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Guillaume de Machaut

Generally acclaimed the best author of the fourteenth century is Guillaume de Machaut, born in Champagne about 1300. In the first 1320s he joined the support of John, Duke of Luxembourg and Ruler of Bohemia, who guaranteed for Machaut numerous ecclesiastical posts, recorded in some papal bulls. Probably one of the most essential was a canonry at Rheims Cathedral, although there is absolutely no proof that Machaut was ever a training clergyman and even especially pious; indeed, the majority of his music is usually secular. He continued to be in John’s support before latter’s death in the Fight of Crécy in 1346, and his carrying on association with high nobility allowed him to visit openly. Around 1350 Machaut discovered a fresh patron in Charles, Ruler of Navarre and pretender towards the French throne. Like therefore many other middle ages composers, Machaut was both musician and poet. His functions are maintained to a qualification amazing for the fourteenth hundred years: you will find manuscripts for a huge selection of poems plus some 145 musical functions. The poems are especially interesting for the light they shed on Machaut’s personal life and occasions; they record such occasions as the Dark Loss of life, which ravaged European countries in 1348 and 1349, as well as the Siege of Rheims in the first area of the 100 Years’ War. On the more happy level his poetry reveals a like of falconry, operating, as well as the beauties from the France countryside. In a few respects a conventional who constructed on existing customs, like the isorhythmic motet as well as the monophonic trouvère tune, he was, nevertheless, a author of uncommon flexibility whose music addresses a range very much wider than that recommended by his most well-known function, the Messe de Nostre Dame (Notre Dame Mass). The popularity of that function provides tended to obscure Machaut’s secular functions; his tracks are his most quality parts. Lyrical in nature, with a fresh focus on melody in the very best or cantus range, they even so contain significant subtleties within their manipulation of musical and verbal refrains. Perhaps one of the most well-known from the so-called formes fixes of your day was the virelai, a primary feature which can be that phrases and music possess refrains that usually do not coincide with one another. The majority of Machaut’s virelais are monophonic, displaying the continuing impact from the trouvères. These stand for one of the most approachable aspect of his artwork, especially in as content a good example as the wonderful “Foy Porter.” Two various other tune forms Machaut cultivated had been the rondeau as well as the ballade. An especially striking exemplory case of the last mentioned can be “Dame, de qui toute ma joie vieni,” a tune of infectious rhythmic vitality in compliment from the poet’s female. Established polyphonically for four voices, this ballade, just like the virelai mentioned previously, provides three strophic stanzas. The musical type of this and additional ballades is usually A-A-B-C, the final section being truly a verse refrain. The superstar from the Messe de Nostre Dame most likely owes very much to its put in place musical background as the 1st extant total mass establishing by an individual composer. It really is nevertheless feasible that (much like Bach’s Mass in B small) its specific sections weren’t composed having a look at to complete overall performance, a supposition backed from the work’s variety of designs and lack of thematic unity. Organic isorhythms are put on all parts in the shorter-texted areas (Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus Dei), as the Gloria as well as the Credo are monosyllabic. The name, incidentally, refers never to Notre Dame in Paris, however the great cathedral of Rheims, the coronation host to the kings of France and, as mentioned previously, the positioning of Machaut’s canonry.

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