John Tavener’s latest

Interesting note from Stephen Bates in today’s Guardian, on Tavener’s new piece The Beautiful Names, due to premiere at Westminster Cathedral this week. Apparently a meditation on the names of Allah, it has caused quite a stir, judging by next week’s Catholic Herald. A little too early to judge the piece, of course, but a surprising (at least to me) move from Tavener’s usual work. All sorts of interesting questions arise, to do with the nature of this type of ‘sacred’ music, which is produced primarily outside church patronage. It should come as no surprise that it is the location of the premiere, rather than the principle of the piece, that seems to have caused the stir. I shall keep a look-out for further developments.

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