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Tavener: Fall and Resurrection

3.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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(Apr 11, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews

Sir John Tavener (b. 1944) Fall and Resurrection . Patricia Rozario - soprano . Michael Chance - counter-tenor . Martyn Hill - psaltis . Stephen Richardson - bass . BBC Singers . Adrian Peacock - Voice of God/Christ/Devil . John Scott - Chorus Master . St Paul's Cathedral Choir . City of London Sinfonia Fall and Resurrection tries to encompass, in brief glimpses, the events which have taken place since the beginning of time, and before time.

Special Features

  • Contains a bonus interview with John Tavener

Product Details

  • Format: Classical, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Etcetera
  • DVD Release Date: April 11, 2000
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305826994
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #719,606 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
John Tavener (b. 1944) is one of the most performed and recorded contemporary composers. "The Lamb" and "Song for Athene" have become choral standards. His current style (developing since his conversion to the Orthodox Church) is austere yet accessible, and aspires to a spirituality which is very much in tune with that of popular culture. There is a fine line between simple and simplistic, however, and too often in "Fall and Resurrection" Tavener fails to negotiate the difference.
In the words of the composer, "Fall and Resurrection" tries to "encompass, in brief glimpses, the events which have taken place since the beginning of time." Lasting just under an hour, and scored for soloists, choirs, and orchestra, "Fall and Resurrection" gives us snapshots of Biblical events, often reduced to single words of sung text. In effect, these texts become symbols ("Apple.") which we must surround with our own subtexts and associations, because the composer provides very few.
Musically, there are moments of beauty--such as Adam's flute solo which becomes, with the arrival of Eve, a duet--and banality (representing Chaos with aleatoric flutterings betrays a real lack of invention). All the trademarks of Tavener's style are here--parallel major/minor phrases, lugubrious choral writing, and a striving for transcendence.
The live recording was made in cavernous St.Paul's Cathedral, and the performances uniformly excellent. There are occasional lighting and spatial effects which amplify the drama of the music. The sound on my VHS copy was terrible. Often soft passages were completely obscured by background hiss.
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Format: DVD
TANTALIZING TAVENER!!!!!

"This could be called Tavener's Creation, an oratorio-like account of the Biblical tale beginning with the representation of primordial Chaos. Tavener takes the story much further than Haydn....But like Haydn's, this is a warmly mature work, epitomizing it's composer's style and personality...Tavener's richly exotic textures are beautifully evoked by Hickox". GRAMOPHONE (Hickox passed away a week ago and will be greatly missed by the musical world).

'Fall and Resurrection' tries to encompass, in brief glimpses, the events which have taken place since the beginning of time, and before time. Therefore, if the listener does not approach this from a viewpoint that this is 'program music' in the truest sense of the word, much like the tone poems of Richard Strauss, then there can not be any understanding OR enjoyment from this music!

It would be most helpful if the listener experienced the CD before the DVD, because I found that one has to focus completely on the music, itself, without the distraction of looking at the instruments, the conductor, the soloist and the captions. However, after listening to the CD (maybe a couple of times), the DVD is very enjoyable because it shows you where all those very interesting sounds are coming from.

This DVD is excellent: good clear picture and sound and great shots of the soloists and conductor and choirs. The sounds that John Tavener makes with the varied tone qualities of the instruments AND the voices!!!Marvelous and creative writing!!! The voice of Michael Chance as he sails up and down on quarter-tones is perfection.

Don't buy this if you can't enjoy something this 'far-out' , but I have found that Tavener's music is an acquired taste, and I don't want to spend the rest of my listening years hearing only one kind of music!!!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
GRAMOPHONE: "THIS WORK COULD BE CALLED TAVENER'S CREATION, AN ORATORIO-LIKE ACCOUNT OF THE BIBLICAL TALE BEGINNING WITH THE REPRESENTATION OF PRIMORIDAL CHAOS....Tavener takes the story much further than Haydn...But like Haydn's this is a warmly mature work,epitomizing it's composer's style and personality...Tavener's richly exotic textures are beautifully evoked by Hickox and his forces...."

Fall and Resurrection tries to encompass, in brief glimpses, the events which have taken place since the beginning of time, and before time. The listener would do well to approach this work as if it were 'program music', similar to the the 'tone poems' of Richard Strauss.

It would also be helpful to hear the CD a few times before watching the DVD, because the music, itself, demands full attention, and that is impossible when watching the DVD since one tends to focus on the instruments, the conductor, the soloists and the choir. If you have some knowledge of the music beforehand, the DVD is quite interesting.

The DVD is excellent: good clear picture and sound and great shots of the soloists, conductor and choir. Tavener has indeed created many and varied sounds by using some most unusual instruments as well as composing some unique vocal effects and the singers are working hard to sing them. Michael Chance does a fabulous job of sailing up and down in quarter-tones.

This is Tavener at his best!!!!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is the first complete work of Tavener's I have heard other than a few brief excerpts from some choral works. I approached this work with heady anticipation after learning that Tavener is currently the world's most performed contemporary classical composer. Let me get straight to the point: the piece is boring, tedious, insipid, pretentious and often ridiculous (I involuntarily burst out laughing at the "Apple" section with its absurd and tortured staccato glottal utterances). Tavener's success is deeply perplexing to me (not to mention, disturbing) as he seems to lack both imagination and craft, ingredients I previously thought were necessary for success as a composer.
As far as imagination goes, what little thematic material that makes up this sprawling 75 minute extravaganza is frightfully banal. Even a composer that I detest, Andrew Lloyd Webber, has way more melodic fluency than this guy. The presenter on the DVD solemnly informs us of how much the self imposed mathematical complexities of the "Chaos" section so taxed poor Mr. Tavener that it took him a month to write each page (!) The result? Five minutes of seemingly random quasi-aleatoric noodling by the entire orchestra that tries one's patience almost as much one's credulity that it took him so long to write it. What little imagination that is in evidence seems to be primarily in the non-musical arena: theatricality i.e. lighting, the ersatz medieval aesthetic and the choice of the inspirational setting of St.Paul's Cathedral in London. A few musical moments did catch my ear in the "Logos" section but these few morsels of interest failed to buoy the bloated and flaccid corpse that is the remainder of this work.
As for craft, there is precious little of that too.
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