on 6 January 2014
As a Byzantine Catholic I found this lament over Christ removed from the cross a perfect expression of agony, loss and isolation. Transcendent meaning is instilled in flashes, but in no way dissipating the agony felt. One must be "in the mood" and prepared to meditate on "final things" when listening. It is not composed to provide a smooth aesthetic interlude.
The bleak performance suits the composer's intentions admirably. We're lucky to have this compilation.
The programme notes consist of the extended texts and nothing else, in keeping with the bleak nature of Tavener's focus. Superb b&w photos convey the final touch of austerity that is called for.
I'm indebted to the prior review by "Acquinas" and will now seek out Veil of the Temple. This is my first encounter with Tavener. I may have been helped in liking these lamentations because I wasn't looking for scaffolding from the English choral traditions and so I didn't miss them or feel let down. I found no deficiencies at all. In fact, the impact could hardly have been greater.
on 7 December 2009
This would not be one of my favourite Tavener CDs, being a kind of Byzantine/Tavener hybrid but without the input of the english choral tradition which is evident in a lot of Tavener's work. Like all Tavener music, it is highly meditative and evocative, it smells and taste of the East and of transcendence but it does not quite have the hearftelt quality of the Veil of the Temple. It is definitely to be recommended if you are a Tavener fan. If you are new to Tavener, then pick up some of the Naxos CDs instead.