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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67475
Recording details: January 2004
Temple Church, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: September 2004
Total duration: 13 minutes 16 seconds

Schuon Hymnen
composer
author of text
author of text
Tradition Sufi Salutation
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Frithjof Schuon (1907–1998) was a metaphysician, and also a Sufi sheikh. As well as an extensive body of writings expounding his religious views, he left the verses set by Tavener in Schuon Hymnen, encapsulating his vision of the Virgin as a ‘primordial and universal woman’. Tavener has reinforced what he describes as the ‘sacral erotic nature’ of Schuon’s words by adding the phrase ‘Nigra sum sed formosa’ (‘I am black but comely’) from the Song of Songs, and the Arabic salutation ‘May peace and blessings be upon thee, Mary’. The work is characterized by a verse-and-refrain structure: Tavener repeats Schuon’s Biblical quotation, ‘Mit der Sonne nur bekleidet’ (‘Clothed with the sun alone’), obsessively throughout the course of the work, with the direction ‘like a repeated mantra’, interspersing it with luminous, floating chordal sections.

from notes by Ivan Moody © 2004

Other albums featuring this work
'Taverner: Choral Music' (SACDA67475)
Taverner: Choral Music
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