Inter densas

Currently listening to Inter Densas Deserti Meditans, a motet from the Chantilly codex. It’s rare that I’m actually able to enjoy a piece which is relatively dissonant for its genre, as compared to other polyphonic music from that period. Of course, some dissonance is to be expected, as the “diplum” and “triplum” voices in these early motets were often based on settings of completely different texts sung simultaneously, but Inter densas is something else, almost cosmic in its atonality — which is a rare effect for a 14th-Century motet.

Text and translation of the motet here. I’m listening to it on the “Gothic Music” CD by the Early Music Consort of London. Apparently Van Nevel’s Huelgas Ensemble has a more recent recording; I must get my hands on that. The Huelgas Ensemble’s renditions of early renaissance works are absolutely sublime.