Dufay: Missa Ecce ancilla Domini

Dufay: Missa Ecce ancilla Domini
Ensemble Gilles Binchois - Dominique Vellard
Virgin Veritas 45050 [CD]
Virgin "Veritas" (BMG) D 106225 [CD]


  1. Introitus. Benedicite Dominum omnes
  2. Kyrie
  3. Gloria
  4. Collecta. Dominus vobiscum
  5. Epistola. Leccio libri Apocalypsis
  6. Graduale. Benedicite Dominum omnes
  7. Alleluia. Laudate Deum omnes
  8. Evangelium. Dominus vobiscum
  9. Credo
  10. Offertorium. Stetit angelus juxta
  11. Sanctus
  12. Agnus Dei
  13. Communio. Benedicite omnes

Performers: Pascal Bertin (countertenor), Jean Nirouet (countertenor), Akira Tachikawa (countertenor), Raphaël Boulay (tenor), Edmund Brownless (tenor), Christophe Einhorn (tenor), Antoine Guerber (tenor), Philippe Balloy (bass), Jacques Bona (bass)

Playing time: 64'

Recording date: September 1992

Reissued in Virgin Veritas VBDS 5 61818-2 (2 CDs)

Dufay's four mature cantus firmus masses are the Missa Se la face ay pale, the Missa L'homme armé, the Missa Ecce ancilla Domini, and the Missa Ave Regina cælorum. Of these, the Missa Ecce ancilla Domini is the shortest and most melodically intricate. (To this list should now probably be added the Missa Resvellies vous and maybe the Missa Puisque je vis and others.)

This is a full service setting of Dufay's mass, but instead of using chant as in most other such performances, polyphonic settings of the Propers De anglelis Dei officium (composed during the same time period) are used. In fact, this particular Propers setting is tentatively attributed to Dufay. The Propers setting is in the same style as Dufay's hymns, basically simple harmonizations of the chant theme. In other words, they are simpler than the Ordinary setting, but more complicated than plainchant.

A recording of Dufay's final mass by a related ensemble:

Dufay: Missa Ave Regina cælorum
Ensemble Cantus Figuratus / Schola Cantorum Basiliensis - Dominique Vellard
STIL 0710 SAN 85

A recording of Dufay's prominent Missa "Se la face ay pale" in a similar full-service interpretation:

Dufay: Missa Se la face ay pale
Diabolus in Musica - Antoine Guerber
Alpha 051

Two recordings of Dufay's simpler integrated Propers-Ordinary settings:

Dufay: Missa Sancti Anthonii de Padua
Pomerium - Alexander Blachly
Deutsche Grammophon Archiv 447 772
Dufay: Music for St. James the Greater
Binchois Consort - Andrew Kirkman
Hyperion 66997

Some other recordings of the present mass:

Dufay: Missa Ecce ancilla Domini
The annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Pro Arte Singers - Thomas Binkley
Focus 941
Dufay: Missa Sine nomine / Missa Ecce ancilla Domini
Clemencic Consort - René Clemencic
Harmonia Mundi musique d'abord 190939

A recording devoted to other examples from the body of hymns from which the present Propers is taken:

Dufay: Hymns
Schola Hungarica - Janka Szendrei & Laszlo Dobszay
Hungaroton 12951

Finally, a recording devoted to mass movements by Dufay:

Dufay: Fragmenta Missarum
Cantica Symphonia - Kees Boeke & Giuseppe Maletto
Stradivarius 33440

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Todd M. McComb