Monday, October 19, 2009

Guillaume Dufay – Chansons [Performed by Ensemble Unicorn, 1996]

Guillaume Dufay was a fifteenth century composer who worked for most of his life in northern France.  Regarded even in his lifetime as that era's premiere composer, Dufay’s oeuvre contains elements of both the high Medieval and early Renaissance, managing the difficult balancing act of innovating while staying rooted in tradition, and getting contemporaries to appreciate it.
The songs presented on this album are secular, and consequently are more forward-looking.  The track list alternates between instrumental and vocal performances, though it must be said that the vocal pieces best display the rich and tuneful polyphony for which Dufay is known.  The instrumental tracks muddy the interplay of voices (at least to my uncouth modern ear), but the use of period instruments is still a treat.

01 - J'ay Mis Mon Cue
02 - Par Droit Je Puis Bien Complaindre
03 - Quel Fronte Signorille - La Dolce Vista
04 - Puisque Vous Estez Campieur
05 - Belle, Que Vous Ay Je Mesfait
06 - Vergene Bella
07 - Se La Face Ay Pale
08 - Donnes L'assault À Ia Fortresse
09 - Par Le Regard De Vos Beaux Yeux
10 - Resvelons Nous
11 - Ce Jour De L'an
12 - Mon Chier Amy
13 - Pour L'amour De Ma Doulce Amye
14 - Helas Mon Dueil
15 - Bon Jour, Bon Mois
16 - Resvelliés Vous Et Faites Chiere Lye
17 - Adieu Ces Bons Vins De Lannoys

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