MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around   2022
 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews


Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World


all Nimbus reviews



all tudor reviews


Follow us on Twitter


Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

John TAVERNER (1490-1545)
Motet, Mater Christi sanctissima (c.1526) [6:02]
Missa Mater Christi sanctissima (c.1526) [26:58]
Western Wynde Mass (1528) [25:36]
Choir of Westminster Abbey/James O’Donnell
rec. St Alban’s Church, Holborn, London, 16-17 June 2015
HYPERION CDA68147 [58:36]

These two masses by John Taverner show him at the height of his considerable powers, as one of the finest composers of the Renaissance period. He completed no fewer than eight settings of the mass, plus some fragments and numerous motets. These particular examples are relatively compact settings that do not compromise the natural fluency of the composer’s style, and as such they make an ideal pairing. The Western Wynde Mass is rather better known than Mater Christi, but the latter is also a notable composition with a somewhat more expansive approach, developing material deriving from Taverner’s own motet of that name. It is therefore thoughtful and rewarding that the motet is included on this recording; indeed it is the very opening item.

These performances from the Choir of Westminster Abbey are admirable: beautifully judged in both their balance and shaping. The atmospheric acoustic of St Alban’s Holborn (not the Abbey itself) contributes hugely in successfully capturing the music’s intrinsic qualities and how they are represented in this recording. There is ideal balance between ambience and precision, so that in the five-part Mater Christi Mass in particular, the individual lines come across with the utmost clarity: the lower voices in the ‘In nomine’ provide a perfect example of this. If the trebles do not make such an immediate impression, they still contribute successfully to the overall effectiveness of the music.

James O’Donnell directs a most sensitive rendition of the four-part Western Wynde Mass, ideally paced while again bringing particular point to details found within the texture. There is a another recent issue, directed by Andrew Parrott (Avie AV2352), in which the Mass is coupled with a varied programme of shorter items, not all of them by Taverner. It is hardly surprising that this also offers an interpretation that does justice the music, perhaps more dramatically than O’Donnell’s more restrained and arguably more beautiful version.

Tribute must also be paid to Jeremy Summerley’s splendid accompanying notes, as well as to the qualities of presentation and design found in the Hyperion booklet, once again setting the standard against which all others should be judged.

Terry Barfoot

 



Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews


All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount