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John Tavener

Publisher: Chester Music

Pratirūpa (2003),
Commissioned by the English Chamber Orchestra
Publisher
Chester Music Ltd
Category
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Year Composed
2003
Duration
32 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
Piano
Orchestration
Programme Note
John Tavener Pratirūpa (2003),
The Sanskrit word Pratirùpa means ‘reflection’. This, my longest work so far for piano, presents a series of self-reflecting resonances, harmonies, melodies and rhythms, which attempt to reflect the Divine Presence which resides in every human being.

Tradition tells us that by looking at the pupil of the eye in another person, one can see the most ‘perfect’, the most ‘God-like’ part of that person. Translating this into musical terms, I listen to some of the most perfect sounds I know, such as a Mozart sequence or an ancient sacred Samavedic Rhythm, and as I hear these sublime sounds the music seems to change, reflect and mirror. In a similar way, in Pratirùpa, the resonances of the Piano are picked up by the Strings, and they in turn ‘reflect’ and ‘mirror’ what the Piano is playing. The Piano, therefore, is the ‘pupil’ of the ear and the strings are the listener.

There is no ‘argument’ in this music, only contemplation, which leads in the end to a somewhat ecstatic state, as the piano and string resonances ‘die to themselves’.

© John Tavener


Preview the score:

  • Soloist(s)
    Ralph van Raat, piano
    Naxos:
Performances
Date
Title
Reviews
The principal material consisted of a dignified, ritual-like melody of delicate, natural beauty contrasted with manic, boogie-woogie style piano splutterings… The frequent piano solos achieved a genuine, Mozartian simplicity, and a serene idea wafting between major and minor floated into the memory.
Paul Conway, The Independent,11/25/2004
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