JOHN TAVENER (1944-2013): Missa Wellensis, Preces and Responses (both World Premiere Recordings), The Lord’s Prayer, Love bade me welcome, Psalm 121, Magnificat and Nunc dimittis “Collegium Regale”, Song for Athene, Prayer for the healing of the sick, They are all gone into the world of light.

Catalogue Number: 09S064

Label: Signum

Reference: SIGCD442

Format: CD

Price: $17.98

Description: The stately Missa Wellensis sets the Mass in tribute to Tomás Luis de Victoria, a source of inspiration to Tavener throughout his career; the work contains a quotation from the Renaissance composer. A very late work in Tavener's output, it is typical of the concentration and relative austerity, marked by religious fervour, of the output of his final years. The music is majestic, imposing and intense, some way from the comforting and comfortable opulence of the works that made Tavener famous. The beautiful settings of The Lord's Prayer, the Orthodox chant-inflected George Herbert setting and Psalm, the latter a magnificent edifice grounded on a drone, and the Magnificat, also richly chordal and inflected by Byzantine choral traditions, are fine examples of his earlier style. The Preces and Responses, like the Mass a late commission for Wells Cathedral, are simple professions of devotion, with gently chromatic harmonic progressions in the choir's responses. The poignantly lovely in memoriam Song for Athene, made famous by its inclusion in the funeral service of Princess Diana, is included here in memory of the composer, and the 2011 They are all gone into a world of light, simple, varied repeating phrases, spare yet eloquent, acts as a final benediction to this tribute to Tavener. Texts included. Wells Cathedral Choir; Matthew Owens.

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