Tavener Conducts Tavener

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: John Tavener, Ivan Moody

Genre:

Vocal

Label: Linn

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: CKD539

CKD539. Tavener Conducts Tavener

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Sunrise in Your Heart Alan Tavener
John Tavener Composer
Capella Nova
The Founder's Prayer Capella Nova
Alan Tavener
John Tavener Composer
Take him earth for cherishing Alan Tavener
John Tavener Composer
Capella Nova
A New Commandment John Tavener Composer
Capella Nova
Alan Tavener
A Cradle Song Capella Nova
Alan Tavener
John Tavener Composer
Ikon of the Nativity John Tavener Composer
Alan Tavener
Capella Nova
They are all gone into the world of night Capella Nova
John Tavener Composer
Alan Tavener
O that we were there! Alan Tavener
Capella Nova
John Tavener Composer
Fall and Resurrection Alan Tavener
John Tavener Composer
Capella Nova
A Buddhist Miniature Alan Tavener
John Tavener Composer
Capella Nova
O isplendor Alan Tavener
Ivan Moody Composer
Capella Nova
O, Do Not Move John Tavener Composer
Capella Nova
Alan Tavener
Nunc dimittis Alan Tavener
John Tavener Composer
Capella Nova
(The) Lamb, 'Little Lamb, who made thee?' Alan Tavener
Capella Nova
John Tavener Composer
Two Hadiths John Tavener Composer
Capella Nova
Alan Tavener
The title of Cappella Nova’s latest recording is neat, but also confusing. ‘Tavener Conducts Tavener’ is not, as glance might suggest, a belated release of the British composer directing his own music. It is instead a play on the name of the ensemble’s own conductor, Alan Tavener – the composer’s third cousin, and the first Tavener of the disc. Family connections aside, do we really need another collage recording of John Tavener’s choral music – already so dominant a presence in so slim a slice of the contemporary classical market? In this case, yes.

The Scottish ensemble have a unique claim to champion works they themselves commissioned and premiered, including the 1988 epic Resurrection (whose Paradise Choir music bookends the disc, and which has yet to receive a full recording), A Buddhist Miniature and Ikon of the Nativity, and sister-ensemble Canty’s Two Hadiths. In filling out the programme, Alan Tavener wisely makes his choices from the margins of Tavener’s large output, choosing little-known and still-less-recorded motets including Take him, earth, for cherishing – the composer at his most darkly angular – and They are all gone out into the world of light to spice the inevitable The Lamb and familiar Cradle Song.

Recorded in the resonant acoustic of Stirling’s Church of the Holy Rude, Capella Nova’s comparatively small forces come up rich and gloriously misty round the edges, while still achieving enough clarity to pull off the precision-work of The Lamb and Two Hadiths; the bray harp’s glissandos in the latter scatter notes like bright beads, catching the ear among so much choral homophony.

But while the ensemble’s lower voices are carefully blended, there’s a stridency to the sopranos that makes for some harsh moments, particularly jarring in the exposed upper-voices writing of O that we were there!. This isn’t the best Tavener-singing out there (for that you’re still looking at The Sixteen, The Tallis Scholars and the Holst Singers); but, as an addition to the composer’s recorded catalogue, ‘Tavener Conducts Tavener’ is valuable.

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