“Transcendent With Awesome Majesty”. John Tavener wrote these words above the opening cello notes of The Protecting Veil, immediately communicating the scale of this universal, timeless, structurally perfect and emotionally powerful work. In the composer’s words “The cello represents The Mother of God and never stops singing”. Indeed, the cello sings without stopping for the entire 46 minutes of the piece, requiring huge mental and physical stamina. Matthew Barley leads Sinfonietta Riga in this exploration of Tavener’s musical works and inspirations, interspersing performances with readings of WB Yeats and Frithjof Schuon by renowned actors Julie Christie and OlwynRead more Fouéré. The influence Tavener drew from Indian music in The Protecting Veil is also explored further in Barley’s performance with tabla player Sukhvinder ‘Pinky’ Singh in The Song of Separation and Waiting by Pandit Sultan Khan. Matthew Barley is known internationally as a cellist, improviser, arranger, music animateur, and as Artistic Director of Between The Notes. His musical world is focused on projects that connect people in different ways, blurring the boundaries that never really existed between genres and people.
Matthew Barley offers a magnificent performance of the title work, the premiere of which raised the composer to worldwide fame. He has absolutely unerstood that intimacy is what underlies this large-scaled piece. This beautifully and originally framed version is unreservedly recommended, even if you own other recordings of the work.