The Agnus Dei from the anonymous English Fuit homo missus Mass, for the Nativity of St John the Baptist, celebrated on June 24th. St John’s Nativity was celebrated six months before Christmas to emphasise his role as the precursor to Christ. This fine polyphonic setting takes chant setting the words ‘Fuit homo missus a Deo, cui nomen Joannes erat’ – there was a man sent from God whose name was John. The chant is sung in the Tenor which provides a structural scaffold for the whole Mass, which follows a macro-structure linking the Kyrie-Gloria-Credo and Sanctus-Agnus as structurally paired movements.

This performance is from a concert at the Djanogly theatre in Nottingham by the Binchois Consort under Andrew Kirkman. The paired images show, amongst other things, examples of the ‘Caput in Disco’ – the head of John the Baptist on a plate.