John Taverner's Mass is generally regarded as his finest work which shows complete mastery of structure and polyphony in six parts. It is the first of the eleven mass settings in the Forrest-Heyther part-books, almost certainly collected together for use in Wolsey's chapel. The recording is the first to use the original forces of men and boys as envisaged by the composer and is on the top record label Avie Records.
Christ Church Cathedral Choir’s recent recording of John Taverner’s Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas has been awarded the distinction of being an “Editor’s Choice” in the October edition of the prestigious Gramophone magazine.
In his review of the disc Peter Quantrill says:
“The Choir of Christ Church could hardly have made a more ambitious return to recording… Taverner’s Mass is the chef d’oeuvre of the greatest composer of his time, yet it has never before been recorded by the kind of liturgical choir which he had in mind; this is a courageous and significant act of reclamation. Courageous, because Taverner’s demands of phrase and melodic continuity are more subtle, but no less daunting in their own way, than those presented by Palestrina and Gombert… Christ Church are definitely the type of choir Taverner wanted.”
An interview with the Choir’s Director, Stephen Darlington accompanies the review in which he discusses the complexity of the music and the virtuosic demands it places on the singers.
Introducing his Editor’s Choice for the month, James Inverne writes:
“An important recording this, it is the first of the great Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas by an all-male liturgical choir. As the Christ Church Choir’s conductor Stephen Darlington says in his interview, the work had rather fallen out of that tradition, partly because of the sheer difficulty of some of the writing. The results sound fresh and properly devotional, though they may be controversial.”
The recording was sponsored by the Friends of the Cathedral and is available from Christ Church Cathedral Shop (01865 201971) and all good record shops.
Registered Charity Number: 1143423