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John Tavener’s memory eternal.

From Guardian Music [The Guardian] – TAVENER’S TURN TO a world of spirituality, via the Russian Orthodox church, was the inspiration for much of his music of the late 1970s onwards, and it produced a whole series of works of celestial simplicity and often heavenly length: longest of all his seven-hour dusk-to-dawn vigil, The Veil of the Temple, composed in 2003.

But it was this spiritualising tendency that turned critical opinion against him. Tavener was branded a “holy minimalist”, a phrase that condemned some of his more accessible choral music to collections of “Relaxing Classics”, as if what he was doing as a composer was cynically tapping into cheap, superficial New-Ageism.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The most popular pieces of Tavener’s, like The Lamb, were often written as personal tributes to friends or family without a thought for their populist potential; his much more dissonant and demanding larger scale works like Ultimos Ritos or his opera for Covent Garden, Thérèse, have not been performed as often as they should be.

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