on 3 July 2005
Eternity's Sunrise is Tavener's third Blake setting, after The Lamb (1982) and The Tiger (1987). It is tbe best thing on this CD, and is one of the best things he's ever done. Indeed, I find it so moving that I almost dread listening to it (if that's not some sort of oxymoron!). An awesome piece of music, featuring Patricia Rozario on scintillating form.
Of the other pieces, Song of the Angel is a five minute version of Tears of the Angels, from the CD of the same name (also brilliant), while Petra: A Ritual Dream is a wonderful setting of a poem by Seferis.
This is apparently Sir John's favourite of his own CDs. On the basis of the first three tracks, I would have to agree. The last two pieces are good, but it is the first three that form the heart and soul of this album.
on 5 February 2006
This CD is remarkable. Four pieces are Tavener at his usual best, with harmonious apparently simple flowing sounds, melodies isn't quite right, as his music is more than melody - more like gentle fluid harmony.
I have to admit that I have a different aspect here, and this is that I love Sappho nearly as much as I love Tavener. So imagine my disappointment when my favourite composer set my favourite poet and the result is, to my ear, discordant and screechy. I fully admit that I probably don't understand what Tavener is getting at, and I will keep listening until either I understand or come to the conclusion that I will never understand, but such initial disappointment was painful.
The rest of the music on this CD is as wonderful as Tavener is ever, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone. In a way, it's almost an ideal disc - plenty of excellently performed what you know with a challenging piece thrown in to keep you on your toes. Do buy it, but be prepared for a challenge.
on 1 December 2009
Eternity's sunrise, the first track on the album, is to my mind stunning, it alone is worth the price of the whole album. Its kind of operatic (but in a mystical way) like the chants d'auvergne. And, Rosario sings stunningly. The only track on the album that I thought was not up to the same standard was the Funeral Canticle. I felt at more than 20 minutes, it went on too long and did not have enough musical ideas to sustain it. I thought the Sappho piece with its Berg like orchestration was striking. I only wish that Tavener had followed this approach more often in his work because it is quite an eerie work. The violin accompaniments in some of the pieces were particularly special.
on 2 April 2013
Purchased this for The Funeral Canticle. Somewhat surprised that someone could write that the piece was too long for the muscial ideas. Maybe someone who adores the baroque and it's loss of the meaning in the convultions of the choir might write that but in Orthodox rites - and Latin rites - the text, the word of God, determines the chant. If the piece is too long blame God not Tohn Tavener. This is a superb work.