Tournai Mass

Messe de Tournai
(XIVe siècle) Ensemble Organum – Marcel Pérès, dir.
Harmonia Mundi HMC 901353 [CD]
Harmonia Mundi HMC 401353 [Cass.]
Harmonia Mundi "Suite" HMT 7901353 [CD]
Harmonia Mundi "musique d'abord" HMA 1901353 [CD]
Harmonia Mundi "musique d'abord" HMA 1951353 [CD]

Contents:

  1. Introit: Salve sancta parens (chant)
  2. Kyrie (a 3)
  3. Gloria (a 3)
  4. Gradual: Benedicta et venerabilis (chant)
  5. Alleluia verse: V. Nobilis atque pia (chant)
  6. Alleluia verse: V. Ave Maria gratia plena (chant)
  7. Sequence: Ave mundi spes Maria (chant)
  8. Credo (a 3)
  9. Offertory: Felix namque es sacra virgo (chant)
  10. Preface (chant)
    Sanctus (a 3)
  11. Agnus Dei (a 3)
  12. Communion: Beata viscera (chant)
  13. Ite missa est – Deo gratias (chant)
    Motet: Triplum (Se grasse nest) / Motetus (Cum venerint miseri) (a 3)

Performers:
Josep Benet (tenor), Patrick Aubailly (tenor), Frédéric Richard, Josep Cabré (baritone), Marcel Pérès (baritone), Malcolm Bothwell (bass), Antoine Sicot (bass)
Marcel Pérès, dir.

Playing time: 53' 13"

Recording site and date:
Abbaye-aux-Dames, Saintes, France [11/1990];
Rel.: 1991 (HMC), 1996 (HMT), 1999 (HMA 190), 2006 (HMA 195)

Reviewed in:
Diapason (#-p.): (Jun. 1991)
Fanfare (Vol./#-p.): 15/1- (September/october 1991)

Excerpts:
[2], [10]-[11] Harmonia Mundi "Century" HMX 290 8168 [CD] Une révolution de l'esprit et de la musique (XIVe siècle) / An intellectual revolution in music - Le siècle de l'Ars nova / Ars Nova, A Revolution in the Late Middle Ages

Comments:
Information from CD; minor additions by Pierre-F. Roberge

This is an all-male vocal recording, including chant (Propers) and polyphony (Ordinary). The Mass of Tournai is early 14th century, a decade or so before that of Machaut. Some have argued that it does not show a unified design, and so Machaut's setting is the first unified mass cycle. The respective unities are not clear -- at most it is a matter of degree -- although it is not known whether this mass was composed by one composer or many. At any rate, it is the first mass cycle declared as such. The concluding Ite missa est leads into a true motet, with different texts in the two upper voices.

Besides the Mass of Tournai (c.1330), there are also contemporary mass cycles from Sorbonne, Toulouse and Barcelona. Each shows a somewhat different style within the 14th century context. A recording of the Barcelona Mass:

Barcelona Mass / Song of the Sibyl
Obsidienne - Emmanuel Bonnardot
Opus 111 30-130

A recording of mass movements from throughout this era, showing the variety present in sacred composition:

French Sacred Music of the 14th Century, Vol. I
Schola Discantus - Kevin Moll
Lyrichord 8012

A couple of constructed cycles from this period, including by the present ensemble:

Missa Magna
Messe à la chapelle papale d'Avignon, XIVe siècle
Diabolus in Musica - Antoine Guerber
Studio SM 2819
Missa Gotica – XIVe siècle
Toulouse / Barcelona / Avignon / Apt
Ensemble Organum - Marcel Pérès
Zig-Zag Territories 090601

And a recording of sacred music from Italy during the latter part of this period:

Missa Cantilena
Travestimenti liturgici in Italia (1380-1410)
Mala Punica - Pedro Memelsdorff
Erato 17069

Other recordings featuring the present mass:

Missa Tournai (XIVe siècle)
Ensemble De Caelis - Laurence Brisset
Ricercar 265
La Messe de Tournai / Codex Musical de las Huelgas
Clemencic Consort / Choralschola der Wiener Hofburgkapelle - René Clemencic
Oehms Classics 361
Missa Tournai / Missa Barcelona
Pro Cantione Antiqua - Bruno Turner
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 77195
Words of the Angel
Tournai Mass / Moody: Words of the Angel
Trio Mediæval
ECM 1753
The Mass of Tournai / St. Luke Passion
Tonus Peregrinus - Antony Pitts
Naxos 8.555861
Anonymous - Philippe de Vitry u.a.
Missa Tournai und Motetten um 1320
Capella Antiqua München mit Originalinstrumenten - Konrad Ruhland
Telefunken "Das Alte Werk" 9517 (LP)
Machaut: Messe Notre Dame / Anonyme: Messe de Tournai
Les Saqueboutiers de Toulouse & Ensemble vocal Dufay - Arsène Bedois
Erato STU 71303 (LP)
Messe à 3 voix dite "de Tournai"
Ensemble vocal et instrumental - Marc Honegger
Christophorus 75486 (LP)
Charpentier / Delalande / Messe de Tournai / Messe de Toulouse
Schola Cantorum of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin - McNeil Robinson
Musical Heritage Society 4133 (LP)
Musica Viva München, Vol. 4
Dialogo della Musica Antiqua et della Moderna
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks - Pierre Boulez, cond., et al.
Col Legno 20084-1 / -2 (2 CDs)
Masterworks from France - Program no. 399 & no. 400
L'amant jaloux, III / André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry / Tournai Mass
Various performers
Gotham Recording 5133 / 5134 (2 LPs)

The recording of Machaut's mass by the present ensemble, adopting a much more aggressive Eastern technique than in the present release:

Guillaume de Machaut: La Messe de Nostre Dame
Ensemble Organum - Marcel Pérès
Harmonia Mundi 901590

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Todd M. McComb