Holiday Shop


WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Tye: Missa Euge Bone, Western Wynde Mass / O’donnell, Choir Of Westminster Abbey

Tye / Choir Of Westminster Abbey / O'donnell
Release Date: 05/08/2012 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67928  
Composer:  Christopher Tye
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
On sale! $21.98
CD:  $19.99
In Stock



Notes and Editorial Reviews



TYE Missa Euge bone. Western Wynde Mass. Quaesumus omnipotens et misericors Deus. Give almes of thy goods. Christ Rising. Peccavimus cum patribus nostris. Nunc dimittis James O’Donnell, dir; Westminster Abbey Ch HYPERION CDA 67928 (73:49 Text and Translation)


Acute differences in tempo in a given work aren’t usually so distinctively indicative of contrasting musical approaches as they are between O’Donnell on this release and David Hill (Helios CDH55079). Hill takes broader Read more tempos (13:40 in the Peccavimus cum patribus nostris ; 11:39 for O’Donnell, and this is typical of nearly every movement) to carefully sculpt Tye’s vocal parts for their passing harmonic value. Detailed dynamic gradations smooth and prepare the way for the composer’s dramatic use of cadential formulas and occasional word-painting. O’Donnell’s faster readings are more linear, the range of dynamics more restricted, the strand of each voice part slightly more separated out from the rest for greater vocal contrast. Tye’s contrapuntal exuberance and dramatic boldness come more to the fore, as in the sudden stop-time block chords on “Jesu Christe” in the Missa Euge bone ’s Gloria, or the carrying-all-before-it push he finds in the opening phrase of the same work’s final Agnus Dei.


Much the same is true of the rest of this album. In Christ Rising there is no highlighting of the false relations, but a seamless, almost headlong imitative texture that emphasizes its Franco-Flemish lineage. Several movements of the Western Wynde Mass seem rushed to me, by comparison to Peter Philips and the Tallis Scholars (now on Gimell 209), but there’s no denying the professionalism of the Choir of Westminster Abbey, or O’Donnell’s acute ear for balance and tone.


The fine liner notes to this release deserve mention for their brief but effective musical analysis. However, I wish annotators discussing Tye would drop references to Henry VIII’s quote approving his music, as it only derives from a play by Samuel Rowley in which both Henry VIII and Tye are characters; and to a colorful but undocumented, highly suspect incident demonstrating his “peevish and humoursome” behavior in the not terribly reliable writings of the antiquarian Anthony Wood, who was born more than 50 years after Tye had died.


Definitely recommended, in short. Though I would also suggest the alternative recordings mentioned above to get a different view of this composer’s extraordinary work.


FANFARE: Barry Brenesal


---------

We now have three excellent performances of Tye’s masterpiece, the Euge bone Mass – with a possible fourth if the ASV recording of three of his Masses were ever to be reissued: it’s currently not available but some ASV recordings are gradually trickling back into the catalogue. Two rival recordings come at budget price:
 
Christopher TYE
KyrieOrbis factor’ [3:39]
Missa Euge bone [26:16]
Quæsumus omnipotens Deus [6:55]
Miserere mei, Deus [9:16]
Omnes gentes, plaudite manibus [4:14]
Peccavimus cum patribus nostris [13:40]
The Choir of Winchester Cathedral/David Hill – rec. March 1990. DDD
Booklet with texts and translations included
HYPERION HELIOS CDH55079 [64:49] (on CD, mp3 and lossless downloads.)

 
Christopher TYE
Omnes gentes, plaudite manibus [5:22]
Kyrie [4:41]
Missa Euge bone [25:36]
William MUNDY (c.1529-c.1591) Magnificat [9:58]
Christopher TYE Peccavimus cum patribus nostris [12:47]
Oxford Camerata/Jeremy Summerly – rec. 1993. DDD.
Booklet with texts and translations included
NAXOS 8.550937 [58:23] – on CD, download from classicsonline.com (mp3) or stream from Naxos Music Library
 
I can fully endorse Gary Higginson’s high opinion of the Winchester version ‘This is a fine disc, the music is attractive and the polyphony never too impenetrable or over long. The singing is first class… Anyone who likes English polyphony should get this CD which is most attractively priced.’ The Naxos recording has been a valued part of my CD collection since it was released almost twenty years ago

It would seem, with two such strong rivals for half the price, that the new Hyperion needs to be especially good to justify itself.
 
