The Western Wynde Mass
John Taverner (c. 1490 – 18 October 1545) was an English composer and organist, regarded as one of the most important English composers of his era.
Nothing is known of Taverner's activities before 1524. He appears to have come from south Lincolnshire, but there is no indication of his parentage. According to one of his own letters, he was related to the Yerburghs, a well-to-do Lincolnshire family. The earliest information is that in 1524 Taverner travelled from Tattershall, Lincolnshire, to the Church of St Botolph in nearby Boston as a guest singer. Two years later, in 1526, Taverner became the first Organist and Master of the Choristers at Christ Church, Oxford, appointed by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. The college had been founded in 1525 by Cardinal Wolsey, and was then known as Cardinal College. Immediately before this, Taverner had been a clerk fellow at the Collegiate Church of Tattershall. In 1528 he was reprimanded for his (probably minor) involvement with Lutherans, but escaped punishment for being "but a musician". Wolsey fell from favour in 1529, and in 1530 Taverner left the college.
His best known mass is based on a popular song, The Western Wynde which as a composition is unusual for the period because the theme tune appears in each of the four parts, excepting the alto, at different times. Commonly his masses are designed so that each of the four sections (Gloria, Credo, Sanctus-Benedictus and Agnus Dei) are about the same length, often achieved by putting the same number of repetitions of the thematic material in each. For example in the Western Wynde mass, the theme is repeated nine times in each section. As the sections have texts of very different lengths, he uses extended melismata in the movements with fewer words.
Double Organ Mass
Messe solennelle (Solemn Mass) in C-sharp minor, Op. 16, is a mass by the French composer Louis Vierne. He composed it in 1899, scored for choir and two organs. It was published in 1900, before it was first performed at Saint-Sulpice in Paris in December 1901. Although scored for two pipe organs, it was later adapted for a single organ, as most churches could not provide two such instruments.
The Wells Kennedy Organ-recently installed at
St.Mary's RC Church Hexham
As of late 2019 St Mary's is now the home to a splendid 2M/P pipe organ, originally built in 1983 by the Northern Irish firm of Wells-Kennedy. Purchased and rehoused at St Marys when their venerable but ailing organ gave up the ghost, this wonderful instrument is of some distinction and has a strong musical character The organ is listed and described on the national pipe organ register. Please click on link to regiser website for more details