Tavener: The Whale

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COMPOSERS: Tavener
LABELS: Apple/EMI
WORKS: The Whale
PERFORMER: Anna Reynolds (mezzo-soprano), Raimund Herincx (baritone), Alvar Lidell (speaker)London Sinfonietta & Chorus/David Atherton
CATALOGUE NO: CDSAPCOR 15
At the inaugural concert of the London Sinfonietta in 1968, John Tavener’s The Whale made an indelible impression. This recording, from 1970, has seldom been out of the catalogue, since the music is imaginative, the performance vivid, the sound spectacular. Whether the piece stands up to detailed scrutiny is another matter, however. Its combination of speech, song and orchestral effects seems rather less than the sum of the parts; but then how often would you actually want to listen to it? Terry Barfoot

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