Performers: Tessa Bonner, Deborah Roberts, Alison Gough, Ruth Holton, Alison Stamp (trebles); Sally Dunkley, Caroline Trevor, Tessa Bonner, Ruth Duncan (means); David Cordier, Robert Harre-Jones (countertenors); Rufus Müller, Charles Daniels, Mark Padmore, Nicolas Robertson (tenors); Francis Steele, Donald Greig, Peter Harvey, Jeremy White (basses)
Playing time: 79'
Original release dates: 1993 (tracks 1-5), 1984 (tracks 6-11); Re-released: 1995
This recording is a repackaging of Taverner pieces from two earlier recordings by the Tallis Scholars. Like many English composers of the era, Taverner's output is almost entirely of sacred music. As such, this program gives a rather full illustration of his output.
The Missa Gloria Tibi Trinitas is a 6-voice Festal Mass of large dimensions and soaring lines. It is also probably Taverner's most famous composition. The "In Nomine" section of the Benedictus was used by many later composers as a cantus firmus for instrumental composition. The mass is an elaborate and thorough summation of the late-Medieval English style.
Other recordings devoted to the Missa Gloria Tibi Trinitas:
The Tallis Scholars' original release:
And an even newer release (new performance):
The Western Wind Mass is the earliest surviving English mass based on a secular tune. In this case the form is much more compact (for four voices), consisting of a large set of variations throughout the movements, buoyed by 36 restatements of the theme. It thus shows a more forward-thinking style, and is Taverner's second most famous composition.
The Tallis Scholars' original release, illustrating this influence:
Here the Western Wind Mass is performed with settings by his younger contemporaries, Christopher Tye & John Sheppard.
The Leroy Kyrie and Dum transisset Sabbatum responsory show a more modern idiom, and were apparently composed later in Taverner's life. Here the balanced and more tightly constructed phrases show the direction of English sacred music for the later 16th century.
A couple of other recordings devoted to Taverner:
A larger collection featuring Taverner:
Onward to other repertory of the era....
An excellent survey of music from this era (and slightly before):
Another important composer of the generation of John Browne (fl. c.1490) was William Cornysh (c.1465-1523). Recordings by the present ensemble devoted to each:
The second disc above includes secular works along with the predominant sacred output of England in this period. A classic recording of secular music:
Robert Fayrfax (c.1464-1521) was the leading composer in the period between the Eton Choirbook and Taverner (c.1495-1545). A recording:
Robert Carver (c.1484-c.1568) is generally regarded as the premier composer in the history of Scotland. The first recording in a series of three devoted to his complete surviving output:
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To FAQ CD index page.Todd M. McComb