Dufay - Les Messes a teneur | Musique en Wallonie MEW157778

Dufay - Les Messes a teneur


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Label: Musique en Wallonie

Cat No: MEW157778

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 2

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 18th March 2016



What did it mean for Guillaume Dufay (ca. 1397-1474), chameleon-like expert in every musical genre of his day, to compose four settings of the Mass Ordinary toward the end of his life? Looking back from the vantage point of the next generation, when the polyphonic mass reigned supreme, it might be tempting to interpret these works as a self-conscious summa of Dufay’s career – an achievement akin to Haydn’s London Symphonies or Beethoven’s late string quartets. On a purely musical level these comparisons are apt. Each mass stakes out unique musical terrain; they are often strikingly experimental; and the entire set is shimmeringly beautiful from beginning to end, revealing a composer at the height of his powers.


This is a red-letter day: at last we have uniform and sensible recordings of the four great cantus firmus Masses that are more or less all we have from the last 20 or so years of Dufay’s life. ... The ensemble Cut Circle – already famous for their earlier double-disc set of Josquin and De Orto, also for Musique en Wallonie – comprises just eight singers, with two women on the top voice. Dufay would have had men on top, but Carolann Buff and Mary Gerbi are so good that nobody will regret their contribution. These are all top-rate singers with pure and excellently focused voices: every one of them appears here as a soloist in one of the duet sections, and the intonation and ensemble are beyond reproach. ... There are many other recordings of all these works, but surely all serious collectors will want this issue of all four works, beautifully sung, beautifully recorded, beautifully presented and always exhilarating.  David Fallows
Gramophone July 2016
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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