Notes and Editorial Reviews
“He could bring an audience to a deep silence which is a very rare gift... He believed that music was for everybody and was a prayer.” -- John Rutter
The death of Sir John Tavener, one of the most popular British composers of recent times, has touched the hearts and minds of many. This compilation was originally created to celebrate the composer’s upcoming 70th birthday in January 2014. Instead, it is being released as a tribute to his profound musical voice.
‘Essential Tavener’ provides an opportunity to reflect upon Tavener’s unique composing career which featured some surprising and dramatic spiritual and stylistic changes since the early success of his cantata 'The Whale' in 1968. He was best known for his choral masterpieces such as ‘The Lamb’, ‘Funeral Ikos’ and ‘The Veil of the Temple’ – all featured in this collection.
Famously, it was 'Song for Athene', performed at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, which secured an international reputation for John Tavener. Alongside the original choral version of the work which opens this album, he later arranged the work for Nicola Benedetti and this is presented as the closing track on this album.
“Benedetti’s playing matches the intensity of this deeply striking piece as it slowly builds, eventually blending and almost becoming lost in the lush orchestral sound as the music reaches its glowing climax... This is spine-chilling music which listeners will return to often.” -- BBC Music Magazine on Song for Athene
Essential Tavener includes the CD premiere of 'Mother of God, Here I Stand', taken from the 2006 Alfonso Cuaro?n film ‘Children of Men’ soundtrack. The film starred Clive Owen, Michael Caine and Julianne Moore and was nominated for 3 Oscars.
Artists include Nicola Benedetti, Natalie Clein, Stephen Layton, Andrew Litton, The Choir of the Temple Church, The Holst Singers, London Philharmonic Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra.