“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.” - Henry Ward Beecher
Another Saturday that was filled with the usual routines, chores and a wonderful evening that was quite special. And now as night darkens more and more, it appropriate to be grateful. Here is Johannes Ockeghem’s “Deo Gratias”, expressing these feelings of gratitude in quite a joyous and majestic way.
Johannes Ockeghem (also Jean de, Jan; surname Okeghem, Ogkegum, Okchem, Hocquegam, Ockegham) (1410/1425 – February 6, 1497) was the most famous composer of the Franco-Flemish School in the last half of the 15th century, and is often considered the most influential composer between Dufay and Josquin des Prez. In addition to being a renowned composer, he was also an honored singer, choirmaster, and teacher.
Ockeghem enjoyed a stellar reputation among contemporary musicians as well as his employers. He apparently knew Gilles Binchois, composer to the Burgundian Court, for whom he composed the lament Mort, tu as navré in 1460. In turn, Antoine Busnois, singer of the count of Charolais (soon to be Duke of Burgundy) honoured Ockeghem with the motet In hydraulis in 1465-1467. Johannes Tinctoris, theorist and composer, called Ockeghem the first among all the most excellent composers of his time, and even Duke Galeazzo Maria Sforza of far-off Milan sought his assistance in the recruitment of singers. Upon Ockeghem’s death, laments were composed by some of the greatest figures of his age, including poets (Guillaume Crétin and Jean Molinet), composer (Josquin Desprez), and thinker (Erasmus of Rotterdam).