Puer Natus Est – Tudor Music for Advent and Christmas

Stile Antico

23.9931.49
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Original Recording Format: DSD 64

The backbone of this programme of Advent and Christmas music is Thomas Tallis’s extraordinary, yet incomplete, Christmas mass, Missa Puer natus est. In spite of the work’s phenomenal scope, there is no conclusive evidence as to its origin. One attractive theory holds that the mass was first performed by the joint forces of Queen Mary’s Chapel Royal and Philip II of Spain’s renowned Capilla Flamenca in December 1554 (Philip and Mary had married earlier in the year). It is based on the plainchant Puer natus est nobis – the introit for Christmas Day Mass – and it has been suggested that the plainchant may well have held a double entendre for its first hearers, as Mary was at the time erroneously believed to be pregnant with a much hoped-for heir. The work’s lavish and unusual seven-part scoring – and the presence of Flemish influences in Tallis’s writing – lend weight to this theory. On the other hand, the question of exactly when the first performance might have taken place presents a problem. We know that such a ‘joint service’ took place at St Paul’s Cathedral on 2 December, but that is unlikely to have been the occasion on which this mass was performed: Tallis surely knew the difference between Advent and Christmas – and cared! Furthermore, as one scholar has argued, it seems improbable that Tallis ‘would have been so insensitive as to use a text beginning “Puer natus est nobis” to celebrate the Queen’s rumoured pregnancy when the sex of the child, the survival of both child and mother and the stability of the realm would all have been causes of trepidation rather than rejoicing’.1

Tracklist

1.
Videte miraculum
11:38
2.
Audivi vocem de caelo
04:09
3.
Rorate caeli desuper
04:41
4.
Missa Puer natus est: Gloria
09:27
5.
Tollite portas
02:09
6.
Missa Puer natus est: Sanctus & Benedictus
08:54
7.
Ave Maria
02:08
8.
Missa Puer natus est: Agnus Dei
08:22
9.
Ecce virgo concipiet
02:15
10.
Magnificat
13:51
11.
Puer natus est
01:11
12.
Verbum caro
09:16

Total time: 01:18:01

Additional information

Label

SKU

807517DI

Qualities

Channels

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Artists

Composers

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Genres

,

Mastering Engineer

Brad Michel

Original Recording Format

Producer

Robina G. Young

Recording Engineer

Brad Michel

Recording location

All Hallows church, Gospel Oak, London

Recording Software

Pyramix

Recording Type & Bit Rate

DSD64

Release Date July 3, 2014

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