Thursday, March 06, 2008

Premier of Sir John Taverner's Requiem available for seven days from BBC Radio 3 here. A review from the Independent is here.
Lynne Walker describes the performance:
Cast in seven movements, and drawing on lines from the Requiem Mass and the Koran, as well as Sufi texts and Hindu words from the Upanishad, it was composed for a cruciform space, here Liverpool's atmospheric Catholic cathedral.

The Requiem, from its ghostly opening, stratospherically high on the cello, to its ethereal ending, shows Tavener's gift for conjuring massive, if skeletal, architectural spans of music from modest material, relying on ritualistic development to substantiate wraiths of sound. Slender it may be on paper, but in performance the score creates an immediate ambience.

Dramatically polarised between movements of, variously, austere rigour, devotional intensity and shimmering beauty, the fourth movement, "Khali's Dance", is a whirlwind of agitated rhythm, punchy vocal writing, and a toccata-like line for the tireless solo cello (Primordial Light). Unamplified throughout, Knight gave a natural, unforced account of the taxing solo-cello part.


Mark McNulty's remarkable photography of the rehearsals and setting is here.

2 comments:

Martha said...

Deirdre, I hope General counts your blog as part of its online education. I'm enjoying 'The Golden Age' thanks to your note, and usually follow up where your posts point. Thank you.

Martha Blacklock GTS '76

Deirdre said...

Thank you so much Martha! Hope you are well and thriving even in the midst of a short Lent. I'll be sure to mention your point in my annual review this Spring. Is not Crux Fidelis deeply moving?

Deirdre