Complete catalogue



Machaut's life and works continue to draw considerable attention from performers, musicologists and music lovers, both specialists and amateurs. There are few buyers of early music records who do not have recordings of at least some of his pieces, and his name numbers among the best-known to the public at large. And of all his works, the most popular among the public, the Messe de Nostre Dame, is perhaps the one which raises the most questions. Is it really the first complete polyphonic Mass in the history of music? When and why was it composed? Was Machaut inspired by similar works? Did he ever actually hear it?.

The Ensemble Gilles Binchois' performance and the 84 pages booklet included with this recording aim to try to answer these questions and many others. Machaut's Messe de Nostre Dame has always been considered a remarkable, unique creation. It is one of the longest works in all of medieval music (sacred or secular); it is the oldest complete polyphonic Mass written by one single composer which has been conserved; and for many, it is a revolutionary piece in its style, one whose influence on other composers completely altered the tendencies of the music of the era.

The Ensemble Gilles Binchois proposes a meditative version of this music, one in which its solemn character and spiritual dimension are not lost, so as not to forget the piece's function as a Mass "in memoriam" and in which importance is given at the same time to the musical and technical features which make this Mass an advanced, unique composition. The polyphony is performed by four voices (one voice per part); the use of these four solo voices gives tremendous clarity and transparency, something necessary for working with such complex textures as those of the Mass, and allows the articulation and phrasing to be clearer and more precise. In addition, the polyphony is interspersed with the Gregorian propria, thus putting the music in its own liturgical context. Internationally acclaimed as the best version available, Vellard's group restores the internal balance and breathtaking sonorities of this timeless masterpiece.


Ensemble Gilles Binchois

  • Dominique Vellard, dirección
  • Andreas Scholl, cantus
  • Gerd Türk, Dominique Vellard, Hervé Lamy, tenor
  • Emmanuel Bonnardot, Philippe Balloy, Willem de Waal, Jacques Bona, bassus


Total time 56:45

84-pages booklet with articles by Dominique Vellard and José Carlos Cabello, and 40 illustrations

Recorded at Saint-Martin de Champeaux, Seine et Marne, France, September 1990

Recording and editing Dominique Matthieu

Producer Marie-Pierre Brun

Design José Carlos Cabello


Choc du Mois (Le Monde de la Musique)
10 de Répertoire (Répertoire, France)
Diapason d’Or (Diapason, France)
5 Goldberg (Goldberg, Spain/France/USA)
R***** (Ritmo, Spain)

    ✋ Please adjust first the VOLUME control on the SPEAKER ⇓ before playing ▶

    Sanctus & Benedictus - Guillaume de Machaut (ca. 1300 - 1377)
    Ite Missa Est - Guillaume de Machaut (ca. 1300 - 1377)


The present CD is available in most digital platforms both in lossy (mp3) and lossless formats, and always including the complete ebooklet. If you want to purchase it in a not supported format by the mentioned platforms, or you experience any problem, please contact us at and we shall send you instructions on how to get it immediately.