His small but significant œuvre illustrates the mastery of the Flemish polyphonists in cantus firmus, canon, imitation, diminution and other learned techniques. Two of his Masses, on motets (like Antoine de Févin, and Jean Mouton, his colleagues in the French royal chapel, pioneering in the “parody mass”) by Jean Richafort and Alexander Agricola (who was his colleague under duke Philip the Fair), and some Mass movements and motets, were published in anthologies between 1514 and 1549.
His canon motet a 5 “Per lignum” “for the wood” of the Holy Cross illustrates his contrapunctic mastery (in a favorite formula of Josquin: strict canon in both inner parts, three other more freely in mainly imitative counterpoint) as does his “Salve Regina” (for Our Lady as Queen of Heaven), also a 5, on the profane Chanson rustique “Adieu mes amours” (which Josquin himself arranged a 4), making little use of the Gregorian original, unlike Johannes Prioris’ version of the similar Regina Caeli.
His Motet “Desolatorum consolatur” was recorded by The Orlando Consort on “The Toledo Summit”, Harmonia Mundi no. HMU 907328.
This composer belongs to the third generation of the Flemish Polyphony, championed by Josquin. His name is a latinization of a Dutch-languague original, (de) Rycke, literally meaning “the rich”. From 1501 he worked as cantor at St. Donatius church in Brugge (Bruges) and from 1504 till 1505 at St. Rombouts (St. Rombald cathedral) in Mechelen (Malines), from 1505 as singer at the Burgundian duke Philip the Fair’s chapel in Brussel and followed him on his visit to Spain where Philip died in 1506, then presumably till 1508 in his widow Isabella’s chapel. In 1510 he became Kapellmeister to the French queen Anne of Britanny, then in the French royal chapel (under Johannes Prioris, qv, during the reigns of kings Louis XII and Francis I), possibly following his military campaign to Rome in 1525.
[This contribution is mainly based on KULeuven’s musicology professor Ignace BOSSUYT’s book “De Vlaamse Polyfonie”.]