Info & track listings
During the reigns of the first two Tudor kings Henry VII and Henry VIII the feast of Christmas was celebrated with music in a remarkable range of styles and forms. At one extreme was strictly liturgical polyphony: a festive adornment of the Mass or the services of Matins and Vespers, and setting texts from those services that would otherwise have been sung to plainchant.
Beyond the genre of festal polyphony with Latin text, there flourished before the Reformation the carol with text in English or a mixture of English and Latin. These pieces consisted of verses preceded by and alternating with a burden or refrain.
Although carol texts encompass a variety of subjects (including, for example, the Passion), most are concerned principally with Christmas and/or the Virgin.The Cambridge Taverner Choir, founded in 1986, specialises in the performance of sacred polyphony in illuminating thematic, liturgical, and physical contexts, aiming to recreate the musical grandeur and excitement of the European Renaissance, especially the Tudor age in England and the Iberian Golden Age.
As well as its regular concert series in Cambridge, the choir has performed in many parts of the UK, and has undertaken highly successful tours of Portugal in 1991, and Switzerland and Italy in 1996; it has also broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and has been featured on BBC Radio 4.
The choir has released two other recordings on the Herald label, Music from Renaissance Portugal (HAVP155) short-listed for the Gramophone Early Music Award in 1994 and What is our life? (HAVP187)
|1||09:12||Quid petis, o fili?||Richard Pygott|
|2||04:06||Nowell: Dieus wous garde||Richard Smert|
|3||09:25||Videte miraculum||Thomas Tallis|
|4||03:42||Lully, lulla, thow littel tyne child – ‘The Coventry Carol’||Anonymous|
|5||03:23||This day Christ was born||William Byrd|
|6||10:48||Lullaby, my sweet little baby||William Byrd|
|7||02:45||Swete was the song the Virgine soong||Aonymous|
|8||09:03||Gloria from Missa ‘Puer natus es nobis’||Thomas Tallis|
|9||10:26||Jesu mercy, how may this be?||(John?) Browne|