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Robert Carver

(c.1485 - c.1570)

Robert Carver (c.1485-c.1570) was perhaps the greatest of Scottish composers, and one of the most dynamic of early Renaissance British composers. Carver was apparently associated with the Royal Chapel of Scotland, as well as with the famous Scone Abbey. He is best known for his sacred choral music, of which there are five surviving masses and two surviving motets.

His style was constantly evolving during his lifetime: his early works are some of the most elaborate examples of the florid repertory with extremely complicated and subtle passagework for vocal soloists, while his later masses exhibit a more syllabic approach to text setting. Carver's nineteen-voice motet "O Bone Jesu" is one of the most grandiose compositions in Renaissance polyphonic music. His music tends to build up ideas over long periods, only to have them resolved in the final passages with a brilliant display of formal momentum. ~ Todd McComb (6/94)

Recommended Recordings

Sacred Music

Academy Sound & Vision CDGAX319
Complete Sacred Choral Music/Academy Sound & Vision CDGAX319
Alan Tavener/Capella Nova
Motets with MacMillan, Ramsey & Cornysh/Coro COR16051
Harry Christophers/The Sixteen