Mater Christi sanctissima
Missa Mater Christi sanctissima
Western Wynde Mass
The Choir of Westminster Abbey
James O'Donnell conductor
The Choir of Westminster Abbey and James O'Donnell bring composer John Taverner to the fore in this new release from Hyperion, as they present two of the undisputed choral masterpieces from sixteenth-century England: Missa Mater Christi sanctissima and Western Wynde Mass.
Although not much is known about the details of John Taverner's life, he is regarded as one of the most important composers of his era, having contributed significantly to late-medieval English sacred music. His respect for the rich English musical heritage and awareness of contemporary continental styles made him a worthy candidate to become the first director of music at Cardinal College (now Christ Church), Oxford, in 1526.
It is during his time in Oxford that Taverner wrote the motet Mater Christi sanctissima, which appears here alongside its associated so-called 'parody' mass. The second major work on this recording is his Western Wynde Mass, composed, in contrast, on a secular tune of the time. Composers Christopher Tye and John Sheppard both went on to write their own 'Western Wind' masses (the Tye Mass has also been recorded by the Abbey Choir on Hyperion), paying heed to both the malleability of the popular tune and the immense reputation of Taverner as a composer.
Hyperion CDA68147 (released July 2016)