Various Artists

The Essential John Tavener on Naxos

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Naxos' albums of John Tavener's music were released between 1999 and 2008, and this 2014 box set brings five titles together, including The Protecting Veil, Piano Music, Ex Maria Virgine, Lament for Jerusalem, and Song for Athene. (His music was also sampled on a two-disc compilation, John Tavener: A Portrait, which was released in 2004). Choral music dominates this set, as it did Tavener's output, and such favorites as The Lamb, The Tyger, Two Hymns to the Mother of God, Funeral Ikos, and Song for Athene (which was performed at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales) are included. One of Tavener's most admired compositions was The Protecting Veil, for cello and string orchestra, and Maria Kliegel's performance with the Ulster Orchestra, under Takuo Yuasa, holds its own in competition with other popular recordings. Somewhat less known are Tavener's piano pieces, which Ralph van Raat presented on his 2008 album, which includes works written between 1977 and 2003. While these CDs may not be the most famous recordings of Tavener's music, they cover important aspects of his work and may be regarded as key contributions to the catalog.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 1:55
2 13:33
3 8:43
4 4:54
5 29:42
6 2:07
blue highlight denotes track pick