Polyphonic Kyries in England before the Reformation
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,068
    English composers before the Reformation did not normally set the Kyrie, as this was usually troped with an additional text in honour of a particular Saint or Feast, and therefore usually sung to plainchant.

    There are a few notable settings of the Kyrie from this period, probably none more moving than the four-part Kyrie Le Roy of John Taverner (1490–1545). Tudor composers had access to an independent body of chant melodies which had grown up for the Kyrie, Taverner in this case choosing the famous 'square' (ie. non-liturgical) melody for the Sunday Lady Mass, traditionally named 'Leroy' ("the king"), around which he has woven some lovely polyphony.

    Edit: I've attached the PDF score of my CPDL edition of the Kyrie Le Roy below.

  • This piece is sometimes listed as "Kyrie LeRoy non Brunneis".
    (We sang it at Mass this past Sunday.)
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen