Although little is known about his life, Franco-Flemish composer Jean Richafort was a mainstay of the 16th-century top 40, not only with his scores in high circulation across Europe but with other fam

Although little is known about his life, Franco-Flemish composer Jean Richafort was a mainstay of the 16th-century top 40, not only with his scores in high circulation across Europe but with other famous composers basing works on his themes. His 35-minute, six-voice Requiem—dedicated to that greatest of late-medieval/ early-Renaissance composers, Josquin Desprez—is regarded as his masterpiece, and it certainly sounds like one in the hands of Belgian conductor Paul van Nevel and his Huelgas-Ensemble. The group sings Richafort's darkly melodious, chant-laced polyphony with a sound like molten amber. Although they don't carry the inspired weight of the Requiem, several lovely motets and chansons balance out the disc, which was atmospherically but clearly recorded by the ace engineer Markus Heiland of Tritonus.—BB