The Binchois Consort, Andrew Kirkman (conductor)
This is a glorious disc: superb performances of truly wonderful music.
St James the Greater, Apostle of Christ, foster son of the Virgin Mary, brother of St John the Evangelist, and indelibly—if somewhat perplexingly—associated with Compostela, became the focus of many composers; after all, anyone who was anyone in the Middle Ages (including Chaucer's Wife of Bath) would make a pilgrimage to St James's shrine in Spain at some point in their life. The exact background to Dufay's Mass is as yet unknown but it is an enormous work (forty minutes plus) of great passion.
Also included on this disc are three motets composed around the same time as the Mass, and a Gloria/Credo pairing, remarkable for up-beat, if irreverent, interpolations of snippets from Italian and French popular songs during the 'Amens'.