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4.1 out of 5 stars19
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 21 December 2010
A haunting work, beautifully performed by the four string quartets for whom it was written. It is one of those works which is intended to induce a trance-like state in the listener, and this it does.
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on 24 March 2011
This is an extraordinarily haunting work - droning strings, Tibetan temple bowl, the usual lack of development that we come to associate with Sir John. But most of it is very still - only the first 5 minutes have much business in them - the rest of it slowly fades away; programme music, if you like, for Eastern (especially Hindu) death beliefs.

It's not quite a string quartet in the conventional sense, being scored for 4 quartets (as it were), and therfore feels markedly different - far more tranquil and unearthly (especially towards the end, which sounds like it was recorded by NASA) - from his earlier string quartets (Last Sleep of the Virgin, Hidden Treasure, The World etc), but if you do like those works, you'll love this.

My only gripes are that the CD is banded as one track (the piece is in 4 movements) and there are no accompanying works; the CD is only 33 minutes long. Mind you, it's good for the price, and also maybe with something like this, you really don't need any other pieces on the CD. As Tavener notes in the booklet, this is a CD for meditation, so put it on repeat and listen to that amazing temple bowl, the sound of eternity...
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on 29 May 2011
Having now heard this 'in the flesh' in Salisbury Cathedral, last night, with the composer present, with the 4 quartets placed around the large space, Taverner's extraordinary, transcendent achievement is captured in this recording.
The spaciousness which is part of an inner and outer consciousness is utterly consistent, conveyed in the sequence of plucked and played strings, with a throbbing, vivid, undercurrent from the resonances of the Tibetan bowl.
Rather than being trance-inducing, perhaps, this music is able to engage most directly with spirit and soul: the coincidence of different religious faiths being absolutely enlarging. As an aid to meditation, perhaps it could be helpful - but it is in its own right, as something liminal, beautiful, and intelligible beyond all boundaries, that it should be listened to with every sense alert - inside a still body.
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on 28 March 2011
I can not find the words to describe this wonderful music of peace and hope by Sir John Tavener. An excellent recording. What a good idea to give just the one item of 33 mins at half price. What could follow this music other than the silence towards which it went.
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on 21 February 2013
This work, album, piece, painting in sound,- what can I call it? - is stunningly profound from conception to performance. I had hoped to be at the permier performance, but am pleased to say that this CD has captured the moment magnificently.
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on 17 October 2014
I bought this after hearing a liver performance and wanted to keep on hearing it. Glad I did. Four quartets and a Tibetan bell used sensitively without showing off. A clear sound quality handles the unusual set up well and Medici do it proud. Sleeve notes are very helpful. There is a clear sequence of mood and meaning as the piece progresses so it is better to hear it all in one go. So not in the car!
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on 23 August 2011
This is my first encounter with Tavener, often spoken of alongside Arvo Part. Intriguing in concept with each part lengthening and slowing, this must be really impressive in a cathedral setting with the 4 quartets placed around the huge space giving an ethereal quality one would imagine. The surround sound, while fine, does not really approach this for me - it is almost not distant enough. While it does slow and quieten it does not evoke the sense of one's existence and mortality like for example Mahler's ninth where in the Chailly surround sound version you end up listening to the sound of your own body so imperceptibly does it end.
Other enthusiastic reviews here are not wrong in their praise, however.
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on 11 January 2015
Not to everyone's taste i like this type of music very Avaunt-Guard or like progressive rock works well as a surround sound recording on this SA-CD disc this is good value for money
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on 7 September 2014
As always, the music is subjective, but I personally enjoyed it enormously, and the goods were delivered expeditiously and in good condition.
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on 19 April 2014
The music, new to me, was most listenable and excellent value. The CD was sealed, as expected, and was delivered on time. Appreciated.
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