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Tavener: The Last Sleep Of The Virgin; Pärt: Fratres / Chilingirian Quartet


Release Date: 05/24/1994 
Label:  Virgin Classics Special Import Catalog #: 45023   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Arvo PärtJohn Tavener
Performer:  Levon ChilingirianCharles SewartPhilip De GrooteSimon Rowland-Jones,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chilingirian String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Physical space and the effects of separation are important elements in the music of John Tavener, and an exciting challenge to the virtuosity of modern recording techniques. But how have the engineers coped with The Last Sleep of the Virgin, where the chief effect is of distance? Successfully, on the evidence of the Virgin release, which couples Tavener’s works for string quartet with popular items by that other exponent of Faith Minimalism, Arvo Pärt. Over 20 minutes long and composed in homage to Margot Fonteyn, The Last Sleep, a meditation on last things, is central to Tavener’s output. It is a musical essay that exists, literally, on the threshold of audibility. Conceived just before Tavener underwent major heart surgery, the music Read more seemed to come to him from afar; hence, perhaps, the beautiful aura of handbells throughout the piece, and the sustained remoteness so admirably captured on this recording. The Hidden Treasure, by comparison, is less austerely Byzantine; the idiom will be familiar to lovers of Tavener’s choral works such as ‘The Lamb’. Pärt’s Fratres has also appeared in versions for violin and piano, and for 12 cellos, but the Chilingirians perfectly capture its spirit in close, warmly resonant quartet playing. Summa, short and intense, makes an ideal counterpart.

-- Nicholas Williams, BBC Music Magazine
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Works on This Recording

1.
Summa by Arvo Pärt
Performer:  Levon Chilingirian (Violin), Charles Sewart (Violin), Philip De Groote (Cello),
Simon Rowland-Jones (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chilingirian String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1978; Estonia 
Date of Recording: 07/1993 
Venue:  All Saints' Church, Petersham, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Arvo Pärt (1991) 
2.
Fratres by Arvo Pärt
Performer:  Charles Sewart (Violin), Levon Chilingirian (Violin), Simon Rowland-Jones (Viola),
Philip De Groote (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chilingirian String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977-1980; Estonia 
Date of Recording: 07/1993 
Venue:  All Saints' Church, Petersham, England 
Length: 11 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Arvo Pärt (1989) 
3.
The Last Sleep of the Virgin by John Tavener
Performer:  Charles Sewart (Violin), Simon Rowland-Jones (Viola), Iain Simcock (Hand Bells),
Philip De Groote (Cello), Levon Chilingirian (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chilingirian String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1991; England 
Date of Recording: 07/1993 
Venue:  All Saints' Church, Petersham, England 
Length: 24 Minutes 37 Secs. 
4.
The Hidden Treasure by John Tavener
Performer:  Levon Chilingirian (Violin), Simon Rowland-Jones (Viola), Charles Sewart (Violin),
Philip De Groote (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chilingirian String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1989; England 
Date of Recording: 07/1993 
Venue:  All Saints' Church, Petersham, England 
Length: 31 Minutes 2 Secs. 

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