Puer Natus Est:
A Festal English Christmas

A peculiarly English genre is the Festal Mass, marked by elaborate scale and scoring. Thomas Tallis’ Missa Puer Natus Est is a distinctive example of this, exceptional in its full use of all seven voices throughout, rather than interpolating semichorus sections as in other large-scale Tudor festal masses. To commemorate the 400th anniversary of his death, we present Christmas propers from William Byrd’s Gradualia, together with carols, motets and anthems from the Eton Choirbook and contemporary composers for the Advent and Christmas season