Dufay: Missa "Se la face ay pale"

Dufay & the Court of Savoy
The Binchois Consort - Andrew Kirkman
Hyperion 67715

Of course, this is one of the most famous masses of the period, and for good reason. Although it does not have quite the melodic flow of some of Dufay's music, it provides an interesting glimpse into rhythmic & sectional structure, borrowing some concepts from isorhythmic compositions (which were in their final phase at this time).

The performance is quite precise & clearly conceived. The sonorities are not as rich as with some ensembles, but the overall result is nonetheless impressive. Early in this ensemble's career, I criticized the way they handled tuning & phrasing (which always did have a precision to them, although I would say a misguided precision), but at this point, they bring a great command to this music. Their now-extensive series of recordings devoted to Dufay's music serves to underpin this interpretation with good depth & sophistication, making it one of the most accomplished mass recordings from this era.

The other tracks have their points of interest. Dufay's extensive writing in the "hymn" style is used to fill out the mass cycle to good effect (building on extensive work this ensemble has done with that music).

To renaissance sacred list

Todd M. McComb