c1490 - 1545

Not to be confused with the contemporary sacred choral composer John Tavener, Taverner's music is something of a crossover between medieval music and the later, more elegant polyphony of the 16th and 17th century. He moved from being a clerk in a collegiate church to a choirmaster at Oxford. Later he returned to his native Lincolnshire, where he had a hand in the dissolution of the monasteries.


Western Wynde Mass - The Sixteen
A good exploration of the range of Taverner's haunting music from the aptly glorious scale of the antiphon O Splendor (such antiphons were sung as part of extra devotions after the evening service of Compline) to the setting of the morning canticle, the Te Deum. Particularly interesting is the Western Wynde mass, named for the folk tune on which the mass is based. This practice was common on the continent, but may have first entered England with this piece. Either as a result of the popularity of this mass or the tune, a number of Taverner's contemporaries and successors wrote masses around the same theme. Glorious stuff.

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