Guillaume de Machaut was an important fourteenth-century French poet and composer. The four-part Messe de Nostre Dame is historically significant as the earliest example of a complete, stylistically coherent, through-composed setting of the Ordinary of the Mass by a single composer. The setting has close connections with Reims Cathedral and is thought to have been composed in the early 1360s, becoming a memorial mass on the death of Machaut's brother in 1372. It would most likely have been performed by unaccompanied solo male voices, and the suggested scoring for modern performance is two altos and two tenors or two tenors and two baritones. The five movements of the Mass are followed by a short dismissal, Ite missa est.
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