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Thread: Masses by English Composers

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Default Masses by English Composers

    Somehow, I don't think I've heard a single mass by an English composer other than Walter Frye's Missa Flos Regalis. I would like to hear more. What are your favorite masses by English composers? Any suggestions from the Renaissance to the Modern would be appreciated.

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    Senior Member RICK RIEKERT's Avatar
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    Taverner's and Tye's Western Wynde masses
    Byrd's 3 masses
    Ralph Vaughan Williams' Mass in G minor
    James Whitbourn's Son of God Mass

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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    Somehow, I don't think I've heard a single mass by an English composer other than Walter Frye's Missa Flos Regalis. I would like to hear more. What are your favorite masses by English composers? Any suggestions from the Medieval to the Modern would be appreciated.
    The christmas mass from the Winchester Troper recorded by Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge


    Anonymous Missa Quem malignus spiritus (In The Binchois Consort, Music for Henry V)

    John Taverner, Missa Corona Spinea

    Thomas Ashwell, Missa Ave Maria (Recordings by Nevel and Schmelzer)

    Nicholas Ludford, Missa Sabato (In La Quintina, Heavenly Songs)

    Robert Fayrfax Missa Tecum Principium

    Leonal Power Missa Alma Redemptoris Mater (I like Trio Medieval in this)
    Brian Ferneyhough, Missa Brevis


    There you go, that should keep you out of trouble for a few weeks.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Jun-29-2020 at 09:31.

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    Senior Member science's Avatar
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    flamencosketches my brother you are about to encounter a lot of beautiful music!
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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    I don't know about actual masses but I enjoy the choral music of Gerald Finzi including Intimations of Immortality, and Dies Natalis. There were some budget 5 disc English composer sets on EMI. One of which included Finzi. They may have been re-issued on Warner Classics.
    “Music makes you feel feelings. Words make you think thoughts. But a song can make you feel a thought.”

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    I don't know about actual masses but I enjoy the choral music of Gerald Finzi including Intimations of Immortality, and Dies Natalis. There were some budget 5 disc English composer sets on EMI. One of which included Finzi. They may have been re-issued on Warner Classics.
    I was just talking to someone on another board about Finzi. I think it's time for me to give his music another chance. I've only heard one work of his, the Eclogue, which I did not like. But I am curious about his choral music.

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    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    I was just talking to someone on another board about Finzi. I think it's time for me to give his music another chance. I've only heard one work of his, the Eclogue, which I did not like. But I am curious about his choral music.
    Try the gorgeous Intimations of Immortality and; for instrumental music, the Cello Concerto, which is possibly my favorite 20th century concerto for the instrument besides Shostakovich. It’s luxurious!
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

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    Senior Member regenmusic's Avatar
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    There is a certain English sound to it, like you typically get when English Renaissance or church scenes are in movies or TV.


    The Three Masses. William Byrd (1542 - 1623)

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    One substantial setting and a couple for those who prefer them shorter and/or non-orchestral:


    Howells - An English Mass (1955):

    Britten - Missa Brevis (1959):

    Walton - Missa Brevis (1966):


    Peter Maxwell Davies composed two Mass settings for choir and organ but I've yet to hear them.
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

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    Senior Member AbsolutelyBaching's Avatar
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    Can I second the Britten Missa Brevis.

    And I know it's not a Mass, but I'd also suggest the Festival Te Deum by the same composer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by regenmusic View Post
    The Three Masses. William Byrd (1542 - 1623)
    If you find these three interesting, you might want to at least hear once the Hilliard Ensemble. The Tallis Scholars are opulent in their sound, and they're my preferred recording, but these masses are meant for small, hidden gatherings of a few persecuted people, and the Hilliard's reduced size gives the sense of how these really sounded in their time.

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