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Taverner Masses CD

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The Choir of Westminster Abbey and James O’Donnell bring composer John Taverner to the fore in this new release, 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, paying heed to both the malleability of the popular tune and the immense reputation of Taverner as a composer.


Taverner: Missa Mater Christi sanctissima & Western Wynde Mass


Mater Christi sanctissima

Missa Mater Christi sanctissima





Agnus Dei

Western Wynde Mass





Agnus Dei

  • Conducted by James O'Donnell

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