editions by Scott Metcalf,
Jesse Rodin, and Emerson Sieverts

Additional Staff

Andrew Mortonstage manager
Nicole Nilssonassistant stage manager

Texts and Translations

Quant de vous seul je pers la veue
De qui tant chiere suis tenue, 
Mon mal lors si tresfort m’assault 
Qu’a peu que le cueur ne me fault, 
Tant suis de douleur esperdue. 

Pour estre vostre devenue 
Plus qu’a nul qui soit soubz la nue, 
Toute ma joie me défault. 
Quant de vous seul je pers la veue… 

Dont je voi bien que je suis nue 
De tous biens comme beste mue, 
A qui de plus riens il ne chault; 
Car je sçais bien qu’estre me fault 
Seulle, de tous biens despourveue. 

Quant de vous seul je pers la veue…

When I lose sight of you alone 
By whom I am held so dear, 
My pain then assails me so grievously 
Then my heart nearly breaks 
I am so overcome by sorrow. 

Because I have become yours 
More than anyone else’s under heaven, 
All my joy fails me 
When I lose sight of you alone… 

Then well do I see that I am stripped 
Of all good things, like a shorn beast 
Who no longer cares for anything 
For I know well that I must be 
Alone, deprived of everything 

When I lose sight of you alone… 

D’ung aultre amer 
mon cueur s’abesseroit. 
Il ne fault ja penser que je l’estrange 
Ne que pour rien de ce propos ne change 

Car mon honneur en appetisseroit. 

Je l’aime tant que jamais ne seroit 
Possible a moi de consentir l’eschange 
D’ung aultre amer… 

La mort, par Dieu, avant me desferoit 
Qu’en mon vivant j’acoinctasse ung estrange. 
Ne cuide nul qu’a cela je me range : 
Ma leauté trop fort se mesferoit. 

D’ung aultre amer...

By loving another, 
my heart would demean itself; 
One need never think that I might spurn her 
Nor that for anything I might change from this purpose, 

For my honor would thus diminish.

I love her so much that never would it be 
Possible for me to leave her. 
By loving another…

Death, by God, would undo me, 
Before in my lifetime I should accept an estrangement. 
Let no one think that I should allow that; 
My strong loyalty would prevent it. 

By loving another…

Permanent vierge
plus digne que nesune,
Femme couverte du soleil de justice,

Chief couronné par divin artifice
De douze estoiles, supeditant la lune:

Esmerveillant nature et loy commune,
Tu enfantas par supernel office,

Permanent vierge, 
plus digne que nesune,
Femme couverte du soleil de justice.

Preordonnée sans differance aucune
Du rédempteur fille, 
mère et nourrice,

Soiez pour nous advocate propice,
Toy supplions, 
tres belle, clere, brune.

Permanent vierge, plus digne que nesune…

Pulcra es et decora, filia Jherusalem:
terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinata.

Sancta dei genitrix, virgo semper Maria,
intercede pro nobis ad dominum Jhesum Christum.

Permanent virgin, 
more worthy than any other,
woman clothed with the sun of justice,

head crowned by divine artifice
with twelve stars, standing above the moon:

Astounding nature and earthly law,
you bore a child by supernal action,

Permanent virgin, 
more worthy than any other,
woman clothed with the sun of justice.

Preordained without any distinction
the redeemer’s daughter, 
mother, and nurse,

be a propitious advocate for us,
we beseech you,
 most lovely, radiant, burnished.

Permanent virgin, more worthy than any other …

Fair and comely art thou, O daughter of Jerusalem:
terrible as an army arrayed for battle.

Holy mother of God, ever-virgin Mary,
intercede for us with the lord Jesus Christ. 

Nymphes des bois, 
déesses des fontaines, 
Chantres expers de toutes natïons,
Changez vos voix tant cleres et haultaines
En cris trenchans et lamentatïons. 
Car Atropos, très terrible satrappe, 
A vostre Ochghem atrappé en sa trappe,
Vray trésorier de musique et chief d’oeuvre,
Docte, élégant de corps 
et non point trapé; 
Grant dommaige est que la terre le coeuvre. 

