JOHN TAVERNER (1490 - 1545)
Stories of Taverner’s abandonment of music in favour of a career of hostility to English Catholic traditions seem without foundation. He was employed as master of the choristers at Cardinal College (Christ Church), Oxford, in its early heyday, retiring, on Cardinal Wolsey’s fall from power, to Boston, where he was held in considerable regard until his death in 1545. The popular if mistaken account of his life is the subject of the opera by Peter Maxwell Davies, Taverner.
Taverner wrote Latin Mass settings, Magnificat settings and motets. Of the first of these the Western Wynde Mass, using the melody of a popular song of that name, is among the better known. From his Mass Gloria tibi Trinitas came the fragment of a theme that served later generations as the basis of an English genre of consort music, the In nomine.
Taverner himself began the tradition of the In nomine, an instrumental arrangement of part of the Benedictus of his Mass Gloria tibi Trinitas.