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John Taverner's Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas lacks familiarity commensurate with its influence -- it was a sterling example of the cantus firmus mass technique that helped establish the High Renaissance style in England, and the "in nomine" section of its Benedictus was such a perfectly self-contained piece of polyphony that it spawned an entire tradition of instrumental elaborations, known as In nomines even though they were textless. The reason for its neglect may be that English polyphony is a bit harder for the average listener to grasp than the mystical, numerological swirls of Ockeghem or the clear architecture of Josquin, but this recording by the men-and-boys Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, the descendant of the choir that was there when the work was first performed, does it full justice. They offer textures clear enough to hear the cantus firmus structure, aided by its presentation in plainchant at the beginning of the program. (There is also a Kyrie sung in chant, for the mass does... Hide synopsis

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