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Taverner to Tavener

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Product details

  • Composer: John Taverner
  • Audio CD (23 Aug. 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nimbus
  • ASIN: B0000037EF
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 309,002 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Kyrie Le Roy 5:15£0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Pastime with Good Companye 1:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Ave Maria 3:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Factum Est Silentium 2:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Hosanna To The Son Of David 2:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Salvator Mundi 2:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Jehova Quam Multi Sunt Hostes Mei 5:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Lord Let Me Know Mine End 5:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. How Dear Are Thy Counsels 2:14£0.99  Buy MP3 
10. A Litany 3:05£0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Prayer of King Henry VI 1:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Love Of Love, Light Of Light 4:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
13. The Universe 3:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
14. Hymn To The Holy Spirit 7:35£0.99  Buy MP3 

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By Paracelsus1966 on 8 Sept. 2013
Format: Audio CD
I bought this for the John Tavener piece, Hymn to the Holy Spirit (which is not available elsewhere). The whole CD is a wonderful listen from start to finish. If you like Tavener or his C16th ancestor, you won't be disappointed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Spanning the centuries 27 Oct. 2000
By Mark Swinton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The Tudor composer John Taverner, sometimes hailed as "the father of English church music," was the first director of music at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. The twentieth century composer John Tavener lives primarily in Greece and is a member of the Orthodox Church. He claims to be a direct descendant of the Tudor composer (and the portraits on the cover of this CD certainly repay close study...). Five hundred years separate the two, and in those years a vast corpus of sacred choral music has been written. This disc explores a small fraction of that corpus, presenting motets and anthems that have particular connections with Christ Church.
It is in one way a disappointment. The selection appears to be haphazard, featuring plenty of Renaissance works (by such composers as Orlando Gibbons, Robert Parsons and Richard Dering) and a couple of Baroque works (by Purcell and Greene) before skipping forward to the twentieth century and presenting music by Walton, Ley and Harper (it could be argued that the music of William Harris carries overtones of Victorian music, so the nineteenth century is not exactly overlooked). Still, with a total running time of less than 60 minutes, I can't help but feel that more thought could have gone into the programme. And, whilst Andrew Carwood's notes are crisp and informative, it is a pity that only two texts are printed: those who do not know Latin may find it hard to focus upon most of the earlier works in the programme.
Having said that, it is an interesting programme, like a recital of the best in church music that gives equal weight to familiar classics (John Blow's "Salvator mundi" is an example) and less well-known works (including Edward Harper's "The Universe," a flavourful and dissonant Christmas carol based upon two unrelated texts). A particularly arresting addition is the secular song for three voices, "Pastyme with good companye" by King Henry VIII - I wonder how many people, including history students, are aware that this most famous of English monarchs was a gifted composer and performer... Of course, the bookends of the disc - Taverner's "Le Roy Kyrie" and Tavener's "Hymn to the Holy Spirit" - complement each other perfectly, providing a concise and telling glimpse into each composer's style.
Stephen Darlington clearly has no difficulties with choir training: the sound of the Christ Church Choir is unfailingly sharp and robust, and the balance of voices is magnificently achieved (except perhaps in the Tavener setting, which tests the choir's resources by dividing into several parts!). Stephen Farr provides perfunctory accompaniments on chamber organ where needed.
In short, this is a disc that works brilliantly in some ways and poorly in others. I'd recommend it most strongly to those with a serious interest in English choral music; even so, many may not choose to purchase it simply because a number of the items are available in other better-known collections.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful and unique collection 17 Oct. 2005
By FrKurt Messick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This recording by the Christ Church Cathedral Choir of Oxford is a wonderful collection of music ancient and modern. It constitutes a recital of sorts that brings together pieces from different periods between the time of the founding of King's College and the present time, with composers of the modern era such as Ley, Harris, Harper and Tavener represented.

