Tavener: Lament for Jerusalem

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Tavener: Lament for Jerusalem



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Release date:

27th Feb 2006




54 minutes


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Tavener: Lament for Jerusalem

Angharad Gruffydd Jones (soprano) & Peter Crawford (counter-tenor)

Choir and Orchestra of London, Jeremy Summerly


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John Tavener: Lament for Jerusalem

I. Cycle I: Stanza I - By the waters of Babylon (Chorus)

II. Cycle I: Cosmic Lament I - Listen to the reed-flute (Countertenor, Soprano, Chorus)

III. Cycle II: Stanza II - For there, they that had taken us captive (Chorus)

IV. Cycle II: Cosmic Lament II - 'Tis the fire of love (Countertenor, Soprano, Chorus)

V. Cycle III: Stanza III - How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? (Chorus)

VI. Cycle III: Cosmic Lament III - Hail to thee Divine love! (Countertenor, Soprano, Chorus)

VII. Cycle IV: Stanza IV - Let my tongue cleave to my throat (Chorus)

VIII. Cycle IV: Cosmic Lament IV - If my Beloved touched me with His lips (Countertenor, Soprano, Chorus)

IX. Cycle V: Stanza V - Remember, O Lord, the sons of Edom (Chorus)

X. Cycle V: Cosmic Lament V - The beloved is all (Countertenor, Soprano, Chorus)

XI. Cycle VI: Stanza VI - O daughter of Babylon (Chorus)

XII. Cycle VI: Cosmic Lament VI - Love desires this secret should be revealed (Countertenor, Soprano)

XIII. Cycle VII: Stanza VII - Since thou receivest the supplications of sinners (Chorus)

XIV. Cycle VII: Cosmic Lament VII - Dost thou know why the mirror does not reflect (Countertenor, Soprano, Chorus)

BBC Music Magazine

April 2006


“As in much of Tavener's work, ritualistic repetition… is central. …if one accepts that this is a rite, not a dramatic, developing piece of Western symphonic music, the contained beauty can be quite mesmerizing. It's hard to imagine it better performed, or recorded.”

Gramophone Classical Music Guide


“Lament was premiered in Australia in 2003 but this disc features a revised version Tavener prepared for the Choir of London's visit to Jerusalem, Ramallah and Bethlehem in December 2004.
Tavener insists that Lament should be seen less as a statement about the current plight of Jerusalem and its inhabitants than as an elegy for humankind's exile from the soul's home, and seeks to remind us what Judaism, Christianity and Islam have in common. Through the purity of his musical gestures he achieves an intensity that can affect listeners regardless of their own religious convictions.
This revision radically reduces the forces needed, both in numbers and range of instrumentation.
While some weight is lost, along with the variety of sounds (the brass section comprises just three trumpets, the woodwind two flutes, two bassoons and oboe) this is amply compensated for by increased radiance and clarity.
The premiere recording of the full-scale Lament was recorded under Thomas Woods for ABC Classics; and even though it is almost impossible to find in the UK, to a large extent this more transparent version is preferable. The soprano part was originally taken by the marvellous Patricia Rozario but even on this count Summerly's recording need not fear comparison: Angharad Gruffydd Jones has a less distinctive voice but uses it to beautiful effect. Peter Crawford sings well too, less passionate but sweeter in tone than Christopher Josey, the countertenor on the first recording.”

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