TAVENER: Christmas Proclamation (Naxos: 8.555256)
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Christopher Robinson | St. John's College Choir, Cambridge | Tim HughSong for Athene
, which has become one of Tavener's best known pieces sinceit was sung at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, takes as its text a mixtureof Shakespeare (specifically Hamlet) and the Orthodox funeral service.
The work, originally written in 1993, is typical of Tavener's rich choralsound, its peals of "Alleluia" increasing gradually in volume and impingingfurther on the listener's consciousness. In both these works, the choralwriting carries resonances of renaissance polyphony (though it is far from contrapuntalin construction) and of the English cathedral tradition but transmutes theminto something quite different, and quite recognisably by Tavener.