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Hyperion Records

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Orb of the world in Christ’s hand (detail from the Westminster Retable).
Copyright © Dean and Chapter of Westminster
Track(s) taken from CDA67928
Recording details: June 2011
All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Summerly
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: May 2012
Total duration: 24 minutes 35 seconds

'For a true celebration of the English high-treble phenomenon one need look no further than this. The amplitude of the basses makes a most wonderful balancing effect with the brightness of the boys and there are great surges of sound that almost lift you out of your seat. Just as you think they've given their all, a super-charged wave of glory takes it all to the next level. Their quiet singing is heavenly, too, and both ends of the dynamic spectrum are sublimely devotional' (Choir & Organ)

'The Gloria of Tye's magnificent Missa Euge bone brings you up short with some startlingly grumpy gestures and intriguing harmonic shifts, but the dark clouds never last long—the closing section of his glorious motet Peccavimus cum patribus nostris, for instance, resolves in an explosion of dazzling polyphony. Westminster Abbey Choir are on brilliant form here, trebles crisp and alert and lay vicars forthright and muscular' (The Observer)

'Immediately one is introduced to Tye's extraordinary sound-world of unusual cadences and rigorous alternation of high and low voices to achieve impressive effects. All of these are carefully allowed to speak for themeselves thanks to the judicious direction of Westminster Abbey's Organist and Master of the Choristers, James O'Donnell' (International Record Review)

Western Wynde Mass
composer
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

Other recordings available for download
The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips (conductor)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Tye’s Western Wynde Mass is one of three surviving English Masses based on the same monophonic song (the other two are by John Taverner and John Sheppard). The song’s avowedly secular text (‘Western wind, when wilt thou blow? The small rain down can rain, Christ, if my love were in my arms, and I in my bed again!’) is exactly the kind of Mass model that The Council of Trent found inappropriate at its debates concerning sacred music in the early 1560s. It is not certain which of the three Western Wynde Masses appeared first, although it would not have been Sheppard’s. Tye’s setting clearly complements Taverner’s, and it is generally assumed that Taverner’s Mass was the original. Where Taverner’s cantus firmus migrates between three of the four voice parts, Tye presents the melody exclusively in the alto part—the very one that Taverner chose not to use. And Taverner’s fivefold ascending melodic ostinato in the bass part of the opening of the Sanctus is matched by a sixfold descending melodic ostinato in the bass part of Tye’s Sanctus (both encompassing exactly the same range of a tenth). Both settings were written in the second half of King Henry VIII’s reign, and Tye’s setting contains some decidedly antique devices, which makes it possible (though far from probable) that Tye’s setting was chronologically the earlier. Among these devices is the late-medieval cadential formula at the end of the Osanna to the Sanctus, where the bass part leaps up an octave to arrive above the tenor, the first-inversion phrase ending at ‘miserere nobis’ in the Gloria, and the busily syncopated writing at the ‘qui venit’ section of the Benedictus which is reminiscent of the style of the late-fifteenth-century Eton Choirbook. But Tye’s interrupted subdominant cadence makes three appearances (to indicate the end of the bass ostinato in the Sanctus, at ‘gloria tua’ in the Sanctus, and halfway through the third and final Agnus Dei)—an indication that Tye had, by this stage, formulated his own modus operandi. The English cadence also makes two appearances (at ‘unigenitum’ in the Credo, and at ‘peccata mundi’ in Agnus Dei II), and a unique submediant cadence (in later classical harmony the archetypal form of interrupted cadence) colours the end of the Benedictus before the start of its Osanna.

from notes by Jeremy Summerly © 2012


Other albums featuring this work
'The Tallis Scholars sing Tudor Church Music, Vol. 1' (CDGIM209)
The Tallis Scholars sing Tudor Church Music, Vol. 1
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £11.75 CDGIM209  2CDs for the price of 1  
'Taverner, Tye & Sheppard: Western Wynde Mass' (CDGIM027)
Taverner, Tye & Sheppard: Western Wynde Mass

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