In Alleluia. Veni, electa mea
Taverner only provided music for the Alleluia and its jubilus
or melismatic extension, but it is clear from instructions given in a setting of the same text by Nicholas Ludford (c1480–c1542) that the same polyphony should also be used for the choral part of the verse, ‘speciem tuam’. The performance recorded here conforms to the liturgical practice of Taverner’s time, including the use of two singers for the ‘solo’ portions of the chant. The top voice carries the chant melody, in mostly equal note values, a feature shared by a number of Taverner’s liturgical settings, while the three lower voices, after some initial snatches of imitation, provide a rhythmically animated and varied free counterpoint. Taverner responds to the spirit of the jubilus
with a succession of overlapping scale passages which create a fine sense of climax.
from notes by John Heighway © 2000