John Tavener

Co-commissioned by Chanticleer, the Handel & Haydn Society of Boston and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Lamentations and Praises is a major 70-minute work, a liturgical drama written expressly for the 12 voices of Chanticleer and an unusual combination of instruments and electronics: flute, bass trombone, string quintet, tape, and a percussion section comprised of a Byzantine monastery bell, Tibetan temple bowl, tam-tam, simantron (a large wooden sounding-board struck with a hammer), tubular bells and timpani. The text, drawn from the service of Holy Friday, expresses the joy-sorrow of the Orthodox Christian conception of death and resurrection.

It is not so much a musical composition as a spiritual journey into a world of profound and prayerful meditation. To my ears, it’s Tavener’s finest work to date, arguably his masterpiece.

–John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune


Village Wedding


Darkness into Light: The Bridegroom & other works. Composer: John Tavener. Vocalists: Anonymous 4 (Ruth Cunningham, Marsha Genensky, Susan Hellauer, and Johanna Rose). Musicians: The Chilingirian Quartet (Levon Chilingirian, Stephen Orton, Ronald Birks, and Susie Meszaros). Harmonia Mundi (2009). Track list below. Enjoy the music!

[0:00] Vespers hymn: O lux beata trinitas
[2:17] Jube domine/Lection: In principio erat verbum
[6:39] Come and do Your will in me (arr. Tavener, 1997, fr. Hymn of Entry and Orthodox Liturgy)
[14:46] Compline hymn: Christe qui lux es et dies
[17:45] Lectio Ysaye prophete/Lection: Surge illuminare Jerusalem
[20:16] As one who has slept (Tavener, 1996)
[25:15] Nocturn hymn: Medie noctis tempus est
[28:11] Lection: Vidi civitatem
[33:22] The Lord’s Prayer
[37:20] The Bridegroom (Tavener, 1999)
[55:00] Hymn for the New Light: Inventor rutili