Missa Caput

The Spirits of England and France - IV
Missa Caput / Story of the Salve Regina
Gothic Voices - Christopher Page
Hyperion 66857
Hyperion Helios 55284


  1. Story of Salve Regina I - Pange lingua (chant; 4 voices)
  2. Missa Caput à 4 - Kyrie Deus creator omnium
  3. Missa Caput - Gloria
  4. Story of Salve Regina II
  5. Missa Caput - Credo
  6. Story of Salve Regina III
  7. Missa Caput - Sanctus
  8. Story of Salve Regina IV
  9. Missa Caput - Agnus Dei
  10. Story of Salve Regina V
  11. Salve Regina (chant; 2 voices)
  12. Jesu for thy mercy (3 lutes)
  13. Smert / Trouluffe: Jesu fili Dei (3 lutes)
  14. Make us merry (3 lutes)
  15. Nowell, nowell, nowell (monophonic carol)
  16. Clangat tuba (carol à 3)
  17. Alma redemptoris mater (antiphon à 3)
  18. Old Hall: Agnus Dei à 4

Performers: Catherine King (alto), Steven Harrold (tenor), Julian Podger (tenor), Leigh Nixon (tenor), Stephen Charlesworth (baritone), Donald Greig (baritone), Henry Wickham (baritone), Shirley Rumsey (lute), Christopher Wilson (lute), Christopher Page (lute)

Playing time: 66'

Recording date: July 1996

The 4-voice anonymous English Missa Caput (c.1440) is one of the most famous of the early cantus firmus masses. It was once ascribed to Dufay, but no longer. It is interspersed with a recently discovered monophonic Latin poem (sung by 4 voices in unison here) describing the imaginary discovery of the Salve Regina antiphon (an unusual choice, to be sure). Also included are some 15th century carols and more ordinary Latin polyphony.

The next volume in this series, devoted to closely related music:

The Spirits of England and France - V
Missa Veterem hominem - An anonymous English Mass setting from c.1440
Gothic Voices - Christopher Page
Hyperion 66919

A couple of other recordings devoted to anonymous English cantus firmus masses of the period:

O rosa bella
English and Continental Music from the Late Gothic Period
Clemencic Consort - René Clemencic
Arte Nova 59210
Long Joy, Brief Languor
The Anonymous Quem malignus spiritus Mass
Schola Antiqua of Chicago - Calvin Bower
Discantus 1001

A recording devoted to perhaps the best-known English composer of the mid-15th century, Walter Frye, including a mass of somewhat similar construction:

Walter Frye
Hilliard Ensemble
ECM New Series 1476

To purchasing information for this disc.

To FAQ references to this recording.

To FAQ CD index page.

Todd M. McComb