Author Topic: Guillaume Dufay  (Read 7471 times)

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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #120 on: January 09, 2017, 05:52:05 AM »
I have not seen her score, but will seek it out.  The g# may "solve" one problem (although I find the E minor tonality to be pleasing) but creates a different one with the c in the motetus creating a E augmented vertical sound.  I would like to understand why she chose to sharp the g whereas Leech-Wilkinson and others did not.  Also the tenor, which carries the chant, has a g natural which should not be changed.  g against g# seems very odd.

In the bar in question she has also sharpened the g in the tenor and the c in the motetus, I suppose because of the rising steps in all three parts.
res severa verum gaudium

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #121 on: January 09, 2017, 05:58:30 AM »
The conclusion of the reviewer is that this score should not be recommended because of the liberal application of sharps (which are all put inside the score instead of above as is usually done with editorial decisions).

I agree, that she should have put the sharps above the notes to distinguish them clearly as edited, but on the other hand she has written a report, which mentions all edited notes, so she is open about it.
res severa verum gaudium

Offline sanantonio

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #122 on: January 09, 2017, 05:59:32 AM »
In the bar in question she has also sharpened the g in the tenor and the c in the motetus, I suppose because of the rising steps in all three parts.

Yes; in reading the review this bar was cited in particular as an example of her liberal application of sharps.  The reviewer cites the reluctance of editors to alter the cantus firmus except at cadences, as is done by Leech-Wilkinson at the end of the KYRIE I when both the c and g are raised for the last consonance.  But to do this for every instance of a imperfect interval (3rd; 6th) moving to the octave or fifth is unusual, especially if it means changing the cantus firmus.

NOTE: I am mirroring this discussion over at the Machaut thread since I want to keep as much of the discussion of the mass there as possible. 
« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 06:02:52 AM by sanantonio »

Offline sanantonio

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #123 on: January 09, 2017, 06:00:02 AM »
I found a review of the Cross score here:

Reviewed Work: Messe de Nostre Dame [For] Mixed Voices by Guillaume de Machaut, Lucy E. Cross
Review by: Virginia Newes
Notes
Second Series, Vol. 57, No. 3 (Mar., 2001), pp. 717-721
Published by: Music Library Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/900841

The conclusion of the reviewer is that this score should not be recommended because of the liberal application of sharps (which are all put inside the score instead of above as is usually done with editorial decisions).

I will keep looking for other opinions of this score.

Interesting, thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Yes; in reading the review this bar was cited in particular as an example of her liberal application of sharps.  The reviewer cites the reluctance of editors to alter the cantus firmus except at cadences, as is done by Leech-Wilkinson at the end of the KYRIE I when both the c and g are raised for the last consonance.  But to do this for every instance of a imperfect interval (3rd; 6th) moving to the octave or fifth is unusual, especially if it means changing the cantus firmus.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 06:03:29 AM by sanantonio »

Offline torut

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #124 on: January 10, 2017, 09:36:28 PM »
Andrew Parrott has argued (convincingly imo) that there was no use of falsetto singers well into the Renaissance and put forward the idea that the Monteverdi 1610 Vespers were pitched a fourth lower than A=440.  This would not need falsetto, let alone female, voices but was done with a small choir of men: tenors and baritones.

You should seek out his recording of it as well as his recording of the Machaut Messe to hear what his group sounds like.

Regarding church use, no female singers were ever used, hence all of the sacred music for at least the Medieval (500-1400) and Renaissance (1400-1650) used only men for music for the church.  I think it was the norm also during the Baroque period to use boys and not women.  I am not sure when women began to sing in church but certainly for music falling under the rubric "Early Music" they were not used.

I happened to prefer the sound of a male group and follow Parrott's argument about the pitching of the music as well.

Thank you, the article seems to discuss what I have been interested in. (I am trying to find out a way to purchase the article but a subscription seems required.)

Offline sanantonio

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #125 on: January 11, 2017, 02:21:08 AM »
Thank you, the article seems to discuss what I have been interested in. (I am trying to find out a way to purchase the article but a subscription seems required.)

The same essay along others by Parrott have been collected in his book published in July, 2015:



I used to subscribe to Early Music but replaced it with a subscription to JStor which includes many articles from EM as well as several other scholarly music journals.

Offline torut

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #126 on: January 29, 2017, 10:56:10 PM »
^ I am currently reading that book. It is very interesting, thanks again. I thought male falsettists were used in the church music since the middle age, but according to Parrott, the highest part had been tenor and the total voice range was usually about 15 notes (~2 octaves), within male's natural range. Boy choir was used but until the 15th century they were separated from adults only choir.

I received the Parrott's Machaut CD today. Messe de Notre-Dame is sung in lower pitches, a 4th lower than the other recordings I have (Deller Consort, Oxford Camerata.) I found it really nice. I don't know if Parrott's theory is widely accepted or still controversial, but this performance sounds natural, much more than the Deller's.

Offline sanantonio

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #127 on: January 30, 2017, 03:16:52 AM »
^ I am currently reading that book. It is very interesting, thanks again. I thought male falsettists were used in the church music since the middle age, but according to Parrott, the highest part had been tenor and the total voice range was usually about 15 notes (~2 octaves), within male's natural range. Boy choir was used but until the 15th century they were separated from adults only choir.

I received the Parrott's Machaut CD today. Messe de Notre-Dame is sung in lower pitches, a 4th lower than the other recordings I have (Deller Consort, Oxford Camerata.) I found it really nice. I don't know if Parrott's theory is widely accepted or still controversial, but this performance sounds natural, much more than the Deller's.

Our use of the voice term "tenor" is as a vocal range whereas in Medieval and throughout the Renaissance the term means the voice "holding" the cantus firmus (holding, from Latin tenere).  The next voice is contratenor, also not as we use countertenor as a falsetto voice, but as the voice working in and around the tenor voice.  The other two voices were triplus and motetus.  These four voices were not the same s our SATB vocal ensemble, but two pairs of voices of similar range: higher and lower; each pair often crossed and generally shared the same range, the higher voices (triplus and motetus) a fifth above the lower voices (tenor and contratenor).

There is every reason to believe that the Parrott is closer to correct than not, he relies on solid scholarship - but his theory has not been universally taken up, mainly because of our long tradition of using mixed choirs and hearing the music at a certain pitch.

I too enjoy Parrott's performance/recording of La Messe very much, and consider it my "go-to" recording.

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