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<<  -- 3 --  Patric Standford    BEAUTIFUL MOMENTS

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The World is by far the most appealing piece on the disc, a 10 minute song to a poem by Kathleen Raine whose 90th birthday it celebrated. It is a fine, economical piece of work, its four verses using the same three elements, stark opening pizzicato chords and a line of long held notes [listen -- track 1, 0:00-0:52] and trills over a quiet pedal [listen -- track 1, 1:47-2:34]. There is also a brief birthday tribute to the Prince of Wales, and a set of short songs to texts by Anna Akhmatova, for which Tavener conjures some exquisite atmospheres, like the Mahler of the poem honouring Boris Pasternak 'endowed with some eternal childhood' [listen -- track 12, 0:00-0:45] and one of the few passionate cries of the whole recital in the poem Death, 'already I stand at the threshold to something' [listen -- track 15, 1:10-1:45]. Whilst all these songs are presented by Tavener's most devoted vocal servant, Rozario seems less than comfortable in them. But both The World and the six short Russian songs show Tavener at his best, which is, of course, at his briefest -- some of the beautiful moments.

Copyright © 13 May 2001 Patric Standford, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, UK

 

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CD INFORMATION - HYPERION CDA67217

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