Mason, John: Ave fuit prima salus (Nick Sandon) RCM108
Mixed Voices (SATB+)
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The composer of this extended and very impressive Marian antiphon was probably the John Mason who took the Oxford B.Mus. in 1509, briefly served as informator choristarum at Magdalen College between 1508 and 1510 and was a member of Cardinal WolseyÃ”Ã‡Ã–s household chapel in the early 1520s. His very successful career as an ecclesiastical pluralist was crowned in 1545 when he became treasurer of Hereford cathedral, where he had held a prebend for some twenty years. This is the only one of his four surviving compositions to be written in the full three-octave compass typical of early Tudor church music. It has been described as unreconstructible; so it is, in the sense that one cannot hope to restore MasonÃ”Ã‡Ã–s original in every detail. But, as with all the incomplete Peterhouse music, it is possible to create a performable version that is sympathetic to the style of the surviving music. In this case the revelation of a muscular, tightly-constructed and strikingly individual work makes the exercise seem thoroughly worthwhile. For five voices: SATBarB. x + 22 pages. ISMN 979 0 57039 157 8.
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