St Christopher

Tavener and Bach
Event 9
Saturday October 11th, 2.00pm 
Little Missenden Church

A tribute to Tavener
John Tavener
Johann Sebastian Bach
Cello Suite no 1: Prelude, Allemande, Courante
Cello Suite continued: Sarabande, Minuets 1 & 2, Gigue
Akhmatova Songs

This is an archived event from the 2014 Programme.

Patricia Rozario soprano  Josephine Knight cello

This recital by two of his favourite artists celebrates the work of Sir John Tavener, who died last November. He ignored musical fashions and found his own way. His unique, powerful and profoundly spiritual music spoke to audiences all over the world. The Festival had a close relationship with him in the early part of his career (see also Event 8 and News page).

Mahavakyas is his last piece, “a meditation on the four great statements of the Upanishads, and also on the Sarabande from Cello Suite no 1 by Bach”. The new work is performed in the middle of Bach’s great suite, before the Sarabande.

Anna Akhmatova’s poems attracted Tavener for “their simplicity, their starkness, their lack of frills, their complete lack of complexity”. His magnificent settings for soprano and cello (among Tavener’s own favourite pieces) match the poet’s depth, austere power and emotional range.

Melina (for solo soprano) is a gently ecstatic and radiant elegy on the death of Greek actress Melina Mercouri.

The concert lasts an hour with no interval. Note start time.

We have the perfect duo for this recital. Patricia Rozario was Tavener’s soprano of choice – he recognized in her voice "a unique spiritual and primordial quality that I have never been able to find in another singer", and created more than 30 works for her.

“Patricia Rozario floats effortlessly with a voice of liquid gold” (Gramophone)

“Rozario is in her element, finely phrased and delicately nuanced” (Robert Maycock, BBC Music Magazine)

Mahavakyas was written for and dedicated to cellist Josephine Knight, who has given many Tavener premières.

“Her artistry and generosity of spirit shine through, and she creates a palpable, natural chemistry between audience and musicians” (David Finckel )

“A performance of utter dedication” (Evening Standard)