Not Found - Tavener: Innocence
, the longest work here, is the least successful. The bulk of the piece is a catalogue of cruelties inflicted by humankind on innocents--mostly children--set to harsh but generally monotonous music. But Patricia Rozario is spectacular in a three-octave solo part, and the ending, with an ethereal chorus and bells depicting the salvation awaiting suffering innocents, is magical. The shorter pieces are deservedly among Tavener's most famous. The gentle, beguiling The Lamb
and the powerful Tyger
, settings of poems by William Blake, make an ideal pair. (Where The Tyger
's text alludes to The Lamb
, Tavener quotes The Lamb'
s music to wonderful effect.) The two hymns to the Mother of God are models of reverent beauty; Song for Athene
, made world-famous at Princess Diana's funeral, is spellbinding. --Matthew Westphal