The legendary consort of viols Fretwork, the countertenor Iestyn Davies, who has received worldwide acclaim for his vocal control and musicality, and Nicholas Daniel, one of the best British oboists, bridge the gap between John Taverner (ca. 1490-1545) and John Tavener (1944-2013).
Fretwork will perform the entire Missa Gloria tibi trinitas by Taverner in an instrumental version.
This six-part mass was composed for Cardinal College in Oxford, and is based on the Gregorian chant of the same name that was intended for Trinity Sunday. The mass, and particularly the In Nomine passage in the Benedictus, initiated a great tradition in consort music.
We will also hear two musical prayers by John Tavener: The Hidden Face and Nipson. The Hidden Face is a prayer for countertenor, oboe and consort of viols. It is hushed music, with no space for the ego, in which Tavener aims to address the divine: the Hidden Face. Nipson, in which Tavener reflects on his sins, was commissioned by Fretwork. The text comes from a fountain in Istanbul: “Nipson anomemata me monan opsin” (Cleanse my sins, not only my face). The palindrome is attributed to Gregory of Nazianze (329-389).
J. Taverner: Missa Gloria tibi trinitas | J. Tavener: The Hidden Face | Nipson
Iestyn Davies, countertenor | Nicholas Daniel, oboe | Fretwork