- Super salutem et omnem pulchritudinem, for 5 voices
- O admirable commercium
- Psalm 37 "Erzürne Dich Nicht"
- Psalm 11 "In Domino confido"
- Psalm 13 "Herr, wie lange willst du mein so gar vergessen?"
- Psalm 34 "Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore"
- Magnificat for 5 voices in 6th tone (complete)
- Requiem aeternam, for choir
Thomas Stoltzer was long believed to have fallen beside his patron, pike in hand, at the Battle of Mohács on August 29, 1526. No doubt this expert musician and worthy contemporary to Josquin would have preferred such a heroic fate than that which actually befell him a few months before; slipping on a rock in a river: falling and being carried away to his death by the current. Although Stoltzer's one surviving letter reveals that he had fleeting contact with -- and no small measure of interest in, moreover sympathy for -- the Reformation, his bread was put on the table by an Aristocracy so corrupt it was too busy oppressing peasants and putting down revolts to notice that Suleiman I was knocking on the door. Nevertheless, it was within the realm of the Reformation that Stoltzer's music took hold; his four German and 14 Latin Psalm motets became an indispensable part of the musical diet in Saxony until dislodged from popularity by the rise of the Baroque. All four German and a selection of Stoltzer's Latin motets -- including his one extant setting of the "Magnificat" -- are profiled on MDG's Thomas Stoltzer: Psalm Motets, featuring the Josquin Capella under the direction of Meinolf Brüser. One would think that music created for a regime so complicit with the Holy Roman Empire and contrary to the beliefs of Martin Luther would be wholly inappropriate for use in early Lutheran services. That's not taking into account, however, Luther's own musical tastes; he was musically educated and a huge proponent of Josquin. Stoltzer was also heavily influenced by -- even if he did not have direct contact with -- the older German composer Hermann Finck, whose work took on some Netherlandish features later on and who also maintained a strong interest in the Reformation, even though it did not emerge until his last years. While the florid, Northern counterpoint is certainly present, there is a simpler, more Southern aspect of this music heard when the musical texture drops down to two or three voices, as heard toward the end of "Erzürme dich nicht," or when high and low voices engaged in an alternating dialogue throughout much of "Benedicam Dominum." In his reasonably short career, which likely did not begin before 1510, Stoltzer managed to master both styles and to combine them in an effective way and this is analogous to the transition Luther sought for his church: a marriage between established, reliable traditions of worship and something new that spoke more directly to the congregation. Overall, Josquin Capella performs this difficult music admirably well; there seems to be a little confusion at the very start of "Benedicam Dominum," and midway through that piece there is a precipitous drop in pitch among the whole ensemble, although this commonly happens in a cappella groups of all kinds, particularly in complex pieces such as these. Despite his significance, Stoltzer is not recorded with nearly the frequency of Josquin, and those who value the music of the mid-Renaissance will find MDG's Thomas Stoltzer: Psalm Motets a revelation, particularly if music of the Reformation is a strong point of interest.