Tavener: Tears of the Angels; …Depart in Peace; My Gaze Is Ever Upon You

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WORKS: Tears of the Angels; …Depart in Peace; My Gaze Is Ever Upon You
PERFORMER: Patricia Rozario (soprano)BT Scottish Ensemble/Clio Gould (violin)
Here are three recent vocal works by John Tavener, one of those lucky composers who can expect to encounter their work on disc when the ink is scarcely dry.


The stars of this collection are the soprano Patricia Rozario, Tavener’s long-standing interpreter, and the BT Scottish Ensemble’s director and solo violinist Clio Gould. She’s the dedicatee of My Gaze Is Ever Upon You, ‘16 gazes, moments and ecstatic breaths, written in Trinitarian guise’ and scored for solo violin, taped violin and string-bass drone. These translate into an engaging tapestry of diatonic fiddle music, limited in range, yet never tiring to the ear.


In Tears of the Angels, for the suffering people of the Balkans, Gould’s role is closer to that of the sublime cello of The Protecting Veil. The soloist inhabits the highest realms of her register for much of the time, evoking a world of compassion beyond our understanding. The form, simple strophes repeated in various arrangements, is easily grasped. The spirit speaks no less directly. …Depart in Peace sets the Greek Nunc dimittis interspersed with antiphons. Rozario and the ensemble gave the premiere inJune, so this really is a red-hot contemporary recording. Nicholas Williams