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Thread: Guillaume Dufay

  1. #1
    Senior Member humanbean's Avatar
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    Default Guillaume Dufay

    [Dufay (left) with Gilles Binchois (right.)]

    Born: August 5, 1397 (?) - Beersel, in the vicinity of Brussels (or Hainault) , Belgium
    Died: November 27, 1474 - Cambrai, Belgium

    Guillaume [Guillermus, Guiliemus, Gugliemus, Wilhelmus] Dufay [Dudais, Duffai, Du Fay, Du Fayt] was a Franco-Flemish composer and music theorist of the early Renaissance. As the central figure in the Burgundian School, he was the most famous and influential composer in Europe in the mid-15th century, and can be considered as the founding member of the Netherlands school which dominated European music for the next 150 years.

    Dufay's large musical output contained masterpieces of every genre, or style and type of music. Some types of his were:

    dramatic cycles
    cyclic masses
    isorhythmic motets
    simply ornamented hymns

    Dufay wrote eighty-seven motets, which were sacred vocal compositions in sontrapuntal style, without instrumental accompaniment. He also wrote fifty-nine chansons, which were songs, (originally ballad-like) most being French love songs. Seven Italian chansons were written as well. He made seven complete masses as well as thirty-five mass selections.
    Last edited by humanbean; Apr-30-2012 at 00:18.

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    Rob C. Wegman has noted that even in his 60s, Dufay was still carrying "every idiom to a plane of unprecedented artistic perfection." He deserves his place in music history.

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    Senior Member humanbean's Avatar
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    One of my favorite motets by him, and the one that instantly got me hooked on his music, is his Apostolo Glorioso. It sounds quite different from most works I've heard from the period. It has a very mystical quality to it:

    A few other favorites:

    Ce Moys de May
    Missa Sancti Jacobi
    Supremum Est Mortalibus
    Last edited by humanbean; Apr-30-2012 at 00:13.

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    Senior Member Giordano's Avatar
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    Missa Se La Face Ay Pale; Kyrie & Gloria - The Hilliard Ensemble

    Missa Se La Face Ay Pale; Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei - Laudantes Consort

    Go to Spotify for Missa Se La Face Ay Pale performed by Diabolus in Musica, best recorded version, imo.
    Last edited by Giordano; Feb-06-2015 at 02:39.

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    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    I will take the chansons over the sacred music. Dufay wrote some really wonderful tunes in the standard formes fixes, rondeau, ballad, and virelai.

    Here are two really good rondeau. The first has text for all four voices and uses imitation occasionally, which is unusual for chansons. The second is a three part chanson with text only in the superius and whole sections performed instrumentally:
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Feb-06-2015 at 06:32.

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    Senior Member OboeKnight's Avatar
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    I really like this one. Although it is a Ballade, not a Ballata as the video says.

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    Senior Member tdc's Avatar
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    I love Dufay's use of harmony, really tasteful. I'm not sure I've really adapted to his use of form just yet but that Ballade sure knocked my socks off.

    At this point my favorite pre-Baroque composers are:


    I like a mix of vocal and instrumental works.

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