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John Taverner
Recommended Recordings



Taverner: Mass 'The Western Wynde'
(Harry Christophers; The Sixteen)


Taverner: Missa Coronea Spinea
(Harry Christophers; The Sixteen)
Taverner's Missa Corona spinea is possibly the most beautiful English mass of the entire pre-Reformation era. It has the long, florid lines typical of the period, but in place of the complicated, occasionally jerky rhythms common among the previous generation, this music has a flowing quality and a sense of wonder (captured perfectly by the Sixteen). Take, for example, the Benedictus: the tenors slowly float a chant melody while the means (mezzos) skip rapturously above, followed by divided high trebles in soaring close imitation over two bass parts. Even this is outdone by three divided voices (SSMMBB) in the second Agnus Dei. The votive antiphon "Gaude plurimum" which opens the disc isn't so absorbing, but the serene four-voice "In pace" equals anything in the Mass. (review by Matthew Westphal)

Taverner: Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas
(The Sixteen, Fretwork; Harry Christophers, conductor)


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