Tavener: Tears Of The Angels - Scottish Ensemble - Classic CD

Death has been John Tavener's constant muse. Usually the loss of someone close inspires a new piece; he wrote ...Depart in Peace following the death of his father, and My Gaze Is Ever Upon You in memory of a friend. Sometimes though, as with Innocence (composed in 1995), his threnody for the countless and often nameless victims of oppression, he addresses the grief provoked by war and tyranny.

Tears of the Angels, composed in the same year as Innocence, was prompted by the Balkan conflict. The piece unfolds from a weeping melody for solo violin, borne up by gentle chords, constantly reaching up into the upper harmonics, searching vainly for some meaning and consolation until the closing hymn.

Hope, comfort, even joy, is found in the "gazes" for violin and pre-recorded violin and bass drone. The moods of the sixteen episodes are varied, with allusions ranging from Vivaldi to middle Eastern music.

Eastern elements are also prominent in ...Depart In Peace, a glittering setting in Greek of the Nunc Dimittis featuring a superb performance by Patricia Rozario and more outstanding playing by Cleo Gould.

Classic CD
01 October 1998