John Tavener's music achieved worldwide recognition when his Song for Athene was performed at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. This followed on from the success of his stunning cello concerto The Protecting Veil, for which he received the 1992 Gramophone Award.
Melvyn Bragg interviews Tavener, asking him about his early influences, his life in 1960s 'swinging' London, his religious inspiration and his current idyllic lifestyle at home with his family in Greece.
Disenchanted with western philosophy, Tavener moved from the Presbyterian church and the Church of England ultimately to Russian Orthodoxy in 1977, and now describes his composing as music which comes through him, not from him. For Tavener, music is a prayer.
This DVD presentation is based on the acclaimed LWT South Bank Show, and has been augmented to include performances featuring Patricia Rozario, Stephen Varcoe and Renato Ripo.
Song for Athene
'Spit in my Face'
from Three Holy Sonnets of John Donne
sung by Stephen Varcoe
The Protecting Veil (1st movement)
cello solo by Renato Ripo
Akathist of Thanksgiving
'The Bless Duet' from Mary of Egypt
sung by Patricia Rozario and Stephen Varcoe
As One Who Has Slept
conducted by John Tavener
sung by Patricia Rozario
"The documentary-style production is clear, helpful, well made and informative...it remains an informative introduction to the composer's life and work and is a tribute to what can be achieved in careful and thoughtful television production." - Julie Williams, Music Web International
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