J. Tavener - Song for Athene / Svyati

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John Tavener studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Sir Lennox Berkeley and David Lumsdaine. In 1968 his dramatic cantata The Whale took it's audience by storm and led to his music being recorded on The Beatles' Apple label. Since that time Tavener has continued to show an originality of concept and an intensely personal idiom, making his a voice quite separate from those of his contemporaries. Over the years, the contemplative side of his nature has led him in more spiritual directions and his commitment to the Russian Orthodox Church, which he joined in 1977, is now evident in all his work. In an interview published in his recent book The Music of Silence, Sir John Tavener wrote. "If you listen to the music of the East, somehow the divine is already there. It is - which is a parallel with the eternal 'I am."' What this means in practical terms is that Tavener, in aiming at writing music suitable to convey the theology and the spirituality of the Orthodox Church, to participate in some way in that "eternal 'I am"', creates music of what one might call "dynamic stasis". In other words, the long phrases of eastern chant (of various traditions), the harmonic transparency and the stillness of his work runs counter to what the composer sees as the more "active" spirit of western sacred music; nevertheless, Tavener's western background inevitably and naturally plays it's part, and the unique sound of the fusion of these two is characteristic of all of the works on this disc.

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J. Tavener - Song for Athene / Svyati.

1) God Is with Us: Christmas Proclamation
2) Song for Athene
3) The Lamb
4) The Tiger
5) Magnificat
6) Nunc Dimittis
7) Funeral Ikos
8) Two Hymns to the Mother of God: Hymn to the Mother of God
9) Two Hymns to the Mother of God: Hymn for the Dormition of the Mother of God
10) Love Bade Me Welcome
11) As One Who Has Slept
12) The Lord's Prayer
13) Svyati 'O Holy One' - Chor of St. John's College Cambridge/Christopher Robinson/Tim Hugh

Song for Athene / Svyati
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Song for Athene / Svyati | J. Tavener