Acoul trés vous d’habits de doeul, 
Josquin, Pierson, Brumel, Compère, 
Et pleurés grosses larmes d’oeil: 
Perdu avés vostre bon pere. 
Requiescat in pace. 

Requiem eternam dona eis domine
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Nymphs of the woods, 
goddesses of the fountains, 
Expert singers of all nations, 
Change your voices, so clear and lofty, 
Into piercing cries and lamentations 
Because Atropos, that most terrible despot, 
Has caught your Ockeghem in her trap, 
Music’s true and consummate guardian, 
Learned, elegant in stature, 
(and not at all squat); 
It is a great shame that the earth now covers him. 

Put on mourning clothes, 
Josquin, Pierson, Brumel, Compère, 
And weep great tears from your eyes:
For you have lost your good father. 
May he rest in peace. 

Eternal rest grant them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.

Kyrie eleison.

Christe eleison.

Kyrie eleison.

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Glória in excélsis Deo, 

et in terra pax homínibus bonæ voluntátis.


Laudámus te. Benedícimus te. 

Adorámus te. 

Glorificámus te. 

Grátias ágimus tibi propter magnam glóriam tuam. 

Dómine Deus, Rex cæléstis, 

Deus Pater omnípotens. 

Dómine Fili unigénite, 

Jesu Christe. 

Dómine Deus, Agnus Dei, 

Fílius Patris. 

Qui tollis peccáta mundi, 

miserére nobis.

Qui tollis peccáta mundi,
súscipe deprecatiónem nostram.

Qui sedes ad déxteram Patris, 

miserére nobis.

Quóniam tu solus Sanctus. 

Tu solus Dóminus. 

Tu solus Altíssimus, Jesu Christe. 

Cum Sancto Spíritu, 

in glória Dei Patris. 


Glory be to God on high,

and on earth peace, good will towards men.

We praise thee, we bless thee,
we worship thee,
we glorify thee,
we give thanks to thee for thy great glory,
O Lord God, heavenly King, 

God the Father Almighty.

O Lord, the only-begotten Son, 

Jesus Christ;
O Lord God, Lamb of God, 

Son of the Father,
that takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy upon us.

Thou that takest away the sins of the world,
receive our prayer.
Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father,
have mercy upon us.

For thou only art holy;
thou only art the Lord;
thou only, O Christ,
with the Holy Ghost,
art most high
in the glory of God the Father.

Credo in unum Deum, 

Patrem omnipoténtem, 

factórem cæli et terræ, 

visibílium ómnium et invisibílium. 

Et in unum Dóminum Jesum Christum, 

Fílium Dei unigénitum. 

Et ex Patre natum ante ómnia sæcula. 

Deum de Deo, lumen de lúmine, 

Deum verum de Deo vero. 

Génitum, non factum, consubstantiálem Patri:
per quem ómnia facta sunt.

Qui propter nos hómines et propter nostram
salútem descéndit de cælis.

Et incarnátus est de Spíritu Sancto ex 
María Vírgine: 
Et homo factus est

Crucifíxus étiam pro nobis: 
sub Póntio Piláto 
passus, et sepúltus est. 
Et resurréxit tértia die, 
secúndum Scriptúras. 
Et ascéndit in cælum: 
sedet ad déxteram Patris. 
Et íterum ventúrus est cum glória 
judicáre vivos et mórtuos: 
cujus regni non erit finis. 

Et in Spíritum Sanctum, 
Dóminum et vivificántem: 
qui ex Patre, 
Filióque procédit. 
Qui cum Patre, et Fílio simul 
adorátur, et conglorifícatur: 
qui locútus est per Prophétas. 
Et unam, sanctam, cathólicam et apostólicam Ecclésiam.
Confíteor unum baptísma in remissiónem peccatorum. 
Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum,
et vitam ventúri sæculi. Amen.

