John Tavener: A Portrait

John Tavener: A Portrait

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A deluxe sampler covering the work of nearly 40 years, John Tavener: A Portrait has much to offer, including 19 musical tracks, a 46-minute interview with the composer, and a biographical essay detailing the key events and ideas in his life and work. Of primary interest is the premiere recording of Tavener's intense "Prayer of the Heart

Overview

A deluxe sampler covering the work of nearly 40 years, John Tavener: A Portrait has much to offer, including 19 musical tracks, a 46-minute interview with the composer, and a biographical essay detailing the key events and ideas in his life and work. Of primary interest is the premiere recording of Tavener's intense "Prayer of the Heart," convincingly performed by Icelandic pop singer Björk and the Brodsky Quartet. The text of the Orthodox Christian "Jesus Prayer" -- in Greek, Church Slavonic, Coptic, and English -- is set in fairly static sequences, which gradually progress through a spiritual scheme of halting trepidation, ecstatic aspiration, and, ultimately, serene acceptance. Björk was chosen by Tavener for her unschooled and unaffected singing style, and it is clear that her emotionally exposed performance meets his expectations. While her raw and breathy delivery may not suit everyone's taste, Björk deserves credit for plumbing the work's expressive depths and bringing off a difficult, highly inflected vocal line with assurance and authenticity. Naxos, in coordination with Coro, Nimbus Records, Divine Art, NMC, and Reference Recordings, has put together a handsome package that may lead listeners to seek out the original albums from which this disc was compiled, and further explore the evolution of England's most esoteric composer.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/20/2004
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0636943815229
catalogNumber:
8558152-53
Rank:
129978

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. In alium, for high soprano, strings, piano, grand organ, Hammond organ, bells, gongs & four-track tape: Section A

    1. Section A  (04:14)
  2. To a Child Dancing in the Wind, for soprano, flute, harp & viola: Movement I. He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

    1. Movement I. He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven  (05:22)
  3. The Lamb, for chorus  (03:52)
  4. The Tyger, for chorus  (05:25)
  5. Ikon of Light, for chorus & string trio: Movement I. FOS I, DOXA

    1. Movement I. FOS I, DOXA  (05:00)
  6. Ikon of Light, for chorus & string trio: Movement II. PIU INTENSITA

    1. Movement II. PIU INTENSITA  (03:24)
  7. Mandelion, for organ: Extract

    1. Extract  (03:30)
  8. Chant, for guitar: Extract

    1. Extract  (03:47)
  9. Ikon of St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, for chorus: Extract

    1. Extract  (02:42)
  10. The Protecting Veil, for cello & orchestra: Section I

    1. Section I  (15:07)
  11. Mary of Egypt, opera (ikon in music & dance) sor soloists, choruses, orchestra and tape: Act III. Bless Duet

    1. Act III. Bless Duet  (07:27)
  12. Akhmatova Songs, for soprano & cello (or string quartet): No. 5. The Muse

    1. No. 5. The Muse  (02:58)
  13. Diódia, for string quartet: Solemn -

    1. Solemn -  (05:52)
  14. Diódia, for string quartet: [rehearsal letter I]

    1. [rehearsal letter I]  (05:02)
  15. Song for Athene, for chorus  (05:39)

Disc 2

  1. Zodiacs, for piano  (02:29)
  2. Prayer of the Heart, for voice, Tibetan bells, monastery bell & string quartet  (15:17)
  3. Ikon of Eros, for violin & orchestra: Movement I. (Éros)

    1. Movement II. (Éros)  (07:56)
  4. Mother and Child, for chorus, organ & Hindu temple gong: Extract

    1. Extract  (04:38)
  5. John Tavener Reflects ... A Recorded Interivew

    1. My earliest musical memories...  (08:21)
    2. I saw in the Russian Orthodox Church...  (08:14)
    3. I think The Protecting Veil...  (08:04)
    4. The Icelandic pop singer Björk...  (06:18)
    5. The fact that I've been given...  (04:11)
    6. When my publishers ring...  (05:39)
    7. The only goal...  (05:05)

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