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  • Choral Ikons
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Choral Ikons

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Audio CD, March 29, 2011
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$11.06 $10.95

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. The Lamb 3:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Magnificat 6:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis: Nunc Dimittis 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. 2 Hymns to the Mother of God: No. 1. A Hymn to the Mother of God 3:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Song for Athene 7:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Annunciation 5:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Parting Gift for Tam Farrow 2:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. As one who has slept 4:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The Tyger 5:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Hymn of the Unwaning Light13:24Album Only
listen11. The Lord's Prayer 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 

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While John Tavener’s name is today known all over the world, it was familiar to concert-goers in Britain from the early success of his cantata The Whale in 1968, a success renewed twenty years later with The Protecting Veil. What brought him to an even wider public, however, was Song for Athene, performed at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997, which had an impact that could ... Read more in Amazon's John Tavener Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 29, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Opus Arte
  • ASIN: B004IJ66N4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #713,402 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
While the cover for this recording depicts Byzantine ikons, the message for the Western faithful soars above the ikonic portrayal of the subjects. These ikons are described as unique for the Orthodox faith, carrying special meanings for the worshiper. Each composition represents a very specific religious symbol or event, exquisitely expressed by Sir John Tavener.

Presented a capella in English by The Choir, a British mixed chorus, each composition bears unique inspiration and message for the listener. Each piece represents a personage or individual in Tavener's faith, which he characterizes as ikons as used in Orthodox religions. To those with other beliefs, the songs easily translate to symbols used in the Western tradition, evoking emotion and contemplation for the listener.

The voices of The Choir blend seamlessly, beckoning the hearer on to each phrase and cadence. In "Unwaning Light" the words are not intelligible, possibly from having the microphone too far away from Michael Burke. It is helpful in all the pieces to have the English text at hand to catch the words.

Poetry by Blake, Shakespeare, and biblical texts convey mystic contemplation, praise, awe, faith, contrition, and sorrow. "Song for Athene" (sung at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales), "...Tam Farrow", and "As One who has Slept" reduce us to sorrow even without knowing the titles or text.

"The Lamb" is beautiful as presented in a church service at any time of year, but is especially welcome during Advent, or for a baptism. "Magnificat" is generally thought of during Advent, also, but the wording of the canticle of Mary is appropriate for worship at any time; the dissonances make it sound more Eastern than several of the other pieces.
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