Author Topic: Guillaume Dufay  (Read 10469 times)

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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #40 on: November 10, 2015, 05:58:02 AM »
we ARE certain that instruments were NOT used in church music.

I always found this somewhat dubious. Can you point to an authoritative link, which confirms your words?
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Offline The new erato

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #41 on: November 10, 2015, 06:11:07 AM »
Perhaps someone can point me to the good bits, but every time I sample anything by the Cantica Symphonia under Magnano it goes entirely the wrong way down.....
It sounds hugely interventionist, with made up and totally out of place sounding instrumental accompaniments... ::)

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I have their new Isaac disc on Glossa and find the instrumental parts very (as in extremely) discreetly and unobtrusively done. I'm not sure about the quality of singing and recordings (need further listening), but any disc of previously unrecorded Issac Works are a good thing in my book!

Offline sanantonio

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #42 on: November 10, 2015, 06:28:03 AM »
I always found this somewhat dubious. Can you point to an authoritative link, which confirms your words?

No; but canon law forbade it.

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #43 on: November 10, 2015, 06:43:38 AM »
No; but canon law forbade it.

I am not sure, that this fact can be used as a proof.

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Offline sanantonio

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #44 on: November 10, 2015, 06:55:38 AM »
I am not sure, that this fact can be used as a proof.

It is my understanding (not proof) that the only instrument used was the organ, which, if memory serves, began to be used, still rarely, in the 13th century and this practice gradually became accepted by the 15th century.  Horns, viols and other instruments were not used.  And it was still controversial during the Classical period depending upon who was pope.  There was a difference between Roman Catholic and Lutheran services,however, with the popes being much more conservative in this regard.

But I doubt any of this is of concern today regarding performance practice.

Personally I prefer hearing male choirs without instruments - not because of some misguided desire for authenticity, but simply because I prefer the sound.

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #45 on: November 10, 2015, 07:04:16 AM »
It is my understanding (not proof) that the only instrument used was the organ, which, if memory serves, began to be used, still rarely, in the 13th century and this practice gradually became accepted by the 15th century.  Horns, viols and other instruments were not used.  And it was still controversial during the Classical period depending upon who was pope.  There was a difference between Roman Catholic and Lutheran services,however, with the popes being much more conservative in this regard.

One does not go further than a hundred years forward in time, where Monteverdi's and the Gabrieli's sacred music for sure was performed with instrumental accompainment.

Quote from: sanantonio link
Personally I prefer hearing male choirs without instruments - not because of some misguided desire for authenticity, but simply because I prefer the sound.

That is fair enough.

Personally I like the addition of instrumental timbres, but it must be done with taste and not in a confusing way. One of the better examples of instrumental addition is (IMO) when a trombone is used to reinforce the tenor part in a "tenor" mass.
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Online North Star

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #46 on: November 10, 2015, 07:12:34 AM »
One does not go further than a hundred years forward in time, where Monteverdi's and the Gabrieli's sacred music for sure was performed with instrumental accompainment.
Council of Trent in the mid-1500s and what would be Baroque affected the Catholic church, but I suspect that their views were different before that.
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #47 on: November 10, 2015, 08:06:57 AM »
Perhaps someone can point me to the good bits,
Q

Messe "Si la face est pâle."

Obviously if you're going to add instruments then you have your work cut out for you because there are extra voices to balance, and sometimes they pull that off better than others, at least if you assess what they do by the yardstick of voix égales. I must say I don't like the way brass can sometimes dominate they textures in the Homme Armé mass, though I may be applying the wrong yardstick, I don't know.

I continue to be very impressed by the beauty of Jeremy Summerley's Dufay mass.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2015, 08:37:18 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline sanantonio

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #48 on: November 10, 2015, 08:38:29 AM »
One does not go further than a hundred years forward in time, where Monteverdi's and the Gabrieli's sacred music for sure was performed with instrumental accompainment.

The use was more prevelant for sacred texts not part of the ordinary of the Mass.

Quote
Personally I like the addition of instrumental timbres, but it must be done with taste and not in a confusing way. One of the better examples of instrumental addition is (IMO) when a trombone is used to reinforce the tenor part in a "tenor" mass.

Yes; minimal use cna be pleasing.

