About the Mass

"Josquin's Missa Sine Nomine is a 'sleeper' among the composer's works, perhaps because its very name means 'without title'. Thus, the Mass has not attracted much attention." Dr. Mahrt said.

"It is a late composition, standing together with the Missa Pange Lingua and the Missa de Beata Virgine, and it is a worthy companion to the better-known works.

"The name Sine Nomine suggests that the Mass is not based upon a pre-existing tune. That is because this Mass is based upon canons, harking back to some of the Masses of Ockeghem. But it could not very well have been called such, since theere is already a Missa ad Fugam in the repertory by Josquin, an early and problematic Mass.

"Josquin's Missa Sine Nomine is based upon strict imitation (canon) between two voices -- two different voices for each movement -- so that each voice part can experience the canonic structure. In style, Missa Sine Nomine resembles Missa Pange Lingua: its voice parts are of moderate range, and its movements are not unduly long; it thus can be perfected for performance in the short time allotted for the Polyphony Weekend."