Sunday, February 25, 2018

Vespers: Dum sacrum mysterium

Cappella Nova sings "Dum sacrum mysterium" by Robert Carver.

Capella Nova, founded in 1982 by Alan and Rebecca Tavener, has an unrivaled reputation as champions of Scotland’s unique treasury of early vocal music. The group is particularly well-known for championing the majestic music of the 16th century Scottish polyphonist, Robert Carver.

Carver (1485 – 1570) is regarded as Scotland's greatest composer of the 16th century. He is best known for his polyphonic choral music, of which there are five surviving masses and two surviving motets.

Carver's work, noted for the gradual build-up of ideas towards a resolution in the final passages, is still performed and recorded today. Carver was influenced by composers in continental Europe, and his surviving music differs greatly from that produced by many of his contemporaries in Scotland or England at the time. It is highly ornate in style. His complex polyphonic music could only have been performed by a large and highly trained choir such as the one employed in the Scottish Chapel Royal.

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