Masters of the Rolls - English 14th Century

Masters of the Rolls
Music by English Composers of the Fourteenth Century
Gothic Voices - Christopher Page
Hyperion 67098
Hyperion "Helios" 55364


  1. Ab ora summa nuncius (3 voices)
  2. Inter usitata / Inter tot et tales (3 voices)
  3. Vexilla regni prodeunt (voice)
  4. Singularis laudis digna (3 voices)
  5. Dulcia dona redemptoris (3 voices)
  6. Summum regem honoremus (voice)
  7. Omnis terra / Habenti dabitur (3 voices)
  8. Copiose caritatis (voice)
  9. Missus Gabriel de celis (3 voices)
  10. Pura, placens / Parfundement plure (3 voices)
  11. Letetur celi curia (3 voices)
  12. Salve regina (3 voices)
  13. Jesu fili virginis (plainsong; voice)
  14. Jesu fili / Jesu lumen / Jesu Fili Virginis (3 voices)
  15. Sospitati dat egrotos (voice)
  16. Exultemus et letemur (2 voices)
  17. Stella maris illustrans omnia (3 voices)
  18. Venit dilectus meus (5 voices)
  19. Pange lingua (voice)
  20. O sponsa dei electa (3 voices)
  21. Generosa Jesse plantula (3 voices)
  22. Musicorum collegio / In templo dei (3 voices)

Performers: Catherine King (alto), Steven Harrold (tenor), Julian Podger (tenor), Leigh Nixon (tenor), Charles Daniels (tenor), Stephen Charlesworth (baritone)

Playing time: 59'

Recording date: January 1999 (West Sussex)

The distinction between Latin liturgical polyphony in England and France during this period is not so much that England produced more of it, or inherently more interesting material, but that it produced almost no significant vernacular polyphony. The Latin works thus take on a relatively greater stature by way of illustrating much of the style of the time.

A recording of even earlier repertory by the present ensemble:

The Earliest Songbook in England
Gothic Voices - Christopher Page
Hyperion 67177

Other similarly conceived recordings of English music from this general era:

Worcester Fragments
English sacred music of the late Middle Ages
Orlando Consort
Amon Ra 59
Honi soit qui mal y pense!
Polyphony of the English Royal Chapels (1328-1410)
Diabolus in Musica - Antoine Guerber
Alpha Productions 022
Medieval Music in English Manuscripts
Liber unUsualis
Passacaille 938
Duce Creature
Motets, rondels et conduits du XIIIème siècle de provenance anglaise
Ensemble De Caelis - Laurence Brisset
Studio SM 2854

An earlier recording by the present ensemble, placing the French & English developments side by side for an illustrative comparison:

Lancaster and Valois
French and English music, 1350-1420
Gothic Voices - Christopher Page
Hyperion 66588

The present selections lead stylistically into the more famous Old Hall Manuscript of c.1410. A dedicated recording:

The Old Hall Manuscript
Hilliard Ensemble - Paul Hillier
Virgin Edition 61393

Finally, a recording by the present ensemble which carries the English sacred style into the early Renaissance:

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

It was through the mass cycles of this era, and the somewhat earlier ones of Dunstable that English music enjoyed its greatest period of historical influences. The roots of these styles can be perceived in the present selection.

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Todd M. McComb