For reasons not entirely clear, Guillaume Dufay seems to have chosen Saint Anthony of Padua as one of his heavenly intercessors. He held in his possession, the only relic he had, a piece of the saint's belt, and composed a mass in his honour, calling Anthony his glorioso comite - 'glorious companion'. In his will he made provision for this mass to be held annually in perpetuity, for the benefit of his soul. It is not known for how long this lasted - certainly no longer than 1796 when revolutionaries dismantled Cambrai Cathedral, where Dufay was buried in St Stephen's chapel and where the mass was to be performed.
It had been thought that the mass itself had been forever lost too, until modern times when it was realised, thanks to quotations by the contemporary theorist Johannes Tinctoris and the later writer Giovanni Sparato, that mass Ordinaries in a manuscript from Trent, long thought to have been Dufay's mass for St Anthony Abbot, was in fact the St Anthony of Padua Mass. Furthermore, scholarly investigation and much detective work established beyond reasonable doubt that a set of Propers in another manuscript from Trent were the associated Propers for the mass.
Although probably composed in the 1440's, when masses employing cantus firmi and four voices were the new fashion and the cutting edge of sacred music composition, this mass has no unifying musical theme and has three voice parts. By no means is this substandard Dufay however, and director Andrew Kirkman, working his usual magic, with the outstanding voices selected for the Binchois Consort (the chosen arrangement here, doubling up parts, being ATTx2), have created a recording of the mass which would surely have given great pleasure to Dufay himself.
The accompanying booklet supplies excellent notes by the director Kirkman, with Latin sung texts and translations.