Resvellies vous et faites chiere lye is a chanson writteni in the ballade style. The piece was composed for the wedding of Carlo Malatesta to Vittoria di Lorenzo Colonna. Carlo was the son of the Lord of Pesaro, and Vittoria was the niece of Pope Martin V.
Resvellies vous et faites chiere lye represents a model for the early ballade form. The piece is strophic, and each stanza is structured aab(refrain). While this form dates from much earlier, Dufay created a work that exceeded previous ballade efforts through his prolific use of musical ideas. This piece is abounding with differing musical ideas and phrases. While Dufay does seem to use a 3-note descending pattern as a motive throughout the piece, he intersperses this with a large variety of differing melodic and rhythmic patterns.
Early Music specialist Allan Atlas has suggested that Dufay made use of the much more subtle technique of numerology and gematria throughout the piece. He suggests that the length of the piece as a whole (in breves), which is correspondent to the number of notes in many of the phrases, suggest that Dufay is numerically “spelling out” text that highlights the marriage of these two wealthy and powerful people. Atlas specifically indicates the names Colonna, Malatesta, and Martin as being three of the names hidden within the gematria of this work.
Another important work from Dufay is the cyclic mass, Missa Se la face ay pale. While this work differs from the Resvellies 'vous et faites chiere lye in many obvious ways (sacred vs. secular, number of voices, etc.), a closer look at the two works does show how Dufay’s own style developed throughout his life.
The Mass which was probably written around 25 years later than the ballade features a much smoother and fuller texture. The extra voice allows Dufay to compose with a more vertical mindset. Thus the “chords” are filled out with the thirds and sixths that would come to pervade the rest of this period.
Although one is sacred and the other secular, both feature a secular melody. Resvellies vous et faites chiere lye also differs from early works in the ballade style in that it sounds much more melodically driven than rhythmically so. While melody has always been an important part of secular compositions, the move away from isorhythmic techniques has created more emphasis on the lyrical aspects of a composition, secular or sacred.
I chose this work because it is a prime example of the early secular style of Dufay and his contemporaries. However, the work does seem to look ahead to the coming compositional developments, even in Dufay’s own lifetime. I quite enjoy the lyric quality of the melody, as well as the harmonic intensity as the text turns to directly speaking of marriage in the 3rd stanza.
Of particular note are the block chords at the text, "Charle gentil." The second chord seems to be rooted in G, yet the third chord is rooted in C#, an augmented 4h above. This use of the Diabolus in Musica is quite shocking, and almost seems out of place. Although, it is clearly a planned and intentional effect.
Atlas, Allan. "Gematria, Marriage Numbers, and Golden Sections in Dufay's "Resvellies vous"." Acta Musicologica. no. 2 (1987): 111-126.
Boone, Graeme. Patterns in Play: A Model for Text Setting in the Early French Songs of Guillaume Dufay. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1999.
Dufay - Resvellies vous et faites chiere lye. Youtube Video, 6:38. Posted by “Pierre de Mainchicourt,” uploaded May 17, 2012. http://youtu.be/9YZvETy2jFY
Dufay, Guillaume. “Resvellies vous et faites chiere lye.” PDF file. Link to File