Listen: Remembering Sir John Tavener

Playlist audio will be archived for a period of two weeks

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

On Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 1 pm, Q2 Music honors the recent passing of British composer John Tavener with an hour-long tribute celebrating his work for a cappella choir, solo voice and chamber ensemble. Known primarily as a "holy" or "mystic minimalist" composer along with such religious composers as Arvo Pärt and Henryk Gorecki, Tavener drew singular and international acclaim for the elegance of his melodic lines and the at turns churning and murmuring textures of his harmonies.

At 9 pm, enjoy a stream of his epic The Protecting Veil for solo cello and strings – a work which brought him widespread attention after its premiere at the BBC Proms in 1989. Of The Protecting Veil, Tavener writes:

I have tried to capture some of the almost cosmic power of the Mother of God. The cello represents The Mother of God and never stops singing throughout. One can think of the strings as a gigantic extension of her unending song. 

The playlist at 1 pm includes: Ikon of Joy and Sorrow for string quartet; Carol: The Lamb and Funeral Ikos for a cappella choir; Lament to Phaedra for solo cello; Ypakoe for solo piano, Samaveda for chamber ensemble and Angels for orchestra. 

Do you have fond memories of hearing his music? Stories, anecdotes or insights you'd like to relay? Leave them in the comments section below. 


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Comments [1]

His works for strings are my favourite so far. Can anyone tell me where I can find a recording of "Samaveda"?

Nov. 24 2013 02:31 PM

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Q2 Music is WQXR’s online music station devoted to 20th and 21st century classical music, trailblazing ensembles and vibrant, live performances from New York City's leading new music venues. Q2 Music lives online at, where you can find host biographies, essential playlist info, composer profiles and on-demand shows, and is accessible via the free WQXR App.


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