Josquin Desprez

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Josquin Desprez or Des Prés

(both: zhōs`kăN dāprā`), c.1440–1521, Flemish composer, b. Hainaut, regarded by his contemporaries as the greatest of his age. Luther spoke highly of Desprez, who may have instructed Erasmus in music. He was in Milan from 1459 to 1479, and he sang in the papal choir intermittently from 1486 to 1494. After brief service under the duke of Ferrara, he ended his days as provost of the Collegiate Church of Condé. His earlier works exhibit a preoccupation with contrapuntal skills, while his later works are more chordal. He wrote masses and miscellaneous Italian pieces, but he was particularly noted for his chansons and motets.