Leben und Wirken[ Bearbeiten Quelltext bearbeiten ] Guillaume Dufays Herkunft und sein genaues Geburtsdatum konnten bisher noch nicht einwandfrei ermittelt werden. In eine andere Richtung deutet der Bericht von Dufays Testamentsvollstrecker. Darin ist von Erwerbungen in seiner Heimat die Rede. Amtszeit — und von Papst Martin V. Amtszeit —

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This has been overseen by Besseler and other scholars because of the melodic similarities between the various text parts. It creates thus a sense of extreme "completeness" of each movement and in the end of the whole Mass, notwithstanding its extraordinarily variegated texture. The Mass opens we the 8 measure long polyphonic headmotif that will reappear at the opening of each of the five main sections.

Kyrie: The anomalous form of the Kyrie presents a serious problem: Only two polyphonic versions of the first Kyrie group and the Christe group are documentad, with differing "montage" in the various Mss. Ta produce three invocations we would have to introduce alternatim practice against which several arguments can he held: 1.

Musically, both the second Kyrie and Chaste invocations are typically middle sections of three and not final 2. Which part of the chant should we use? Normal alternatim practice starts with polyphony and then alternates with chant, by which system one has only one polyphonic version of the Christe. The remainder of the mass does flot use alternatim. The "Da Capo" method adopted for the recording is certainly not totally convincing, again by the necessary repetition of the Ave Regina cantus firmus.

On the other hand, Ave Regina and Ave Domina are indistinguishable The second invocation of the Kyrie introduces an idiosyncratic and seemingly instrumental idea: the inversion of the g section of the CF. VVe have treated Mis as a trombetta suggestion. In Christe 1, the Contratenor pre-imitates the Tenor by two measures and somewhat later the Superius paraphrases the a motif.

The second Christe exists in two alternative versions: As a canon in the unison with a special Bassus part concordans cum fuga , or without canon with a different Bassus part concordans sine fuga. The rising tetrachords ut-re-mi-fa relate ta the closing formula b of the CF. The final tripla segment has echoes of a in its melodic structure. Kyrie 4: again trie Ct anticipates the CF by two measures, proceeding however in triadic realms inverted g.

Also the Bassus seems markedly instrumental, participating in the triadic games in its own way. This is oven more outspokenly so in the next Kyrie a 3, where the Bassus becomes Contratenor 2 concordans si placet against two freely imitating upper voices.

The final heavy and rhythmically square Kyrie culminates again in "trombetta" triads. At the crucial moment d in the CF Dufay introduces a moment of soaring fauxbourdon in the lower voices. Gloria: after the formal 8 opening measures the two top voices separate themselves from the lower pair of "accompanists" Laudamus, Adoramus. The closing bars are in triplets. Oui tollis, starting as a Duo in the lower voices, soon turns from C major to c minor introducing the dark E flats that characterize the miserere nobis moments, here and later.

At the close the Bassus skilfully paraphrases the transposed a idea to roturn to a final major. This very intense section as a whole pre-announces the Miserere citation in Agnus 2.

Extremely dense counterpoint characterizes the second Qui tollis, to suddenly simplify at Oui sedes where the next Miserere nobis awaits us. At this point Dufay brings the d ingredient the open E endings in Vale valde of the CF to full fruition, by interrupting the polyphonic flow twice with a fermata chord on A minor. Tu solus altissimus briefly recalls the pared top voices of the beginning of the Gloria followed by a concise massive homophonic Cum Sanctu Spiritu.

Credo: follows the initial stops of the Gloria, resulting in a long canonic duo by the two upper singing voices. At Genitum, the moment of reintroduction of the CF Ave Domina , "normal" full polyphony is re-established. The top voices resume their canonic and rather florid Duo at Qui propter until Salve radix announces the moment of Et incarnatus in slow moving, four part writing and coming ta a full close at the end of the CF. An almost chaotic Crucifixus section follows, that, rhythmically fully incorporates the Ex qua cantus firmus in its texture.