Some of these composers are well known - Taverner was a leading light of his generation, the time of Cardinal Wolsey and King Henry VIII. Tavener has traced his lineage back to Taverner, and shows both affinity for and distance from his ancestor's work - however, the pieces selected here show more of the affinity, as Tavener's piece 'Hymn to the Holy Spirit' and Taverner's 'Kyrie le Roy' are very complementary of each other in tone. Gibbons and Purcell are also very well known composers from the period; other composers here are lesser known, but have a connection with Christ Church Cathedral or the college (Dering took a degree from there, Blow was a chorister there, etc.)

All of this is sacred music, meant for church and worship. The choir of Christ Church, under the direction of Stephen Darlington, produces a stunning performance, flavoured by centuries of tradition and regular performances at the chapel. The choir still consists of sixteen boys and twelve men, as it has for the most part since the time of Taverner, with the same kind of distribution of voices. The sound is full and magnificent, and some of the best versions of some of these pieces I have in my collection. Darlington became organist and tutor in music at Christ Church, Oxford in 1985. Accompanying the choir in this setting is Stephen Farr on the organ.

This is a superb collection of music from the English choral tradition. It is also a very unique collection in that it is largely tied to the place of Christ Church Cathedral, with all of the pieces being in some ways attached to the place historically.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
a voice teacher and an early music fan 27 Dec. 2009
By George Peabody - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
EXCELLENT CHOIR SINGING ESOTERIC MUSIC FROM JOHN TAVERNER(1490-1545) TO JOHN TAVENER(b.1944). There has been a choir at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, since 1526 when John Taverner became organist and Master of Choristers. The present choir on this recording consists of 15 Boy Choristers (sopranos), four altos(male), five tenors and four basses. Some of the men are Lay Clerks, while the remainder are undergraduates (Academical Clerks). Under its present director, Stephen Darlington, the choir has maintained a position as one of the top Cathedral Choirs in the country achieving particular recognition for music of the 16th and 20th centuries, examples of which are included on this recording. THUS: Taverner to Tavener and some in between, a span of five centuries of music at Christ Church, Oxford.

There are fourteen selections, one for each of the composers, in a rather haphazard arrangement that I don't think is relevant to whether you like or do not like this disc. What is relevant is if you are a connoisseur of this kind of early music. I personally liked most of the selections, but will include in my review those that attracted me, not necessarily meaning that they may attract you. But there is no need to list or explain all of them because they are listed with the Amazon CD AND because there are very good liner notes with brief comments on each one of the compositons. The text is not included for all of the songs.

The first four captured my interest immediately: 'Kyrie le Roy' Tavener displays his command of vocal part writing; the piece is based on a plainsong-like melody, which when placed in context with the polyphony, creates a ninefold Kyrie originally intended for use at Lady Mass. 'Pastime with Good Company' said to have been written by Henry VIII, who as we know was no ordinary monarch, but by all accounts was an accomplished singer and player as well as a fine dancer. The piece is a straightforward but appealing strophic song for three voices and certainly could be used as a piece for dancing. The 'Ave Maria' by Robert Parsons begins rather like a plainsong based composition which eventually gives way to imitation with other voices. 'Factum est Silentium' by Robert Dering shows very much the influence of his trip to Italy where he absorbed new musical styles, and converted to Catholicism; his writing is therefore set apart from his English contemporaries by this heavy Italian influence, the effect of which accounted for his vivid word painting in his music. Example of this in this work occurs at moments like 'audita est vox' where from one note the music develops into a cascade of many for the ensuing 'milia,milia'. I loved this selection; it is tremendously interesting and enjoyable.

The remaining works, are all by notable and skilled composers such as Gibbons, Greene, Walton, Blow and Tavener: I mention those because to me they are well-known and appreciated. To come full circle, the closing selection by Tavener 'Hymn to the Holy Spirit' (text included on liner notes)is a piece full of Tavener's preoccupations and his stated intention of creating an ikon in sound. It is fully explained in the notes, BUT too much reading of his personal description to my mind simply 'muddies' my enjoyment of his piece. BUT if you are analystical, go for it. I love his music, not his words!!!This choir really is quite outstanding; full rich sound, good balance of parts, excellent use of dynamic effects; good singers all!!
1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Taverner to Tavener 14 Jun. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If your a Tavener fan this is a good CD to buy. It has that Tavener feel to it. I just think its realy great.
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