Guillaume de Machaut is the most important poet and composer of the to the Kyrie and Gloria, rather than on the Ordinary texts themselves. Kyrie. ex. Guillaume de Machaut, La messe de Nostre Dame: Ite, missa est. The Kyrie is built around the same cantus firmus as the Kyrie from the Faenza. Machaut’s Mass was certainly a landmark in musical history, but this Mass is far In the Kyrie, most melismas near a minute in length, drawing the duration of.

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Machaut’s Messe de Nostre Dame : an overview

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Mark Sealey, MusicWeb International. Machaut’s unification of these items into an artistic whole is the earliest instance of an Ordinary of the Mass setting that is stylistically coherent and was also conceived as a unit. Top voice again omitted.

These pieces borrow from other styles, especially the motetthe nascent polyphonic secular song, and the conductusa genre otherwise fading from the scene. Machaut added a contratenor voice that moved in the same low range as the tenorsometimes replacing it as the lowest voice.

Messe de Nostre Dame (Guillaume de Machaut)

Compositions by Guillaume de Machaut Medieval music Masses music. Although the textures which the ensemble consistently achieves are sonorous, they are neither fanciful, nor over-rich. By refusing to overplay their hands, by judicious restraint, and by meticulous articulation of every note in undemonstrative yet highly expressive phrasing Diabolus in Musica seems to have captured not only the rigor and joy which Machaut employed in this task.

The modern setting of the Mass would be much more spaced, using an upper voice in addition, however the cause of this could be the patriarchal nature of Medieval society, thus removing a soprano part, and the low quality of boy singers, eliminating the treble part.

It is from their correspondence that we begin to have record of the notion of reading music from a notated score – a novel idea in the fourteenth century. This is a remarkably unified, and hence profoundly satisfying, account. Certainly the space one hears, tonally, around the voices themselves serves to heighten mood, and to emphasise the harmonies and layering again.

No attempt to submerge or efface their vocal personalities. As much gentle and yet lavish breath as unselfconscious poise. Since even before Machaut’s time, Mass settings would be always performed solely by voice, and only until the development of the pipe organ did the concept of instrumental accompaniment to the consistent vocal timbre.


The word conductus derives from Latin conducere to escortand the conductus was most likely sung while the lectionary was carried from its place of safekeeping to the place from which it was to be read.

There is ample evidence that instruments other than the organ were not used in sacred music during the 14th century.

Why Guillaume composed it has been subject of a heated debate in musicological circles for some time. All of these masses are anonymous, and musicological scholarship indicates that all of them are compilations of the works of several composers.

Machaut: Messe de Notre Dame

Views Read Edit View history. As is usual, Paul Hilliard presents the music in a one-voice-to-a-part setting, and flawless singing.

Here, this mass is candidly assessed without the knowledge-enriched air of a regular music essay, but spiced up with a thrilling element of ignorant music student pretention.

For the most part, these early Mass movements appear to have been written independently, and they survive in the madhaut organized by text: There have been dozens for recordings of the complete Mass and even more incomplete recordings, but most are out of print today.

The foundational music of Christian worship in medieval Europe was Gregorian chantwhich was monophonica single melodic line without accompaniment. However, the modes used are quite similar to more modern scales, and barring unusual sounding cadences, parallel fifths and the like in some sections i.

TIMBRE the pure tones of two tenor parts and two male alto falsetto kyroe are one of the more conventional elements of the mass, the timbres produced by male voices in such a range is nearly neutral, and serve to emphasise harmonic elements of the piece, instead of interfering with it.

Skip to content Guillaume de Machaut is the most important poet and composer of the 14th century, with a lasting history of influence. According to a rubric found at the Cathedral, it would have likely been performed for the Saturday Lady Mass. Later scholarship, using the name as an entrypoint and confirmed by the use of Kyrie IV as a cantus-firmus, felt that the Mass was written for a Marian feast day, such nachaut the Nativity.

Problems playing this file? The Galpin Society Journal Vol. Full choir sings in polyphony.

Compare Stravinsky’s Mass of Guillaume de Machaut is not only known as perhaps the finest composer of the fourteenth century, but also as one of the finest French poets of the time. This form of Mass setting, machwut polyphony versus unison or organum had come to rise only in 14th century, though its development has its roots in gregorian chant and organum. Of course, in terms of rhythm polyphony is utilised in several different ways.


Polyphonic settings of sections of the Ordinary of the Mass are found in kyriee eleventh-century manuscript known as the Winchester Troperbut these focus on tropes added to the Kyrie and Gloriarather than on the Ordinary texts themselves.

But kachaut wise musicians are also at kyroe with the novelty and innovative impact which the mass must have made when first sung. You are commenting using your Twitter account. Sometimes, a scribe would copy together a pair of musically-related movements usually Gloria-Credo or Sanctus-Agnusor even a complete cycle. Tempos are slow in an attempt to convey spitiuality, I suppose. The Gloria and Credo have no apparent chant basis, although they are stylistically related to one another.

Where most movements see the use of rhythmic texturing, and a lack of rhythmic unity that complement each other quite well, macjaut Gloria and Credo sees for the most part unified rhythm. It is possible that Machaut was familiar with the Tournai Massan even earlier polyphonic 14th-century mass setting in which each movement is believed to have been written independently by different composers.

Kyrei timbre also exploits the acoustics of a cathedral, the common venue for performances of this mass, particularly the enveloping reverberation, that neutralises the timbre further. Mood and aura can still be altered despite the consistency of timbre. You are commenting using your WordPress.

Three machautt again sing with ornamentation. This is very informative. The recording — which is crisp and atmospheric — was made in a low-ceilinged location at the Abbey of Fontevraud. By the mids this changed with the composition of Guillaume de Machaut’s Mass of Our Lady, the earliest known polyphonic setting of the Mass by a single composer.

I will describe some that I think are among the best, as well as the most recent recordings. In his later years he began a relationship with a young woman named Peronne.

While they are somewhat difficult to be sung they are well within the skills of a trained professional singer. Timbre does not change throughout the Mass, as vocal settings do not involve a change in instruments, and tone of voice is not altered throughout, as this was not conventional, as the voice was the kyfie effective instrument mxchaut the cathedral acoustics at the time.