Author Topic: Guillaume Dufay  (Read 8435 times)

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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.

Online Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #128 on: April 29, 2017, 07:32:33 AM »
Morning listening is a revisit to this set:


This is growing on me.... The reason I say that, is because Jesse Rodin definitely does something new here...

The paces are noticeably quicker, more flowing, which creates all kinds of effects. Firstly the effect is less reverential, secondly more emphasis is placed on musical development and effects, thirdly there is less room (time) to "micro-dramatise" elements in the text. As a result the achieved expressivenes is of a different nature, if that makes any sense.... I feel this bridges some of the huge gap with the approach usually taken in secular repertoire of this period.
The singing is two-per-part BTW, with female sopranos.

The added reviews will perhaps provide  more insights, though it is a pity that Johan van Veen didn't review this set.

https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/dufay-les-messes-%C3%A0-teneur

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2016/Jun/Dufay_masses_MEW1577.htm

http://www.classicalacarte.net/Production/Production_07_16/MEW157778_39_6_fanfare.htm

Q

Thanks for finding all these reviews. The only thing I've listened to carefully on the Cut Circle CD is Missa Ecce Ancilla Domine. The point that Gary Higginson made for musicweb about the consequences of Cut Circle giving the chant to the bass voices seems right. There's something extrovert about their style in the mass, it's not intimate, prayerful and confidential. They make big loud sounds project forcefully out of their mouth, sometimes in a quasi operatic way. Maybe that's a justifiable  way to take this mass, I don't know offhand if it was conceived for a state occasion.
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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #129 on: April 29, 2017, 08:17:06 AM »
[....] There's something extrovert about their style in the mass, it's not intimate, prayerful and confidential.

I didn't recall that you were so negative on thus recording before, but I definitely can get that....  :)

Quote
They make big loud sounds project forcefully out of their mouth, sometimes in a quasi operatic way.

But not this, which actually sounds as if you are commenting on the style of The Sound and the Fury?

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Online Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #130 on: April 29, 2017, 08:52:59 AM »
I didn't recall that you were so negative on thus recording before, but I definitely can get that....  :)

But not this, which actually sounds as if you are commenting on the style of The Sound and the Fury?

Q

I'm not negative about it! I'm trying to avoid being evaluative. You'll hear what I mean about the size of the sound they make if you check Veillard in the same mass, maybe.

The ensemble that have most formed my tastes in this type of music are  Capella Pratensis, (the early recordings ) and  Cantica Symphonia (with Giuseppi Maletto.)  Some things by Clemencic too.

« Last Edit: April 29, 2017, 08:54:58 AM by Mandryka »
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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #131 on: April 29, 2017, 11:02:04 PM »
Morning listening is a revisit of the 2nd disc to this set:



https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/dufay-les-messes-%C3%A0-teneur
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2016/Jun/Dufay_masses_MEW1577.htm
http://www.classicalacarte.net/Production/Production_07_16/MEW157778_39_6_fanfare.htm

I'm not negative about it! I'm trying to avoid being evaluative. You'll hear what I mean about the size of the sound they make if you check Veillard in the same mass, maybe.
The ensemble that have most formed my tastes in this type of music are  Capella Pratensis, (the early recordings ) and  Cantica Symphonia (with Giuseppi Maletto.)  Some things by Clemencic too.

OK, not that I would mind... :D The point that I would like to make about you "operatic" comment is that I don't hear a theatrical/ dramatised style, but on the contrary feel that the emphasis on the musical dynamics leads to a more abstract effect.

I agree on your liking of the Cappella Pratensis (but not Maletto...), their style has changed significantly as well as I found out with their Ockeghem Requiem recording.
It seems that the general trend is away from "slow and reverential" towards small forces and a more expressive and dynamic style, though different ensembles take (very) different approaches to achieve this.



Veillard and Cut Circle in just the Agnus Dei of Dufay's Missa Ecce Ancilla Domini. I much prefer Veillard.

I don't have the Vellard but am a great admiror, will try to find it. :)
To be honest, I do feel he sometimes overdoes the slow and reverential style...
I'm actually listening to this mass by Rodin right now, and find a rather good performance - more relaxed than the Missa Se la face ay pale on the 1st disc.
Nonetheless I can see how this set wouldn't win me entirely over as their Desprez/De Orto album did.

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Online Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #132 on: April 30, 2017, 12:23:29 AM »
Morning listening is a revisit of the 2nd disc to this set:



https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/dufay-les-messes-%C3%A0-teneur
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2016/Jun/Dufay_masses_MEW1577.htm
http://www.classicalacarte.net/Production/Production_07_16/MEW157778_39_6_fanfare.htm

OK, not that I would mind... :D The point that I would like to make about you "operatic" comment is that I don't hear a theatrical/ dramatised style, but on the contrary feel that the emphasis on the musical dynamics leads to a more abstract effect.

I agree on your liking of the Cappella Pratensis (but not Maletto...), their style has changed significantly as well as I found out with their Ockeghem Requiem recording.
It seems that the general trend is away from "slow and reverential" towards small forces and a more expressive and dynamic style, though different ensembles take (very) different approaches to achieve this.

I don't have the Vellard but am a great admiror, will try to find it. :)
To be honest, I do feel he sometimes overdoes the slow and reverential style...
I'm actually listening to this mass by Rodin right now, and find a rather good performance - more relaxed than the Missa Se la face ay pale on the 1st disc.
Nonetheless I can see how this set wouldn't win me entirely over as their Desprez/De Orto album did.

