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Track(s) taken from GIMSE404

The Lamb

First line:
Little lamb, who made thee?
author of text

The Tallis Scholars, Sir John Tavener (conductor)
Recording details: January 1984
Merton College Chapel, Oxford, United Kingdom
Produced by Steve C Smith & Peter Phillips
Engineered by Mike Clements
Release date: April 2014
Total duration: 3 minutes 42 seconds

Cover artwork: Photograph of Sir John Tavener on the Greek island of Aegina in January 1981 by Peter Phillips.

Other recordings available for download

St George's Chapel Choir Windsor, Christopher Robinson (conductor)
Westminster Cathedral Choir, James O'Donnell (conductor)
The Cambridge Singers, John Rutter (conductor)
Cappella Nova, Alan Tavener (conductor)
The King's Singers
Tenebrae, Nigel Short (conductor)
Tenebrae, Nigel Short (conductor)
Armonico Consort, Christopher Monks (conductor)
The Rodolfus Choir, Ralph Allwood (conductor)
Jesus College Choir Cambridge, Mark Williams (conductor)
Voces 8
The Choir of the Chapel Royal, Huw Williams (conductor)


'Perhaps the time is right for the musical establishment (and the record industry) to begin to recognize Tavener as one of our most gifted and important composers of choral music. I hope so, for a talent so prodigious and special as his appears all too infrequently in today’s climate of intellectually orientated creativity … Ikon of Light dates from 1984, and is arguably one of his most sublime creations … The Tallis Scholars have a very special affinity and affection for Tavener’s music (he has written a number of works with them in mind) and this is evident from their committed performance of this penetrating and visionary work … superbly recorded in the Gimell tradition … a moving and richly rewarding programme that deserves to win many friends' (Gramophone)

‘Ikon of Light comes steeped in the traditional soundscape of Orthodox worship and is timeless in its musical response to the idea of an icon opening a window on eternity. It was commissioned by The Tallis Scholars whose atmospheric early recording is hard to beat’ (BBC Music Magazine)
The Lamb, a short carol to the famous poem by William Blake, was composed in a rush of inspiration and sent immediately to the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, for inclusion in the annual service of Nine Lessons and Carols, as well as to Martin Neary, the director at the time of the Choir of Winchester Cathedral, who gave the first performance on 22 December 1982. The music is built on a simple melodic idea and its inversion; the simple but ambiguous chord (in ascending order, the notes A, C, G, B), symbolizing for the composer the simultaneity of joy and sorrow, would appear again and again in his later music.

from notes by Ivan Moody © 2014

Tavener composa The Lamb, un court carol d’après le célèbre poème de William Blake, dans une bouffée d’inspiration. Il l’envoya sans attendre au chœur de King’s College (Cambridge), pour qu’il fût intégré dans le service annuel de Nine Lessons and Carols; il l’adressa aussi à Martin Neary, alors directeur du chœur de la cathédrale de Winchester, qui le créa le 22 décembre 1982. La musique repose sur une idée mélodique simple et son renversement: l’accord simple, mais ambigu (les notes la, ut, sol, si en ordre ascendant), ne cessera de réapparaître chez Tavener, pour qui il symbolise la simultanéité de la joie et de la peine.

extrait des notes rédigées par Ivan Moody © 2014
Français: Gimell

Tavener geistesblitzartig komponierte The Lamb, ein kurzes Weihnachtslied auf das berühmte Gedicht von William Blake, und unverzüglich dem Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, für dessen berühmtes „Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols“ (ein alljährlich am 24. Dezember stattfindender Weihnachtsgottesdienst mit Weihnachtsliedern und Lesungen, der traditionell von der BBC international ausgestrahlt wird, Anm.d.Ü.) zuschickte; außerdem ließ er das Werk Martin Neary zukommen, der zu dem Zeitpunkt Leiter des Choir of Winchester Cathedral war und der es erstmals am 22. Dezember 1982 aufführte. Der Musik liegt eine schlichte melodische Idee sowie deren Umkehrung zugrunde; der einfache, jedoch mehrdeutige Akkord (bestehend, in aufsteigender Reihenfolge, aus den Tönen A, C, G und H), der für den Komponisten die Gleichzeitigkeit von Freude und Trauer symbolisierte, sollte in seinen späteren Werken immer wieder auftauchen.

aus dem Begleittext von Ivan Moody © 2014
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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Naked Byrd, Vol. 2
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The Cambridge Singers Christmas Album
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