Under the dukes of Valois during the 15th century, Burgundy became one of the strongest political powers of Western Europe, and its capital, Dijon, one of the great centers of music. The sound of this music was so innovative and independent that today it is known as “The Burgundian School”. The musicians at the Burgundian court came from all over, and among them was Guillaume Du Fay, not only one of the greatest composers of his own time, but of all time. Like many of his colleagues, he travelled to the South – singers trained in the Northern cathedral schools were sought after by the courts of Italy, including the papal chapel. Borrowing from all the various styles in his musical environment, Du Fay developed these ideas and even surpassed them. Beloved for his artfully beautiful melodies and unique instinct for the harmonious balance of musical phrases, he achieved the closest thing to musical perfection in his time.
The three musicians of this recording came together to explore this refined repertoire, whose immanently singable quality and sweet melancholy have given it a prominent place amongst the masterpieces of late medieval song. As opposed to common practice today, they have chosen to use the most minimal of instrumentation – one singer and two stringed instruments – to best do justice to the intimacy of these miniature masterpieces.
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