Q

Yes The first Maletto Dufay mass CD stands apart a bit from the later recordings, for me it was a real eye-opener. I'm talking about the one on Stradivarius, this:



I agree that CP's style changed significantly, I think after the departure of Rebecca Stewart. I agree also that Veillard likes to do things slowly and it may not be everyone's cup of tea. I'll tell you what though, these Dufay  late masses are very good, it's good to meet someone else who's curious about them.

Another one to check out -- I know you're gonna think it's rubbish but it isn't -- is Schola Cantorum Stuttgart. Large choir.  Big Brilliant box of music thing.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2017, 12:30:02 AM by Mandryka »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #133 on: April 30, 2017, 02:38:09 AM »


Cantica Symphonia in Dufay's 1453 L'Homme Armé mass. There comes a moment in the credo where the brass instruments are so loud they pretty well overwhelm the singing. A similar thing possibly happens in the Agnus Dei. The effect is grand, brassy,  and using instruments for this reason is,  I think, probably not  unjustifiable historically for this particular mass. The problem, if there is one at all, is in the balance of voices and instruments. But the parts where the brass is arguably too intrusive are brief, and I'd say it's curmudgeonly to berate the recording too severely on those grounds. There are things  to enjoy here, at least if you like their way of making sounds with their voices, the way they attack the notes and form the vowels  (I do), and you're not desperate for more prominent lower voices (I'm not.)
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #134 on: April 30, 2017, 08:38:39 AM »


Maletto Dufay L'Homme Armé, again. I've been listening to the credo on and off all day. What's interesting is that the voices are small and the instruments are large, like the voices are almost chamber sized but then you get music for brass instruments along with them. It's very weird. I can't get out of my mind a friend's cutting remark that it sounds like a trumpet concerto.

I listened to Jeremy Summerly play the same music, just voices obviously but the effect is bigger, less room sized because of the way they sing forth, especially to was the end. I think that's right, I don't really feel confident that I've found the right concepts for the different approaches.

I also feel that Maletto's singers have a bit more individuality than Summerly's. And that there's a sense of urgency about Maletto, introverted urgency, Summerly more static and reflective, yet more extrovert - paradox and near oxymoron everywhere.

Anyway the truth is I am more and more intrigued by what Maletto does here. Truth is that both are interesting to me , complementary.

I'm wondering whether I want to hear Hilliard too, but the very thought of those Oxbridge vowels and David James's nasal voice dominating the proceedings,  is giving me the creeps. I'm sure they're exceptional at the level of interpretatio though, the problems are mine and only concern execution.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2017, 08:47:53 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Que

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #135 on: May 01, 2017, 11:33:54 PM »

I agree on your liking of ... (but not Maletto...)

May I ask about this? I heard Cantica Symphonica recently with an Isaac programme and was mightily impressed. I knew their Isaac disc a little and have only now bought more of their releases (mostly Dufay), still have to start exploring them.

Sure!  :) I think you get a good impression from Mandryka's comments as to what deterred me from moving into Maletto's Dufay recordings 
The intrusive and inappropriately feeling instrumental accompaniment is for me a deal breaker in itself...
I also don't like the style of singing, which I also find too Italianate.

Mind you, things might be different with a later composer (with an Italian connection) like Isaac...

Q
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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #136 on: May 02, 2017, 09:20:10 PM »
I also don't like the style of singing, which I also find too Italianate.


Q

That sounds interesting, what do you mean? What's Italianate singing?
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Offline Que

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #137 on: May 03, 2017, 09:18:54 AM »
That sounds interesting, what do you mean? What's Italianate singing?

Interesting question... ;) But hard to formulate a definition of the Italian style of singing, I guess it is the sum of small diferences....
The reason why Lassus by Odhecaton sounds very different from a performance by Singer Pur, of Desprez by De Labyrintho vs A Sei Voci.

But perhaps I blame my disliking of Maletto's individual  stylistic choices unduly on the singing being Italianate, who knowns...  8)

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #138 on: May 03, 2017, 10:19:50 AM »
Interesting question... ;) But hard to formulate a definition of the Italian style of singing, I guess it is the sum of small diferences....
The reason why Lassus by Odhecaton sounds very different from a performance by Singer Pur, of Desprez by De Labyrintho vs A Sei Voci.

But perhaps I blame my disliking of Maletto's individual  stylistic choices unduly on the singing being Italianate, who knowns...  8)

Q

Hmm, am I the only one, who can hear the influence of Landini (an Italian) in Dufay's works. Or is this only true about his secular music?
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Offline Que

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #139 on: May 14, 2017, 05:17:50 AM »
A quick note on these recordings, now I've had time to listen and digest them..



I must have an unlucky hand lately,  because this set as well doesn't quite live up to my expectations after this ensemble's magnificent Desprez/ De Orto set.
Mandryka is right in his assessment that the (hyper) dynamic approach Jesse Rodin introduces here, doesn't quite work.
Paces are noticeably quicker with more emphasis is placed on musical development and effects, which leaves  less room (time) to "micro-dramatise" elements in the text.
Not necessarily a wrong angle and feel of the music is more abstract. But IMO Rodin overdoes it and the result is pushy and restless.... I feel the music isn't balanced and "centered" anymore, the listener is pulled from one musical effect to another.  The message of the music gets somewhat lost in the "excitement".... Overalll, there is still much to admire but it's a real pity that the end result falls short... ::)

https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/dufay-les-messes-%C3%A0-teneur

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2016/Jun/Dufay_masses_MEW1577.htm

http://www.classicalacarte.net/Production/Production_07_16/MEW157778_39_6_fanfare.htm

Q
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