Saturday, 8 September 2012

Maistre Jhan: Missa Inviolata

I want to thank Camilla Cavicchi for contacting me and letting me know about her 2006 research about Maistre Jhan.

The anonymous Missa Inviolata in E-Bc 1967 (known as Cançoner de Gandia) was thought to be composed by Philippe Verdelot (see article by Bernardette Nelson A parody on Josquin's "Inviolata" in Barcelona 1967: An unknown Mass by Philippe Verdelot?).

In 2006 Camilla Cavicchi (CESR) demonstrated in her doctoral dissertation that the Missa Inviolata was by Maistre Jhan.

The E-Bc 1967 was not the only source of the Missa Inviolata, althought it is the only one extant:

Fortunately, Giovanni d' Alessi, a musicologist who researched several years about the Archive of the Duomo of Treviso (Venice) wrote down the incipits of many of the works in the choirbooks kept there before most of them burned out because of the allied bombing raid on April 7, 1944. One of these choirbooks, the Codice 1 (I-TVd 1) contained a Missa Inviolata, for six voices, attributed to Maistre Jhan (c. 1485-1538), who served the Dukedom of Ferrara until his death.

The incipit of the Mass in the lost codex I-TVd 1 made by Giovanni d' Alessi was short, but it seems pretty clear that the Missa Inviolata in both sources were most likely the same work (same beginning, number of voices, clefs...). That is why Missa Inviolata must be attributed to Maistre Jhan rather than to Verdelot:

The Missa Inviolata, scored for six voices (SAATTB), is an outstanding "parody" on the motet Inviolata by Josquin. The Sanctus only lasts until Dominus Deus Sabaoth, and there is only an Agnus Dei (the third). This is another proof of Maistre Jhan's authorship, as I found another Mass possibly by him or at least copied in Ferrara (it will be published shortly in Ars Subtilior Editions) that also omitted these sections.

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© Jorge Martín