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<<  -- 2 --  Ron Bierman    SWEET ECSTASY


The Bridegroom, at over seventeen minutes, is the longest work in the program. Tavener wrote it for Anonymous 4 and the Chilingirian and this is its premier recording. It is based on the parable of wise and foolish virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). The string quartet represents Christ the bridegroom and the female voices those who long to be saved by merging with Him. The composer says, 'The music should be almost unbearable in its ecstatic light.' The ethereal beauty characteristic of Anonymous 4 serves him well [listen -- track 11, 2:28-3:34].

Although Tavener and the program notes speak of ecstasy, it is of a most sweet and gentle nature. Rhythms and dynamic changes are subtle and will make some yearn for more variety. Susceptible listeners however will become lost in the sound and perhaps feel they are hearing emanations from a purer, better world. Recommended for those who like Tavener or Anonymous 4. For those new to the composer, Yo-Yo Ma's recording of The Protective Veil might be a better place to start.

Copyright © 20 August 2003 Ron Bierman, San Diego, USA


Darkness into Light : Medieval & modern - a mystical journey

HMU 907274 Stereo 64'13" 2002 harmonia mundi usa

Anonymous 4: Marsha Genensky, Susan Hellauer, Jacqueline Horner, Johanna Maria Rose; Chilingirian Quartet: Levon Chilingirian, violin; Charles Sewart, violin; Asdis Valdimarsdottir, viola; Philip De Groote, cello

O lux beata trinitas; Jube domine / In principio; John Tavener: Come and do Your will in me; Christe qui lux es; Lectio ysaye prophete / Surge illuminare; John Tavener: As one who has slept; Medie noctis tempus est; Vidi civitatem; John Tavener: The Lord's Prayer; Quinque prudentes virgines; John Tavener: The Bridegroom (world première recording); Inventor rutili



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