Tavener: Piano Music

Tavener: Piano Music

by Ralph van Raat
     
 

The "holy minimalism" of John Tavener might seem to depend on texts and on the specific spiritual ideas contained therein, but this disc performed and nicely annotated by Dutch pianist Ralph van Raat for the most part contradicts that idea (and shows that interest in Tavener's music has extended beyond anglophone lands). The worksSee more details below

Overview

The "holy minimalism" of John Tavener might seem to depend on texts and on the specific spiritual ideas contained therein, but this disc performed and nicely annotated by Dutch pianist Ralph van Raat for the most part contradicts that idea (and shows that interest in Tavener's music has extended beyond anglophone lands). The works included trace the shifts in Tavener's style and show how they tend to be prefigured in one aspect of his music before appearing in others. "Palin," for example, uses abstract modern procedures (the title refers to palindromic construction) but establishes structural centers through long stretches of repeated notes and has an unmistakable hint of spirituality. The delightful "Mandoodles" (1982) and "In Memory of Two Cats" (1986), both inspired by Tavener's feline companions, exemplify the growing accessibility of his music. The three works from Tavener's more recent style period are closely linked to the religious basis of his music; the two large ones are minimalist scores with long periods of contemplative music interspersed with bursts of ecstasy. "Ypakoë" (1997) may be the most successful of the three, building to an impressive peroration of parallel harmonies at the end. The gigantic "Pratirupa" (2003), with vague references to Indian musical cycles, and the mysterious, short "Zodiacs" (1997), drawn rather opaquely on ancient Greek ideas, may make one wish for a text to clarify what's going on. The album is very nicely recorded, with a large British concert hall providing the monumental spaces appropriate to Tavener's music. No one should start an encounter with Tavener by buying this album, but those converted to or just interested in his distinctive and always evolving brand of faith will find it well worthwhile.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/24/2008
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313044276
catalogNumber:
8570442
Rank:
338508

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Zodiacs, for piano  - John Tavener  - Ralph van Raat  - Olga Lyubkina
  2. Ypakoë, suite for piano  - John Tavener  - Ralph van Raat  - Olga Lyubkina
  3. Palin, for piano  - John Tavener  - Ralph van Raat  - Olga Lyubkina
  4. Mandoodles, for piano  - John Tavener  - Ralph van Raat  - Olga Lyubkina
  5. Pratirupa, for piano  - John Tavener
  6. In Memory of Cats, for piano  - John Tavener  - Ralph van Raat  - Olga Lyubkina

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