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First line:
How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
1992; SATB soli, SATB divisi (+ organ)
author of text
Gospel according to St Luke

The music of John Tavener (b1934) has featured in Volume III of this series of The English Anthem. Tavener converted to the Orthodox faith in 1977. Mysticism, an attitude of pure contemplation of the Divine (often associated with orthodox religion), finds a superb vehicle for expression in the almost static nature of Tavener's music. This particular work, Annunciation, was commissioned by The Musicians' Benevolent Fund to celebrate the Festival of St Cecilia and was first performed on 25 November 1992 in Westminster Abbey by the joint choirs of Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Cathedral and HM Chapel Royal. The composer has provided the following note with this work:

The text of Annunciation is taken from St Luke's Gospel. The words of the Archangel are sung by the main choir, and should build up to a thunderous, awesome theophany. The response of the Mother of God, 'How shall this be ?', comes from a quartet of solo voices set apart, preferably raised in a gallery. By this I have tried to portray her humility, terror and total acceptance, without which the Incarnation could never have taken place.

from notes by William McVicker © 1995


Tavener: Angels & other choral works
Studio Master: CDA68255Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
The English Anthem, Vol. 5
CDA66758Archive Service


Track 5 on CDA68255 [5'39]
Track 6 on CDA66758 [6'03] Archive Service

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