Tavener (The) Protecting Veil; Wake Up...and Die

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: John Tavener

Label: Sony Classical

Media Format: Cassette

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: ST62821

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
(The) Protecting Veil David Zinman
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Yo-Yo Ma
John Tavener Composer
Wake Up...And Die Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
John Tavener Composer
Yo-Yo Ma
David Zinman

Composer or Director: John Tavener

Genre:

Orchestral

Label: Sony Classical

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: SK62821

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Wake Up...And Die Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
John Tavener Composer
Yo-Yo Ma
David Zinman
(The) Protecting Veil Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
David Zinman
John Tavener Composer
Yo-Yo Ma
This is now the third recording of The Protecting Veil to appear since Steven Isserlis’s Gramophone Award-winning premiere recording on Virgin Classics. It’s hardly surprising – not only because of the work’s immense popularity with the public, but also because it is a superb vehicle, both technically and interpretatively, for any cellist to have in their repertoire.
As expected, Yo-Yo Ma brings us a reading of tremendous stature and technical refinement which is a serious rival to Isserlis’s equally remarkable account. However, whether Isserlis is preferable to Ma or vice versa seems to me irrelevant; what is essential is that the work continues to live and grow through performance, and with a piece such as The Protecting Veil the interpretative scope for the soloist is wide indeed. Ma’s version is quite different from Isserlis’s in many ways. Isserlis takes the opening of the work (“The Protecting Veil” section) slightly faster and certainly with more passionate phrasing than Ma, whose pacing in the corresponding bars is altogether more static, though he still matches Isserlis in intensity. He is complemented by the strings of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under David Zinman, who play more forcefully here than do the LSO under Rozhdestvensky. Tavener’s comment that “the strings should act as a vast resonating chamber for the solo cello” is fully realized and the effect is at times quite awesome. Particularly beautiful is Ma’s reading of “The Dormition of the Mother of God” section.
Wake up … And Die (its curious title is derived from a Randy Newman song called Old Man), for cello solo and orchestral cello section, is a 20-minute work in two parts. The Byzantine, chant-like opening section for solo cello has great beauty and the second half of the work, with cello section harmonically supporting the solo cello with its hypnotic repeating episodes, is quite spell-binding. This is a piece that will quickly find admirers who are familiar with Tavener’s unique sound world.
Steven Isserlis’s reading of The Protecting Veil remains a must, but I do urge anyone considering a second version of this work to investigate this thoroughly recommendable newcomer without delay. The recording is vivid and well balanced.'

Gramophone Print

  • Print Edition

From £67/year

Subscribe

The Gramophone Digital Club

  • Digital Edition
  • Digital Archive
  • Reviews Database
  • Events & Offers

From £90/year

Subscribe

Gramophone Reviews

  • Reviews Database

From £67/year

Subscribe

Gramophone Digital Edition

  • Digital Edition
  • Digital Archive

From £67/year

Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.