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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: 17 minutes 56 seconds

'Polyphony fields 25 singers for this project and for this repertory, I think you've got about a good a choir as you could possibly get. Stephen Layton directs with clarity and sensitivity. In fact, his expert pacing is the main reason for this recording's success. This is one of Layton's best CDs yet, and that's saying something' (BBC Radio 3 CD Review)

'The brilliant, white, celestial light Tavener so effectively evoked earlier in the decade had a chill core. Here—if you will bear with the synaesthesiac overtones—gold seeps in, along with the deep blue traditionally associated with portraits of the Virgin' (Gramophone)

'Stephen Layton's heartfelt commitment to the composer's music brings forth shimmering performances from his excellent choir Polyphony. If you enjoy radiant choral writing and singing, then this is the disc for you' (Choir & Organ)

'there's no doubt about the quality of the performances. Tavener finds devoted interpreters in Polyphony who produce some of the most beautiful choral singing you could ever hope to hear. And all is captured in a glowing recording' (BBC Music Magazine)

'for the Tavener devotee, among whose number I include myself, this disc is an essential survey of the composer's recent musical concerns, and contains some splendid new music' (International Record Review)

'Stephen Layton's superb choir, Polyphony, does wonders in bringing variety to a sequence of John Tavener's works for small chorus that might easily have seemed too slow and meditative' (The Guardian)

'The power of Tavener at his best is fully unlocked by Polyphony and Stephen Layton, whose sensitivity to the sacred and human in his music communicates in every work on this disc' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Polyphony's singing is immaculate, captured in the resonant acoustic of the Temple Church in glorious recorded sound. It's a hard man who would not be moved by this disc' (Fanfare, USA)

'performed with conviction by Stephen Layton's Polyphony. His professional choir manages to convey the hypnotic serenity at the heart of Tavener's latest works, while packing a punch in their more dramatic moments, a strategy supported by Hyperion's A-grade recorded sound' (Music Week)

Shûnya
composer

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Shûnya takes for its text three Sanskrit words, meaning ‘void’ and ‘Hail, Infinite Light’, in a majestically static fashion deliberately recalling Buddhist ritual. There are two choirs, one a mixed ensemble and the other of a few bass voices – who sing the word ‘shûnya’ (‘void’) throughout – accompanied by the resonant booming of a Tibetan temple bowl. The dissonant organ pedal of The Second Coming (and, going even further back, the constant E flat triad of Celtic Requiem) is recalled here, but transmuted into a pure low C, bathed in the sonic halo of the temple bowl, an ecstatic evocation of eternity.

from notes by Ivan Moody © 2004

Other albums featuring this work
'Tavener: Choral Music' (SACDA67475)
Tavener: Choral Music
Buy by post £10.50 This album is not yet available for download SACDA67475  Super-Audio CD  
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