Online Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #49 on: November 10, 2015, 08:51:16 AM »
Re instruments in Dufay, does anyone know whether there is any untexted music in the masses?
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #50 on: November 10, 2015, 08:57:07 AM »
Today I have been listening to The Clarks Group sing O Gemma Lux. I thought it was extremely satisfying. The whole album in fact.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2015, 09:00:37 AM by Mandryka »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #51 on: November 11, 2015, 08:42:17 AM »
Has anyone heard Cantica Symphonia's first (I think) recording of Dufay, the one with Kees Boeke? On Stradivarius. On the sleeve it credits Boeke with the role of musical director, that's quite a heavyweight, and I guess it was him who convinced them to use instruments, or rather helped them see how to use instruments, in masses.



« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 08:55:55 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline The new erato

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #52 on: November 11, 2015, 08:45:58 AM »
Clemencic did an Ave Regina Coelorum with massive instrumentation, I have it on LP somewhere. Made it very processional.

As for books, my introduction to this repertoire was Reese's havy volume. Research has moved on though, I guess.

Online Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #53 on: November 11, 2015, 08:51:27 AM »
Clemencic did an Ave Regina Coelorum with massive instrumentation, I have it on LP somewhere. Made it very processional.

As for books, my introduction to this repertoire was Reese's havy volume. Research has moved on though, I guess.

I just cut that bit because I found a chronological list of works on Wikipedia (French.) The latest masses turn out to be 1463, Missa Ecce ancilla domini and 1464 (ou plus tard), Missa Ave Regina Caelorum.

If anyone knows exceptional recordings of either of these then I'd like to know because I want to explore his later style (which I've been assuming wrongly was the distinctively flowing style you hear in Homme Armé and Si la face est pâle)

Don't fancy Clemencic!
« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 08:57:47 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline The new erato

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #54 on: November 11, 2015, 08:57:13 AM »
Haven't heard it for years and couldn't say, though Clemencic has a nice Senfl disc on some label IIRC.

Online Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #55 on: November 11, 2015, 09:07:22 AM »
It turns out that Ensemble Gilles Binchois recorded Ecce Ancilla Domine, I'm listening now, it certainly flows with long phrases.
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Offline J.II.9

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #56 on: November 11, 2015, 01:12:15 PM »
If anyone knows exceptional recordings of either of these then I'd like to know because I want to explore his later style (which I've been assuming wrongly was the distinctively flowing style you hear in Homme Armé and Si la face est pâle)


Online Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #57 on: November 12, 2015, 10:24:53 AM »


This recording of the Mass for St James the Greater by the Binchois Consort makes the music sound like what you expect from early Dufay. There are some really beautiful moments, but on the whole the mass doesn't seem to have the psychedelic intensity of the motets on the same CD, which are really special.

That's all well and good, especially because Binchois Consort are excellent at Voix Égales style balances, except that there's this puppy, the St James Mass from Cappella Pratensis.




They slow the music right down, and in some way I haven't quite understood they have smoothed the music out: it sounds much much much older, more sedate and prayerful and introspective in a way that recalls the effect of some 13th century music. The downside, and I can imagine that for some this may be a deal breaker, is the relative absence of dramatic contrasts within sections. For me there is contrast enough, but only just.

I must say I find the tempo of Capella Pratensis really challenging, but that's not really important because I know I'll adjust my expectations once I forget Binchois Consort. My intuition is that CP find the elusive heart of the music, but I'm no expert.

At any rate I can say that these recordings are really stimulating because so very different.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 10:50:56 AM by Mandryka »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #58 on: November 12, 2015, 11:36:36 AM »
Anyone read this?

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Online Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume Dufay
« Reply #59 on: November 16, 2015, 08:40:07 AM »


This performance of the Se la face ay pale mass by the Binchois Consort has a quality which I really like in all music: the combination of control and expressiveness. The balances are like a HIP organist playing a baroque fugue - it's oriented more towards transparency than to blend.  BUT - and this is a big but - it's a bit like you have nice tunes in the high voices which dominate the show and everyone else is, mostly, just supporting. At least that's what I think. I don't know if this is a property (weakness) of the music or a property (weakness) of the performance. It may be me whose just mishearing of course.

From memory this is a big difference between se la face ay pale and L'homme Armé. I could be wrong there.

Somewhere I read that people think that Dufay used a high voice heavy ensemble.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 08:43:06 AM by Mandryka »
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