The three-voice Magnanime gentis
is a ceremonial and political piece, with a clear public rhetoric in Dufay’s characteristically brilliant musical style for such works, here written in a taut and focused rather than a rich and expansive idiom. Its effect is astonishingly immediate for so intellectual and recondite a piece of musical thought. The freely composed duos, for triplum and motetus, show an extraordinary melodic and contrapuntal inventiveness; and the isorhythmic tenor, presented according to a progressively diminishing metrical scheme (initially in very long rhythmic values), uses the chant fragment ‘Haec est vera fraternitas’ to project the idea of brotherly reconciliation.
from notes by Philip Weller © 2009