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Hyperion Records

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Photograph of Sir John Tavener on the Greek island of Aegina in January 1981 by Peter Phillips.
Track(s) taken from GIMSE404
Recording details: January 1982
Memorial Chapel, Charterhouse, Godalming, United Kingdom
Produced by Steve C Smith & Peter Phillips
Engineered by Bob Auger
Release date: April 2014
Total duration: 21 minutes 55 seconds

'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)

Ode of Saint Andrew of Crete
First line:
My help and protector is my God, and I will proclaim his glory
composer
1981; also called the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete
author of text
from the Great Canon of Saint Andrew, translated by Sister Katherine and Mother Thekla

Other recordings available for download
St George's Chapel Choir Windsor, Christopher Robinson (conductor), Matthew Brook (bass)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Saint Andrew of Crete was born late in the seventh century. His Great Canon, one of the most remarkable spiritual texts of Orthodoxy and one of the most extraordinary poetic achievements of Greek literature, is appointed to be read in its entirety at the morning service of Thursday in the fifth week of Great Lent. Tavener sets only the first Ode of the Canon (a complex liturgical form in the Orthodox Rite), from which the length of the whole may be gauged. The composer has said that the music (written in 1981) was prompted by his feelings of penitence during Lent, which in the Orthodox Church is very austere. The piece is in essence a very slow chromatic descent—a musical prostration. It begins and ends with an irmos. In between are twenty-three troparia (elements, like the irmos, of hymnography proper to the Canon) sung by a single male voice. The choir responds to each troparion alternatively in English, Greek, and Slavonic, with the phrase ‘Have mercy upon me, O God, have mercy upon me’.

from notes by Ivan Moody © 1991


Other albums featuring this work
'Tavener: Sacred Music' (CDH55414)
Tavener: Sacred Music
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55414  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  

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