Guillaume Dufay: Lament for Constantinople

Guillaume Dufay: Lament for Constantinople

by Orlando Consort


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The music of Guillaume Dufay is often said to lie on the boundary between medieval and Renaissance. It is complex in the manner of medieval polyphony, sometimes with multiple texts in different languages, and intricate rhyme schemes. Yet, in its evocative use of vertical sonority and its original texts in the songs, it approaches a manner of text-setting that you can recognize as modern. His chansons are not often recorded, so this release of 18 chansons from the Orlando Consort would be welcome on general principles; it has virtues considerably beyond that. The program, and its gloss in the booklet or online materials, go a long way toward bringing this rather difficult music to life. The Orlando Consort, a quartet of male singers (countertenor, two tenors, and baritone), does well to begin with the so-called "Lament for Constantinople," written by Dufay after the fall of the Eastern Empire to the Turks in 1453. He marks this event with two texts, one in French, and one drawn from the Book of Lamentations, and the result here for the listener is to hear the specific meanings in the rather general melancholy texts of these songs. Annotator David Fallows, a veteran in this repertory, contributes excellent notes that similarly go into the meanings of the other chansons on the album: they were all written for specific times and reasons. The Consort sings beautifully, with a bit of passion, not in the ethereal style so often used for Renaissance polyphony. They'd have even more intensity were it not for Hyperion's impersonal church acoustic here. This is an excellent choice for the general listener and for the student of Dufay alike.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/03/2019
Label: Hyperion Uk
UPC: 0034571282367
catalogNumber: 68236
Rank: 13769


  1. O tres piteulx, cantilena motet for 4 voices ("Lamentatio sanctae matris ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae")
  2. Je vous pri, mon tres doulx ami, chanson for 4 voices
  3. La dolce vista del tuo viso pio, ballata for 3 voices
  4. Je me complains piteusement, ballade for 3 voices
  5. Mon chier amy, qu'aves vous empensé, ballade for 3 voices
  6. Malheureulx cueur, que vieulx tu faire? virelai for 3 voices
  7. Ma belle dame, je vous pri, rondeau for 3 voices
  8. Pouray je avoir vostre mercy? rondeau for 3 voices
  9. Helas, et quant vous veray, rondeau for 3 voices
  10. Je ne suy plus tel que souloye, rondeau for 3 voices
  11. Je veuil chanter de cuer joyeux, rondeau for 3 voices
  12. Ce moys de may, rondeau for 3 voices
  13. Belle, que vous ay je meffait, rondeau for 3 voices
  14. En triumphant de Cruel Dueil, rondeau for 3 voices
  15. Par le regard de vos beaux yeux, rondeau for 3 voices
  16. Puisque vous estez campieur, rondeau for 3 voices
  17. Le serviteur hault guerdonné, rondeau for 3 voices
  18. Vostre bruit et vostre grant fame, rondeau for 3 voices

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