Ockeghem (Okeghem, Okengheim, Ockenheim, etc.), Jonannes (Jean, Jehan de)

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Ockeghem (Okeghem, Okengheim, Ockenheim, etc.), Jonannes (Jean, Jehan de)

Ockeghem (Okeghem, Okengheim, Ockenheim, etc.), Jonannes (Jean, Jehan de),great Flemish composer; b. c. 1410; d. probably in Tours, Feb. 6, 1497. He may have been a pupil of Binchois. He is first listed among the vicaires-chanteurs at Notre Dame in Antwerp on June 24, 1443, and served there until 1444. By 1446 he was in the service of Charles I, Duke of Bourbon, in Moulins, remaining there until at least 1448. By 1452 he was in the service of Charles VII of France as first among the singer-chaplains who were non-priests; by 1454 he was premier chapelain. He subsequently served Louis XI and Charles VIII, and in 1459 the latter made him treasurer of the church of St. Martin-de-Tours. Under Louis XI, he also was a canon at Notre Dame in Paris from 1463 to 1470. He likewise was a chaplain at St. Benoit. In Jan. 1470 he traveled to Spain at the King’s expense. In 1484 he journeyed to Bruges and Dammes. Upon his death, Guillaume Cretin wrote a poetic “Deploration,” and Josquin Des Prez and Lupi composed musical epitaphs. With his contemporaries Dufay and Josquin, Ockeghem ranks among the foremost masters of the Franco- Flemish style of composition in the second half of the 15th century. Among his settings of the Mass is the earliest extant polyphonic Requiem. The inventiveness displayed in his masses is only excelled in his superb motets. His achievements in the art of imitative counterpoint unquestionably make his music a milestone on the way to the a cappella style of the coming generations. A major ed. of his works is found in D. Plamenac, editor, J. Ockeghem: Sämtliche Werke, in the Publikationen Alterer Musik, Jg. I/2 (Leipzig, 1927), which contains eight masses; a second ed., rev, 1959, was publ, as Masses I-VIII in J. Ockeghem: Collected Works, I (N.Y.); Masses and Mass Sections IX-XVI appeared in the same ed. as vol. II (N.Y., 1947; 2nd ed., 1966).


E. Thoinan, Deploration de Guillaume Crétin sur le trépas de J. O., musicien, premier chaplain du roi de France et trésorier de Saint-Martin de Tours (Paris, 1864); D. Plamenac, J. O. als Motetten- und Chansonkomponist (diss., Univ. of Vienna, 1925); W. Stephan, Die burgundisch-niederländische Motette zur Zeit Ockeghems (Kassel, 1937); E. Krenek,J. O. (N.Y., 1953); M. Henze, Studien zu den Messenkompositionen J.O. (Berlin, 1968);J. O. en zijn tijd (Dendermonde, 1970); E. Houghton, Rhythmic Structure in the Masses and Motets of J. O.(diss., Univ. of Calif., Berkeley, 1971); M. Picker, J. O. and Jacob Obrecht: A Guide to Research (N.Y., 1988); A. Lindmayr, Quellenstudien zu den Motetten von J.O. (Laaber, 1990); C. Goldberg, Die Chansons J. O.s: Ästhetik des musikalischen Raumes (Laaber, 1992).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire