Pseudepigraphic Music

The Hillard Ensemble recording of the Orlando de Lassus works Missa pro defunctis and Prophetiae Sibyllarum is in print again.

The Prophetiae Sibyllarum includes selections from the oracles of the Sibyls of Persia, Libya, Delphi, Cimmeria, Samos, Cumae, the Hellespont, Phrygia, Europe, Tibur, Erythraea, and Agrippa. It is de Lassus’ only experiment in extreme chromaticism, a quite striking and rather esoteric work, an oddly haunting blend “of pagan hysteria and Christian epigram,” as the booklet says. The Latin text of the oracles used by de Lassus first appeared in a Venetian printing of 1481, so their relation to the OT Pseudepigrapha Greek Sibylline Oracles is tenuous at best. Still, it’s fun to have a recording of such an unusual subject!

The Missa pro defunctis is, of course, another fine example of the polyphony for which de Lassus is so justly renowned.

If anyone knows of other recordings of Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, let me know. It would be fun to put together a collection of such.

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