The Brabant Ensemble, Stephen Rice (conductor)
Jean Mouton was a Renaissance French composer and choirmaster, much acknowledged but more rarely recorded, who wrote a body of music that’s both technically inventive and immediately appealing. Here Stephen Rice and The Brabant Ensemble—renowned exponents of sixteenth-century Franco-Flemish repertoire—perform all Mouton’s eight-part music, two four-part motets, and his only five-part Mass setting, the Missa Tu es Petrus. The latter is characterized by light, clear textures and a soaring cantus firmus, while the double-choir Nesciens mater is rightly famous for its ingenious canon. Sheer compositional skill aside, all these works demonstrate Mouton’s vivid and original imagination—one that has the ability to speak directly to our time.