The Binchois Consort, Andrew Kirkman (conductor)
It is not known why Guillaume Dufay devoted so much of his creative endeavour to his 'patron saint', Anthony of Padua, but the resulting Mass (consisting of the 'Ordinary' movements along with five further motets with texts in praise of Anthony) remains one of the most extraordinary works of polyphony of the period. Dufay's will ordained the Mass to be performed in supplication for his soul each year, a practice apparently continued until the great cathedral at Cambrai was demolished in 1796.
This is a highly virtuosic piece: the rhythmic complexities in its Gloria and Credo, in particular, guaranteed it the attention of theorists for decades after its composition. The Mass is joined on this recording by the motet O proles Hispaniae which was also composed with St Anthony in mind and whose text is beneath the image of the Saint in the Flemish miniature on the disc's front cover.