I believe in one God,
the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
and of all things visible and invisible;

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only-begotten Son of God,
begotten of his Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light,
begotten, not made,
being of one substance with the Father;
by whom all things were made;

who for us and for our salvation
came down from heaven,

and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary: 
and was made man;

and was crucified also for us 
under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered and was buried;
and the third day he rose again 
according to the Scriptures,
and ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of the Father;
and he shall come again, with glory,
to judge both the quick and the dead;
whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, 
the Lord, and Giver of Life,
who proceedeth from the Father and the Son;
who with the Father and the Son together
is worshiped and glorified;
who spake by the Prophets.
And I believe one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church;
I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins;
and I look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Alma Redemptoris Mater,
quae pervia caeli porta manes,
et stella maris, succurre cadenti, 
surgere qui curat populo:
tu quae genuisti, natura mirante,
tuum sanctum Genitorem,
Virgo prius ac posterius,
Gabrielis ab ore,
sumens illud Ave, peccatorum miserere.

Loving mother of the Redeemer,

gate of heaven, star of the sea,

assist your people who have fallen
yet strive to rise again.

To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator,

Yet remained a virgin after as before.

You who received
Gabriel's joyful greeting,

have pity on us poor sinners.

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, 
Dóminus Deus Sábaoth. 
Pleni sunt cæli et terra glória tua. 
Hosánna in excélsis.

Benedíctus qui venit in nómine Dómini. 

Hosánna in excélsis.

Holy, holy, holy, 

Lord God of Hosts:

Heaven and earth are full of thy Glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

Agnus Dei

qui tollis peccata mundi: 

miserere nobis.

Agnus Dei, 

qui tollis peccata mundi: 

miserere nobis.

Agnus Dei, 

qui tollis peccata mundi:

dona nobis pacem.

O Lamb of God, 

that takest away the sins of the world,

have mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, 

that takest away the sins of the world,

have mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, 

that takest away the sins of the world,

grant us thy peace.


Leadership support for MetLiveArts provided by: 

The Adrienne Arsht Fund for Resilience through Art

Jody and John Arnhold, Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation, Betsy and Edward Cohen / Areté Foundation, the Director’s Fund, Kathryn O. Greenberg, The Kaplen Brothers Fund, New York State Council on the Arts, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky, The Howard and Sarah D. Solomon Foundation, the estate of Katherine Walter Stein, Douglas Dockery Thomas, Barbara Tober

Additional major supporters: 

Sarah Arison, The David Berg Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Fund, the Adbul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives Fund, the Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Fund, the Grace Jarcho Ross and Daniel G. Ross Concert Fund, Peter Steinberg and Kathrine Gehring, Helen Lee Warren and David Warren, William H. Wright II

Firebird Fellows and Firebirds:

Jenny Gerard Brown and Barry L. Brown, Magda Dvir, Constance Emmerich, Kenneth Koen, Deborah Paul, Barbara A. Pelson, Rajika and Anupam Puri, Douglas and Jean Renfield-Miller, Meryl Rosofsky and Stuart H. Coleman, Bonnie J. Sacerdote, Melanie Shorin and Greg S. Feldman, Beatrice Stern, Douglas Dockery Thomas, Lulu C. and Anthony W. Wang

Produced by The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Department of Live Arts

Limor Tomer, Lulu C. and Anthony W. Wang General Manager of Live Arts
Art Priromprintr, Senior Administrator
Nunally Kersh, Senior Producer
Harrison Corthell, Production Manager
Madyson Barnfield, Production Associate
Emery Kerekes, Program Coordinator
Audrey Rosenblith, Associate for Administration
Ricardo V. Barton, Associate for Administration
Kerrigan Quenemoen, Production Associate
Sam West, Artist Management Associate

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is on the island known as Mannahatta—now called Manhattan—in Lenapehoking, the homeland of the Lenape people.