John Tavener’s Temenos

john travner


Friday 24 October 2008 at 8pm  St.Peter’s Church of Ireland, Drogheda.

The Ulster Orchestra with Ioana Petcu Colan( violin), Doreen Curran ( Mezzo soprano) and Marta Sudraba ( cello) Tõnu Kaljuste Conductor  

John Tavener Supernatural Songs (2003)

John Tavener Dhyana (2007)

John Tavener The Protecting Veil ( 1988)

Saturday 25 Oct 2008 at 8pm  St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dundalk. 

Patricia Rozario and the Oriel Trio

John Tavener To a child dancing in the wind( 1983)

John Tavener Melina ( 1994)

Polyphony conducted by Stephen Layton with Marta Sudraba

John Tavener Song for Athene ( 1993)

John Tavener The Lamb ( 1982)

John Tavener Hymn to the Mother of God

John Tavener O My People. ( world premiere) ( 2008)

John Tavener Chant ( 1995) ( solo cello)

John Tavener Mother of God here I stand. (2004)

John Tavener Awed by the beauty (from Veil of the Temple)

John Tavener Syvati ( 1995)( cello and chorus)

John Tavener Funeral Ikos


Biographical notes

john travner

John Tavener first came to public attention in 1968 with the premiere of his oratorio The Whale at the inaugural concert of the London Sinfonietta. The Beatles subsequently recorded this on their Apple label.

Although Tavener’s avant-garde style of the seventies contrasts with the contemplative beauty of his works for which he is best known, the seeds of the language he would later adopt were already in evidence. His early compositions, notably Thérèse (1973) commissioned by the Royal Opera House and A Gentle Spirit (1977) after the short story by Dostoyevsky, showed that spirituality and mysticism were to be his primary sources of inspiration.

His conversion to the Orthodox Church in 1977 resulted from his growing conviction that Eastern traditions retained a primordial essence that the west had lost. Works such as The Lamb (1982), and the large-scale choral work Resurrection (1989) date from this period. It was in 1989 that Tavener once again came firmly into the limelight, when the Proms premiere of The Protecting Veil introduced his music to a new audience. The opera Mary of Egypt, premiered at the Aldeburgh Festival in 1992. The same year, a major documentary, ‘Glimpses of Paradise’ was broadcast on BBC2. His 50th birthday year was marked in 1994 by the BBC’s Ikons Festival, as well as another major Proms commission – The Apocalypse. In 1997, the performance of Song for Athene at the close of Princess Diana’s funeral showed that the profound effect of his music reached far beyond just the concert-going public.


The premiere of A New Beginning played out the final minutes of 1999 in London’s Millennium Dome; on 4 January 2000, Fall and Resurrection was premiered at St Paul’s Cathedral, broadcast on both television and radio; he received a Knighthood in the Millennium Honours List, and later the same year, London’s South Bank Centre presented a major festival of his music. Overseas commissions increased, notably with Lamentations and Praises (2000) for the San Francisco-based Chanticleer (whose recording of the work secured for Tavener the Grammy award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition in 2003) and Ikon of Eros (2001) for the Minnesota Orchestra.

Tavener was then led to look for inspiration from alternative sources by his interest in the universalist philosophy of the late Swiss metaphysician Fritjhof Schuon, which embraces all great religious traditions. This change in direction is manifest in works written since 2001 – notably The Veil of the Temple, Lament for Jerusalem (which uses both Christian and Islamic texts), and Hymn of Dawn, based on Hindu, Sufi, Christian and Jewish texts, as well as the music of the American Indians. Other works include the song-cycle Schuon Lieder; Pratirupa, for piano and strings; and numerous choral works including Elizabeth Full of Grace, a commission from HRH the Prince of Wales. Sir John formed an important collaboration with choreographer Wayne McGregor for his company Random Dance, and is working on a large-scale choral work The Beautiful Names, celebrating the ninety-nine names of Allah as culled from the Qur’an. Current projects include Lalishri, a work for solo violin and strings written for Nicola Benedetti and a Requiem to be premiered in 2008 in Liverpool for the celebrations of the European Capital of Culture.


Sunday 26 October at 8pm St.Peter’s Church of Ireland,


Anonymous 4 and Rothko 4 

Prose: Gaude virgo salutata [Dublin Troper]

Song: Edi be thu hevene quene

John Tavener :  Out of the night

John Tavener As one who has slept

Valentin Silvestrov  Ikon

Prose: Prophetarum presignata [Dublin Troper]

Song: Alma redemptoris mater

John Tavener Come and do Your will in me

Arvo Part Fratres

Prose: Salve mater misericordie [Dublin Troper]

Song: Hail Mary full of grace

John Tavener – Ikon of Joy/Sorrow

John Tavener: The Lord’s Prayer

Hymn: Ave maris stella

Alexander Knaifel An Autumn Evening

John Tavener The Bridegroom