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John Tavener: Glimpses of Paradise Paperback – 3 Sep 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New edition edition (3 Sep 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575401915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575401914
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14 x 20.3 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,104,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
a look at the man behind the music 22 Nov 2002
By Moses Alexander - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Glimpses of Paradise" is an honest look at the man John Tavener and his music. The book seems well researched and everyone in the "Tavener sphere" seems to have welcomed the author in with open arms to help complete this book. He conducted well over 50 interviews with people from countless countries for the book as well as plundering the archives of Tavener's publisher's etc. There is a good bit of time spent on Tavener's years as a young prodigy that give insight into his creative influences. It shows John as an emerging talent given over to the jet-set lifestyle of hanging out with The Beatles, etc. Also covered are John's rocky early relationships (and marriage.) The author doesn't attempt to gloss over Tavener's relationship issues but presents an honest, but sympathetic picture. Of course, much attention is given to John's conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy and his musical and spiritual relationship with Mother Thekla (an Abbess of an Orthodox monastey.) Of course, much attention is paid to the music, critical reviews of his music, world premieres, etc. There is also a catalogue of works and a selected discography.
For the most part, this is a fascinating book (some of the stuff from his schooling period isn't that riveting.)
I would definately recommend this though. Its a great work about a great composer.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The truth behind the talent is revealed 9 Mar 2000
By Mark Swinton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Geoffrey Haydon's scholarly and well-presented biography delves deep into the life and work of John Tavener- deeper perhaps than any book or documentary or article since. It discusses his beginnings, his first compositions for Kensington Church Choir, his studies with Lennox Berkeley and David Lumsdaine, the success of his collaboration with the Beatles nestling alongside a number of failures. All the while, his growing spiritual dimension, his shifts in perception, and the various events in his personal life are highlighted by Haydon's telling style.
What emerges is an honest and understanding portrait of a unique and distinctive composer, portraying him in a favourable light (although at times when it is not perhaps completely deserved). For those studying the music of John Tavener, the commentaries on many works will prove invaluable; for those who like the music and want to discover the person, there is definitely something as well, although the composer's own autobiography (due out in April in the USA) will shed even more light on his nature as a person. The only dislike I have about this book is an inevitable one- since it was written around 1994, it only covers music and biographical features as far as then, so you will not learn for instance about his second daughter, his discovery of the Academy of Ancient Music, or about any compositions later than "The Apocalypse," although the reprint of 1998 includes a list of works as far as 1998, vexingly enough.
Nonetheless, a well-organised, well-written, engrossing and worthwhile book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
an engrossing look at Tavener's life and work 19 Feb 2001
By Eric McCalla - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Geoffrey Haydon's biography of John Tavener is certainly without equal. It is by far the most thoroughly-researched study of Tavener's life and music. Not only does Haydon write of Tavener's music, he shows us the importance of Tavener's family and how their support of his musical genius has helped him become one of the 20th century's greatest musical figures. Also, the patronage of Lady Birley, a woman of wealth and culture, contributed so much to Tavener's ability to live through his art and bring it to so many people. My only small complaint would be that the record companies have not recorded more of his music as is listed in the exhaustive appendix detailing the dozens of choral and orchestral pieces composed since the 1960s. Hopefully, with time we will see a comprehensive collection released on CD.
Because this book was published about 1994-5, discussion of Tavener's recent projects in the past 5 years is absent. Notably, his work with the Academy of Ancient Music, with whom he recorded a selection of choral music, which includes FUNERAL CANTICLE, SAPPHO:LYRIC FRAGMENTS and ETERNITY'S SUNRISE. This CD and TEARS OF THE ANGELS on Linn Records are two great surprises awaiting the listener new to his music.
If you want to read an inspiring story of a man and his art, do not hesitate to pick up a copy of this book. You won't be disappointed!
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