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Tavener: The Protecting Veil; Thrinos / Britten: Third Suite for Cello, op. 87 [Import]

John Tavener , Benjamin Britten , Gennady Rozhdestvensky , London Symphony Orchestra , Steven Isserlis Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Performer: Steven Isserlis
  • Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Gennady Rozhdestvensky
  • Composer: John Tavener, Benjamin Britten
  • Audio CD (February 27, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Virgin Classics
  • ASIN: B000002SRM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,348 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Protectig Veil: The Protecting Veil
2. The Protectig Veil: The Nativity Of The Mother Of God
3. The Protectig Veil: Annunciation
4. The Incarnation
5. The Lament Of The Mother Of God At The Cross
6. The Resurrection
7. The Dormition
8. The Protecting Veil
9. Third Ste, Op.87: Intro: Lento
10. Third Ste, Op.87: Marcia: Allegro
11. Third Ste, Op.87: Canto: Con Moto
12. Third Ste, Op.87: Dialogo: Allegretto
13. Third Ste, Op.87: Fuga: Andante Espressivo
14. Third Ste, Op.87: Moto Perpetuo: Presto
15. Third Ste, Op.87: Passacaglia: Lento Solenne
16. Third Ste, Op.87: Mournful Song (Under The Little Apple Tree): Molto Semplice
17. Third Ste, Op.87: Autumn: Vivace
18. Third Ste, Op.87: Street Song (The Grey Eagle): Peasante
19. Third Ste, Op.87: Grant Repose Together With The Saints: Lento
20. Thrinos - Steven Isserlis

Customer Reviews

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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Classic Premiere Recording July 20, 2001
Format:Audio CD
This was the first recording of John Tavener's phenomenally successful "Protecting Veil," which made him something of a household name (once again in his career) through the world premiere at the BBC Proms, 1989. The work has provoked both acclaim and controversy amongst contemporary composers and music networks, but it remains one of the prime choices of all Tavener devotees, as well as attracting him new listeners year by year as they discover through it a remarkably expressive yet calm sound world.
At the time he wrote it, Tavener had been an Orthodox Convert for barely a decade. His choral music of the time shows that he had absorbed the ethos of Russian and Greek Orthodox music and blended it with certain traits of his earlier, modernist leanings (particularly fundamental traits of serial composition, such as note-rows in inversion and retrograde). He also appeared determined at the time that his music would only consist of vocal writing - hence it took a telephone call from Steven Isserlis, virtuosic 'cellist and lover of Russian music, to convince Tavener to try writing something for instruments rather than voices. Isserlis expected a concerto of some description; what he got was a 40-minute meditation for 'cello and string orchestra in which his solo part is unceasing, representing as it does the Voice of the Mother of God. With the orchestra as an atmospheric backdrop, the 'cello solo winds its way through various chants and melodies pertaining to the Orthodox Feast of the Protecting Veil, which commemorates a vision of the Mother of God during an ancient war - a vision that mysteriously enabled an otherwise outmatched army to defeat their enemy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impeccable playing and phrasing November 20, 2013
Format:Audio CD
The Protecting Veil was at first a suggestion from cellist Steven Isserlis, subsequently commissioned by the BBC for the 1989 Proms season. Steven Isserlis gave the premiere performance. I'm always very grateful to have a recording by the performer who gave the premier performance of a work. While there have been a few other recordings of The Protecting Veil, this one performed by Steven Isserlis has remained my favourite recording.

The Protecting Veil, which is essentially a 40 minute cello concerto, includes eight sections, each based on an "icon" in the life of the Virgin Mary:
1. The Protecting Veil
2. The Nativity of the Mother of God
3. The Annunciation
4. The Incarnation
5. The Lament of the Mother of God at the Cross
6. The Resurrection
7. The Dormition
8. The Protecting Veil

The string orchestra provides an atmospheric accompaniment against which the cello "sings" various chants and melodies of the Orthodox Feast of the Protecting Veil, often at the upper register of the cello. Isserlis plays with effortless ease. His playing and phrasing are impeccable, as usual. With such accomplished, passionate playing, it is hard to imagine that this recording will be surpassed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mysticism Meets Minimalism January 28, 2014
Format:Audio CD
An earlier commentator has complained about 'lava lamp music'. Obviously he has no idea of what is happening in Tavener's work! Minimalism is a modern movement away from the over-embellished music of past centuries: it simplifies the 'melodic line', thus making it all the more emphatic and affective (emotionally exciting).
Tavener's work is the logical conclusion of modern musical tendencies over the last fifty years. Listeners should note how Tavener extends the developments in Britten's later pieces, e.g. the cello symphony (which should be heard in conjunction with The Protecting Veil.)
Finally, T's minimalism merges ideally with his mysticism - if there is a God, then this is the 'soundtrack'!
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