The trio Et ascendit clearly draws on the tetrachord motif ut-re-mi-fa and fa-mi-re-ut , and closes with a big climax in triple time. Dufay in all likelihood considered the next phrases central in the test of the Mass: Et credo in spiritum sanctum, dominum et vivificantem, qui ex patre filioque procedit.

The intense. It s followed by text-less, abstract and musically distant duo material - a reflection, a meditation almost - then hesitatingly picked up by some voices. A very unexpected citation of transposed a in the Basses triggers a madly polyrhythmic Duo between Superius and CF at the words Simul adoratur Solud straightforward rhythms cheracterize the Confiteor section coming however ta a halt at the d moment in Vale valde.

Et expecto resurrectionem, immediately following, has the four voices in four different time frames, proceeding as a brief duo then trio mortuorum. The closing Et vitam venturi is identical with the end of the Gloria. Although each fragment is present, the fragmentation, rhythmical stretching or compression, and crossing over into other voices make the original CF at times almost unrecognisable.

The decidedly heterogeneous character of the other material, bath melodically and rhythmically, and the lack of text in these last sections against a wealth of music! Especially at this point one gets the impression that the ms. It is for that reason that in my opinion, it is not solely a matter of "interpreting" this music but rather of literally reconstructing its reality, in a process similar to the reconstruction of the action in a Shakespeare play from subtle clues in the dialogue.

The Sanctus features during its three invocations the glorious reappearance of the trombetta motif, then slides smoothly into the Dominus, Deus Sabaoth where it gradually looses grip on the CF. The canonic Duo Pleni slowly builds up a climax via Gloria tua towards the first Osanna, which takes off brilliantly and chaotically with the trombetta in Contratenor. A brief instrumental bridge leas to in excelsis where the closing formula b now appears in all four voices in variouss imitations.

The quiet beginning of Benedictus recalls somehow the little far-away duo in the Credo. Always in close imitation it proceeds more lively ta close with a triplet rhythm tchat initially paraphrases the closing formula. The second Osanna is almost an enhanced version of the first, of course with a different CF Vale. Extremely dense in ligatures, it presents itself as a solid block that stops "dead" after a cadential blue seventh on the d chord.

Four bars of instrumental interlude lead seamlessly into the in excelsis, a binary restatement of the previous one. With Agnus 1 we return to the sonorities of the first two Kyries as was the tradition in a way. To prepare for the Miserere Dufay stops the b CF at the thirrd note E, and turns it into a d moment with fermata and rest. Then Miserere nobis is sang almost note against note in all voices in tempus imperfectum color.

Agnus 2 begins a duo in the mood of Benedictus, then speeds in further duos through the remaining parts of the CF to suddenly quiet clown with the last six notes of exora. Here then appears the extraordinary Miserere nobis from the motet.

Apart from the before mentioned and not particularly obvious! It must mean that it is a real citation as such. It means the motet existed before, where the fragment makes perfect sense in the contour of the whole. Agnus 3 takes the CF from Gaude gloriosa once more to the end, in highly complex counterpoint throughout. Three invocations: 6 measures a4, 6 measures a3, 3 measures a3. Qui tollis in triple metro lands gloomily on the d chord. Peccata mundi still in triple time, but more homophonically moving in minims, shows a last poignant glow of the cross relation Bflat-B natural that is inherent in the Ave Regina theme.

Dona nobis pacem returns to duple time, note against note against the quintessentially b reduced Exora. Recent research, notably by musicologists Rob C. The mass fulfilled the double purpose of the celebration of the solemn fast of Saint Mary of the Snow on the 5th of august, a date probably related to his date of birth, and the creation of an obituary mass to himself In the ten years following its composition, the Mass was already copied into manuscripts found in centres as distant as Modena, Poznan, Trent and the Vatican, each of them adapting and modifying the Cambrai original according ta local liturgical needs and possibilities.

It is in this light that we should regard our present proposal of the masterpiece, as yet another version adapted to the musical needs and possibilities of the year


Guillaume Dufay

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Ave Regina caelorum



Ave Regina Caelorum (English translation)



Ave Regina Caelorum


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