Related Reviews
Choir & Organ
4 Stars
'The vocal blend is rich and warm...a welcome expansion to Tavener's ever-growing discography.'
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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...'
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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.'
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WQXR
Q2 Music Album of the Week: ''Tavener Conducts Tavener' finds the Holy and Supernatural in the human voice.'
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All About Jazz
'Also included is a shimmering performances of "The Lamb" and "A Cradle Song"...this is an exceptional recital of Tavener music.'
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Financial Times
'There are some welcome first recordings...each gleaming with Tavener's simple sanctity.'
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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.'
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Cappella Nova - Tavener Conducts Tavener - Audiophile Audition


23 February 2016
Audiophile Audition
Stephen Ritter
4 Stars

A Tavener tribute of substance and compelling emotion.

Cappella Nova has a long association with the music of the late John Tavener (2013), and so this tribute album is bookended with music from the very first composition they commissioned from him, Resurrection. Conductor Alan Tavener is a relation, but not close, though he seems to have an innate understanding of this music that only a close relative could! Cappella sings everything here with endearment and understanding.

In fact this is as fine a compilation of Tavener's music as I have heard, and there are many. He was an uneven composer; at his best, as in many of the smaller choral works, The Protecting Veil, and in my opinion his finest piece, The Veil of the Temple, his music approached the sublime. At the other end it often felt as if he were on autopilot, or at best unsure of his direction. Spiritually towards the end of his life this same dilemma plagued him, though he professed to remain an Orthodox Christian.

His influence however, is not in doubt. Just listening to the close harmonies, brilliant voicings and ethereal tonal structures, one cannot doubt that so many currently composers like Eric Whitacre and others would never have been without Tavener. There are some gorgeous sounds and excellent performances here, and this well-filled disc is unlikely to disappoint anyone. A moving and very apt tribute disc to a complex and meaningful composer. As an addition, there is a piece by one of Tavener's best students, Ivan Moody. The influences should be obvious, but as in Moody's other music, he is definitely his own man.


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