During his long and colourful life, Guillaume Dufay (1397-1477) was in the service of many famous households but his connection to the Court of Savoy was perhaps the most substantial and the one closest to his heart. He spent three periods of residence there, during which he wrote some of his finest music, and this recording groups together his most famous mass together with three other important vocal pieces which possess great beauty.
The Missa Se La Face ay pale, composed some time in the early 1450s, evokes an era of opulence and splendor with its structural design complimented by a rare degree of musical invention and expressive power. The Gloria is a prime example of the composer's vivid imagination.
Listen -- Dufay: Gloria (Missa Se la face ay pale)
(track 3, 0:00-1:00) © 2009 Hyperion Records Ltd
The Sanctus has a joyous flow that transports the listener to unimaginable heights of adoration. The work has a dense contrapuntal element, but its classic status is attained by Dufay's ease to find solutions to his own intricate and rather sophisticated writing.
Listen -- Dufay: Sanctus (Missa Se la face ay pale)
(track 8, 2:49-3:41) © 2009 Hyperion Records Ltd
The three other pieces are gems in their own right but Magnamine gentis has a strong ceremonial grandeur which is quite disarming.
Listen -- Dufay: Motet: Magnanime gentis
(track 13, 5:18-6:29) © 2009 Hyperion Records Ltd
The Binchois Consort has been connected with Hyperion and Dufay's music since 1995, their founding year, and this fourth disc of the great master's sacred vocal repertoire is another spellbinding achievement.
Copyright © 10 February 2009
Gerald Fenech, Gzira, Malta
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