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COMPOSERS: BinchoisDufay
LABELS: Hyperion
ALBUM TITLE: Dufay: Mass For St Anthony
WORKS: Mass movements; Domitor Hectoris; Nove antum melodie; Mass for St Anthony Abbot
PERFORMER: Binchois Consort/Andrew Kirkman
Dufay and Binchois were both


associated with the magnificent 15thcentury

court of Burgundy. Much of

their music has already been recorded,

but among the items on this very

enterprising disc are some fascinating,

newly reconstructed pieces. These

include Binchois’s Nove cantum

melodie (written to celebrate the

birth of Anthony, heir to the duchy

of Burgundy, in 1431) and a piece

supposedly by Dufay, the Mass for

St Anthony Abbot found anonymously

in a manuscript from Trent.

In fact this last item, to my ears,

does not really sound like Dufay

(we are invited in the booklet notes

to make up our own minds), but

that does not matter here: the point

is that these singers are superbly

experienced in this kind of repertoire,

and they thrill us with supple lines of

the Alleluia, the vigour of the Credo

and the swirling counterpoint of

the Sanctus. Elsewhere the speed of

delivery becomes a little self-defeating;

they dash through the Binchois Kyrie

like a dose of salts, and the recording

occasionally produces a slightly

shrill edge to the high voice. These

singers are at their best, though, in

the Binchois Agnus – sustaining the


endless phrases with great continuity and musical sense. Anthony Pryer