Tavener: Choral Works CD
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Top Customer Reviews
Now they have repeated the favour for the composer most usually associated with Part (although they have little in common stylistically), Sir John Tavener, and the results are equally exceptional.
This CD contains almost exclusively world premieres, and it is utterly stunning. Indeed, there are moments on this CD where Sir John has outdone himself. I'm thinking mainly of the awesome 18 minute 'Shunya', which is less a piece of music than a temple ritual that he as received and transcribed. I cannot describe this piece any further, only to say that I am grateful that someone like Sir John has had the bravery to be simple, as this piece is.
The rest of the CD is equally striking: 'secular' pieces by Vernon Watkins, WB Yeats and a remarkable short requiem for those fallen in war make up the bulk of the rest of the CD.
But aside from theses pieces - and it is always a pleasure to hear Tavener tackle the supposedly 'secular' (ha! if anything is) - are two pieces that, like Shunya, betray his new direction into a more universalist phase, or, as they might say on Father Ted, 'an ecumenical matter'! These pieces are Butterfly Dreams and Schuon Hymnen.
The first of these takes as its starting point the famous story about Chuang Tzu dreaming he was a butterfly, and then, upon waking, not being sure that he was not now a butterfly dreaming he was a man. The suite is lovely, and includes a wonderful setting of a Native American poem. Schuon Hymnen sets a poem by the Sufi Frithjof Schuon, who was something of a teacher and inspiration for Tavener, and deals with the Song of Songs.Read more ›
What an amazing composer John Tavener is! I can think of few other composers working today who can write such mystical, beautiful, spellbinding and accessible music.
If you heard and enjoyed "The Protecting Veil" which Steven Isserlis plays so splendidly on a Virgin CD, the you should not miss this CD of Tavener's Choral Works, some lengthy, some very short, but all worth listening to.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
fantastic tone, especially the "Sunya" (indicative of the the 'sound' of silence ...) great stuff!Published 23 months ago by alan stevenson
A very good quality recording of many works being heard for the first time. I would recommend this for anyone who likes the spiritual element of his music.Published on 29 April 2014 by J. Middleton