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date: 17 November 2019

Obrecht [Hobrecht], Jacoblocked

  • Rob C. Wegman


(b Ghent, 1457/8; d Ferrara, shortly before Aug 1, 1505). South Netherlandish composer. In the 1480s and 1490s he was Europe’s leading composer of cyclic masses, of which he wrote nearly three dozen. In addition he left a sizeable oeuvre of motets and songs, many of which continued to circulate widely, along with his most famous masses, during the first half of the 16th century. In the last years of his life Obrecht was frequently mentioned in one breath with Josquin des Prez. The latter was to outlive him by 16 years, however, and has come to be seen as the more significant representative of his generation.

The text of Obrecht’s motet Mille quingentis reveals that he was the son of a Guillermus Hobrecht who died on St Cecilia’s Day (22 November) 1488. The father has been identified as the trumpeter Willem Obrecht who was permanently employed by the city of Ghent from ...

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