Continuing its acclaimed series of 20th-century music performed by I Fiamminghi, Telarc presents a stunning recording of two mystical pieces by John Tavener, the composer of the poignant recessional music for the funeral of Princess Diana.
The music of Tavener is steeped in religion and mysticism. In 1977, Tavener converted to the Russian Orthodox Church, and since then his music has sought to evoke the spiritual world found in the church’s teachings, traditions and rituals.
"I’m driven by a force I can’t explain to re-establish a holy tradition in an age that is totally unsympathetic to it," he said.
The Protecting Veil was written in 1987, as a commission from the BBC for cellist Steven Isserlis. Tavener’s inspiration came from the Feast of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God, originating in Constantinople in the tenth century. The marvelous cello, symbolizing the Mother of God’s unending song, plays constantly throughout the work and creates, according to Tavener, "an attempt to make a lyrical icon in sound, rather that in wood."