The Missa Se la face ay pale uses the tenor of Dufay’s own chanson as its structural cantus firmus. The distribution of the phrases of this tenor throughout the. Dufay Missa Se La Face Ay Pale – Kyrie & Gloria The Hilliard Ensemble full. Composer: Guillaume Dufay was born in Cambrai, France and became one of the. Instruments: A cappella. Published: Description: This chanson is the source of the cantus firmus for Missa Se la face ay pale. External websites.

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Dufaay Dufay composed the ballade Se la face ay pale in the s, perhaps for a Savoy wedding in Its courtly text speaks in clever, punning rhymes of the pale-faced, dejected lover. Another Savoyard event — such as the wedding of the Dauphin Louis of Savoy — may have provided the context later for him lale construct an entire cantus firmus mass setting upon the tenor line of his chanson.

English composers early in the century had begun to experiment with devices for the musical unification of all five movements of the Mass Ordinary.

Leonel Power ‘s Missa Alma redemptoris and John Dunstable ‘s Missa Rex seculorum, as well as anonymous settings of the Missa veterem hominem and the Missa Caput, all present a single cantus firmus melody in the tenor voice in each mass fade, after the fashion of the isorhythmic motet; other English masses essay tunes borrowed from secular song. Dufay ‘s Missa se la face ay pale most likely is the earliest surviving mass setting to pals both.


Missa Se la face ay pale, for 4 voices

The chanson tenor melody, divided into three phrases and sung in the tenor voice of the Mass throughout, provides the framework for each movement of the Mass. In the Kyrie, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei, this cantus firmus is given once over the course of each movement, with duo sections punctuating the structure; the “wordier” movements Mussa and Credo give the tenor melody three times each.

This lends to the Mass a complex and “advanced” sense of structural unity by linking groups of movements as subsets within the structure. The outer pair of movements — Kyrie and Agnus — apportion the three cantus firmus sections to their tripartite mlssa as follows: The inner pair — Gloria and Credo — present the entire melody three time, with proportional reductions in the ratio 3: By the end of each, the tenor’s long notes give way to a rhythmic intensity similar to that of the other voices, building a fine climax.

Missa Se la face ay pale |

These two movements, thus, become a pair of isorhythmic motets of equal length, with identical trajectories. Dufay creates further audible connections across the mass by means of a motto opening: This very motto acknowledges the composer’s debt to English concepts, as its melodic contour closely parodies the motto opening to the famous English Caput Mass.


Furthermore, near the end of each of Dufay ‘s movements, a sunny fanfare section shines through in all four voices: This jolly concluding passage, as well as the modal clarity of major-key cadences throughout the cycle, make Dufay ‘s Se la face ay pale Mass the most joyful sounding of his group of four late cantus firmus settings.

Its sonic world belies the stereotypical distress of the chanson’s bereft lover, aptly describing the presumed nuptial bliss celebrated in the Mass.

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Se la face ay pale (Guillaume Dufay) – ChoralWiki

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