Charles V, colonial despot, ruthless emperor, or enlightened ruler? Charles was probably all of these things. The glories of his Imperial Chapel remain undisputed, and its reputation as one of the grandest in history endures. Charles’ Imperial Chapel employed some of the most notable composers of his age, including Nicolas Gombert and Thomas Crecquillon, and peripherally Clemens non Papa and Pierre de Manchicourt. Charles, a devout Catholic, was said to have possessed an ear for elegant music, and the selections on this program leave no doubt. Music from his chapel blurred the heavenly border with the secular, and along with the great mass settings, many musical commissions memorialized political conquests and state occasions.