John Tavener



Sacred Choral Music

Oxford Pro Musica Singers Conducted by Michael Smedley

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This CD features music by three of today’s most popular composers of sacred music. Sir John Tavener, born in London in 1944, became well-known for his cantata of 1968, ‘The Whale’, but it is the music he has written since the 1980s, with the strong influence of Eastern Orthodoxy, that have made him a household name, including the ‘Song for Athene’, sung at the funeral of Princess Diana. The works on this CD, including seven first recordings, all date from this period. The Estonian composer Arvo Pärt (b. 1935) and the Pole Henryk Górecki (b. 1933) also achieved widespread popularity later in their careers when their style changed and they began producing deeply affecting, somewhat minimalist music. This CD, which was among the first to present this hauntingly beautiful repertoire on record, was awarded a prestigious rosette in the Penguin CD Guide.

‘All of the music is wonderfully well sung with precise intonation and a full-bodied sound. With such an illuminating programme (in all senses), this disc should attain a richly deserved success.’ – Gramophone   ‘The whole programme is gloriously sung and this well rehearsed group sustains tension as movingly at pianissimo level as they do in the great arching climaxes.’ – Penguin CD Guide


Title Composer
Annunciation John Tavener
Ikon of the Nativity John Tavener
Speaker Icon The Lamb John Tavener
A Nativity John Tavener
Today the Virgin John Tavener
The Lord’s Prayer John Tavener
Many Years John Tavener
Wedding Prayer John Tavener
He Hath Entered the Heaven John Tavener
The Acclamation John Tavener
Speaker Icon Magnificat Arvo Pärt
Summa Arvo Pärt
Euntes Ibant Henryk Górecki
Speaker Icon Totus Tuus Henryk Górecki
Amen Henryk Górecki

Total Time: 77’12” Recorded in St Barnabas’ Church, Oxford, October 1993. Proudsound PROU CD 136