I think that there is enough that is distinctive to recommend it: the inclusion of Tye’s other masterpiece, the Western Wynde Mass - though I must point out the availability of this work on an inexpensive Gimell set listed below; the interspersing of the Latin and English works and, not least, the generous playing time. In many ways it’s the inclusion of the English settings that is most instructive, since there is so little difference in style between the two, partly because Tye’s Latin settings are less florid, less elaborate than those of his contemporaries.
 
In comparison Tallis’s English settings sound a pale imitation of their Latin counterparts; it was not until Byrd’s Great Service, Second Service and English anthems that Tye’s talent in both languages was rivalled and exceeded. I’m not sure that Tye’s setting of the Easter anthem Christ rising from the dead, which here receives a powerful performance, doesn’t match Byrd’s English setting of the same text of which you’ll find several versions on YouTube. They are not really comparable, since the Byrd 6-part setting with viol accompaniment is more domestic in tone – there’s a good recording of this and other music, vocal and instrumental, by Byrd performed by Red Byrd and the Rose Consort on Naxos 8.550604.
 
The English setting of Nunc Dimittis is odd in that the text doesn’t correspond to that in any version of the Book of Common Prayer. It predates even the first Book of 1549 and shows the composer’s way with English texts at an early date. The simplicity of the setting and the sympathetic performance which it receives means that it rounds off the programme quietly and very effectively.
 
The Euge bone Mass fits the reformers’ desire for one note per syllable so well – a rule also formulated by the Roman Catholic Council of Trent – that it’s impossible to say when it was composed: in the latter part of the reign of Henry VIII or in that of Edward VI, Mary or Elizabeth. The Naxos notes suggest that of the young reformer King Edward, whose tutor was Tye’s younger contemporary Mundy, for the Mass and the associated quæsumus omnipotens Deus – yet the Naxos recording is the only one of the three not to include that work for comparison.
 
Like many Tudor settings, Tye’s Euge bone Mass comes without Kyries, perhaps in this case because these had been replaced in the Book of Common Prayer by the Ten Commandments. It was usually assumed that these would be chanted, though, paradoxically, Taverner composed a separate polyphonic setting of them, not attached to any complete Mass, the Kyrie Leroy. (Find it sung by The Tallis Scholars with Taverner’s Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas, etc., on Gimell CDGIM004 or stream from Naxos Music Library). One reason for this common omission may have been the late medieval tendency to introduce ‘farced’ tests, often very elaborate, into the simple nine-fold Kyrie eleison-Christe eleison. Several of these are included in the Sarum Missal.
 
O’Donnell simply performs what Tye sets as part of the Euge bone Mass but Summerly includes a separate setting of the Kyrie and Hill begins with a setting of one of those farced setting, Kyrie orbis factor. In this respect, the new recording is less instructive than the two older ones.
 
That Euge bone comes in tandem with the Western Wynde Mass on the new Hyperion, however, swings the balance in the other direction. The performance rivals that on Gimell; in a sense they are not in competition because, as you would expect, a cathedral performance with boys’ voices on the top line is different from that of a small professional group. With Tye’s reformist tendencies, too, it’s appropriate that Hyperion have recorded the music at Westminster Abbey rather than the Cathedral. As you might have expected, James O’Donnell takes the music at a faster pace than Peter Phillips with the Tallis Scholars but you would never notice the difference unless you played them serially, a silly game which reviewers have to play. Even then I certainly couldn’t say that one was unduly fast or the other unduly slow.
 
That Gimell recording of the Western Wynde Mass which I’ve mentioned is on The Tallis Scholars sing Tudor Music (I), Gimell CDGIM209, 2CDs for 1. Like the two budget-price recordings of the Euge bone Mass it sets a very high standard against which the new recording has to compete and it comes in the company of equally splendid recordings of the music of Tye’s contemporaries. In fact, it’s so good that you’ll probably want to purchase the companion 2-CD set of the music of later Tudor composers toof.
 
If it’s the two Tye Masses together and in the company of his little-performed English-texted music that you want, however, the new Hyperion recording is unrivalled. If you prefer boys’ voices, that’s an added advantage. With very good recording in an ideal acoustic and notes of the usual high Hyperion quality, you won’t be disappointed. Even the cover merits special mention – Christ holding the world in His hand, as in the vision of Julian of Norwich, from the Westminster Retable.
 
-- Brian Wilson, MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Quaesumus omnipotens by Christopher Tye
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
2.
Peccavimus cum patribus by Christopher Tye
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
3.
Nunc dimittis by Christopher Tye
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
4.
Mass "Western Wind" by Christopher Tye
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
5.
Mass "Euge bone" by Christopher Tye
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
6.
Give alms of thy goods by Christopher Tye
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
7.
Christ rising again by Christopher Tye
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In