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The early English Renaissance composer John Taverner is known mostly for his Western Wind Mass and Missa Gloria Tibi Trinitas, big works with textures that seem to seek to fill musical space as densely as possible within the framework that was possible at the time. The Missa Corona spinea ("Crown of Thorns Mass") recorded here is something else again: a group of wide-open musical spaces. The top line is extremely virtuosic; Taverner's boy sopranos must have been remarkable singers, for the music is a full challenge -- the ...

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