Magazine article Gramophone

Tavener: The Veil of the Temple

Magazine article Gramophone

Tavener: The Veil of the Temple

Article excerpt

Tavener [GC] [GP] [R]

The Veil of the Temple

Patricia Rozario sop Choir of the Temple Church; Holst Singers; Members of the English Chamber Orchestra / Stephen Layton

Signum [M] [2] SIGCD367 (148' * DDD * T/t) Recorded 2003. From RCA 82876 66154-2 (3/05)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Signum has done us a great service in making available this recording of the reduced version of The Veil of the Temple, originally on RCA. Tavener, after all, regarded it as the summation of his life's work. It is certainly the apex of the interest in 'perennialism', the belief that the same message underlies all the great religions of the earth, that preoccupied the composer during the last decade or so of his life, and thus brings together not only texts from Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism but also musical elements from various traditions.

Thus there are the familiar melodic lines reflecting the influence of Byzantine chant, together with the rhythms of Samavedic and Sufi chant; the sense of contemplative stasis and shining choral sound that was characteristic of Tavener's music from his earliest compositions; and, presiding over all this like an angel, the soaring voice of Patricia Rozario. …

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