Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.

Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.

Click cover art to view larger version
Track(s) taken from CDA67475

Exhortation and Kohima

author of text
author of text

Polyphony, Stephen Layton (conductor)
Recording details: January 2004
Temple Church, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: September 2004
Total duration: 6 minutes 26 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)
While Exhortation and Kohima, commissioned for the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in 2003, projects a serenity hardly to be found in The Second Coming, setting as it does the famous lines from Laurence Binyon’s For the Fallen – ‘They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old’ – it is nevertheless characterized by harmonic unpredictability. The first section, which one might, from the combination of accidentals to be seen, initially assume to be in G minor, in fact cadences exclusively on D major and B flat, which confers upon the music a curiously weightless quality; the second section is in what one might describe as a mode centred on E major/minor, fading into the silence of eternity by means of a descending sequence of held chords.

from notes by Ivan Moody © 2004

Exhortation and Kohima, commandée pour le Festival of Remembrance (Royal Albert Hall, 2003), renvoie une sérénité difficilement perceptible dans The Second Coming – elle met en musique les fameux vers de For the Fallen de Laurence Binyon («Ils ne vieilliront pas, comme on nous laisse vieillir») – et n’en demeure pas moins caractérisée par une imprévisibilité harmonique. La première section, que l’on pourrait d’abord croire, d’après la combinaison des accidents à venir, en sol mineur, fait en réalité une cadence sur les seuls ré majeur et si bémol, d’où une curieuse apesanteur de la musique; la seconde section, sise dans ce que l’on pourrait décrire comme un mode centré sur mi majeur/mineur, s’évanouit dans le silence de l’éternité grâce à une séquence descendante d’accords tenus.

extrait des notes rédigées par Ivan Moody © 2004
Français: Hyperion Records Ltd

Obwohl das Auftragswerk für das Festival of Remembrance in der Royal Albert Hall (London) 2003, Exhortation and Kohima, eine Heiterkeit aufkommen lässt, die kaum in The Second Coming anzutreffen war, ist es doch genauso von einer harmonischen Unberechenbarkeit gekennzeichnet. Exhortation and Kohima beruht auf den berühmten Zeilen aus Laurence Binyons For the Fallen: „Sie dürfen nicht alt werden wie wir, die man hat alt werden lassen“. Den ersten Abschnitt in Taveners Vertonung würde man anhand der anzutreffenden Vorzeichenkombinationen anfänglich wohl als g-Moll deuten. Tavener schließt die Kadenzen hier allerdings ausschließlich in D-Dur und B-Dur, wodurch der Musik eine merkwürdig schwebende Qualität verliehen wird. Die tonale Zugehörigkeit des zweiten Abschnitts lässt sich vielleicht als eine Tendenz nach E-Dur/e-Moll beschreiben, die sich vermittels einer absteigenden Sequenz ausgehaltener Akkorde in die Stille der Ewigkeit auflöst.

aus dem Begleittext von Ivan Moody © 2004
Deutsch: Elke Hockings

Other albums featuring this work

Tavener: Choral Music
This album is not yet available for downloadSACDA67475Super-Audio CD
Waiting for content to load...
Waiting for content to load...