Shopping Cart

0 Items in Cart
John Tavener

John Tavener

John Tavener, who passed away in 2013, was one of the best known and popular composers of the twentieth century. He was described as 'among the very best creative talents of his generation' by The Times.



Tavener Conducts Tavener
Tavener Conducts Tavener
Includes works from across the choir's twenty five year collaboration with Sir John Tavener. 

CKD 539  

Tavener: Ypakoe
Tavener: Ypakoe
Celebrating the music of John Tavener, one of the best known and popular composers of his generation 

CKD 492  

Carmina Celtica
Carmina Celtica
World-premiere recordings of medieval and contemporary spritual songs. 

CKD 378  

Piano Icons For The 21st Century
Piano Icons For The 21st Century
An exceptionally performed collection of contemporary piano works including the premiere of 'Ypakoë' 

BKD 111  

The Golden Section
The Golden Section
Works by John Tavener, John White, Jim Parker, Michael Nyman, William Mathias & James Macmillan 

CKD 092  

Tavener: Tears Of The Angels
Tavener: Tears Of The Angels
Gramophone named this world premiere Tavener recording a 'record of the year'. You can see why... 

BKD 085  

John Tavener 

John Tavener was born in 1944. His musical education - at Highgate School and then with Lennox Berkeley at the Royal Academy of Music - took place during the fervour of modernism, a movement of which he felt an instinctive and increasing mistrust. The first work that brought him to widespread attention, The Whale (1966), was premiered in 1968 by the London Sinfonietta at their inaugural concert and released - following a chance meeting with John Lennon - on the Beatles' Apple label.

Although many of Tavener's early works were inspired by the mystical aspects of Roman Catholicism, he came to believe that the western Christian church was a corrupted and corrupting force, and in 1977 he was received into the Orthodox church. There followed a slew of works heavily influenced by Orthodox liturgical texts, Russian and Greek writers and themes, and the Orthodox tone systems. During this period, Tavener largely cut himself off from the contemporary music scene, withdrawing into himself and his faith in the hope of achieving a clarity worthy of the subjects of his attention.

 

Throughout his life Tavener suffered from the effects of Marfan syndrome, which led to extreme bouts of ill health in the 1970s, early 1990s and mid-2000s. In between he continued to write pieces strongly influenced by Orthodoxy and drawing on other literature. Though he remained an Orthodox Christian, the universalist belief that all organized religions are simply different interpretations of the same underlying forces came to inform most of the works of his later years. Emergency heart surgery in Switzerland, followed by many months in intensive care after the completion of Towards Silence in 2007, halted his progress for a time, as well as causing him to turn away somewhat from spiritual themes. More recently, he had returned to his love of Tolstoy and Mozart, and he continued to be deeply influenced by Hindu metaphysical thought.

 

At the time of his death, in 2013, Tavener had been working on Flood of Beauty (Saundarya Lahari), a setting of a Sanskrit poem concerning the composer's perennial theme of the Eternal Feminine; and Requiem Fragments, concerning another, that of suffering and existence. Both were premiered posthumously, in 2014.

 

The music of John Tavener is published by Chester Music Ltd.

Choir & Organ
4 Stars
'The vocal blend is rich and warm...a welcome expansion to Tavener's ever-growing discography.'
more >>

Audiophile Audition
4 Stars
'There are some gorgeous sounds and excellent performances here...a moving and very apt tribute disc to a complex and meaningful composer.'
more >>

BBC Music Magazine
4 Stars
'All this can be very challenging to sing, and Cappella Nova not only manage to get the notes, but surmount them with lyrical grace...'
more >>

Gramophone
'Cappella Nova's comparatively small forces come up rich and gloriously misty round the edges, while still achieving enough clarity to pull off the precision-work of The Lamb and Two Hadiths.'
more >>

WQXR
Q2 Music Album of the Week: ''Tavener Conducts Tavener' finds the Holy and Supernatural in the human voice.'
more >>

All About Jazz
'Also included is a shimmering performances of "The Lamb" and "A Cradle Song"...this is an exceptional recital of Tavener music.'
more >>

Financial Times
'There are some welcome first recordings...each gleaming with Tavener's simple sanctity.'
more >>

The Scotsman
4 Stars
'There are, of course, favourites such as The Lamb, but also a delightful range of compositions showing Tavener in more varied light.'
more >>