John Taverner (c.1490-1545)
The music of John Taverner represents the pinnacle of the Pre-Reformation English polyphonic style in a tradition that can be traced back to composers such as Lionel Power and John Dunstable in the early 15th century. In 1526 he became the first Informator Choristarum at Cardinal Wolsey’s new foundation of Cardinal College (now Christ Church), Oxford. However, with Wolsey’s fall from favour in 1529, Taverner left the College in 1530 and returned to Lincolnshire where he remained until his death. Whilst his Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas and other festal Masses are superb examples of the English tradition, Taverner shows in other works that he was aware of developments on the Continent with pieces such as Christe Jesu, pastor bone (O Wilhelme, pastor bone) displaying a modern note-against-note style.