Purpose and Intent
The music of the Renaissance, being primarily known for its vocal works, is a relatively untapped resource for the modern-day flutist. This quartet arrangement serves the purpose of introducing flutists to a style and genre of music to which they would not otherwise be exposed. This quartet, which is rooted in the vocal tradition, provides a pedagogical tool for teaching chord tuning, pitch control, and phrasing to high school and college flutists. For the professional flutist, this quartet also serves as contrast to the standard flute quartet repertoire. It can be performed on its own or paired with other Renaissance flute quartets.
Josquin des Prez (ca. 1450-1521) was described by his contemporaries as “the best of the composers of our time.” His music was revered for generations and was some of the first to be revived in the twentieth century. Josquin was known for his remarkable ability to express text through music. One of his latest compositions, the chanson Mille regretz, shows his use of homophony and imitation as a means of enhancing the text.
A thousand regrets at deserting you
and leaving behind your loving face,
I feel so much sadness and such painful distress,
that it seems to me my days will soon dwindle away.
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