Repertoire Search

John Tavener

Publisher: Chester Music

O where, tell me where? (2013)
Commissioned by The Bach Choir
Text Writer
trad/Robert Burns/Sir Harold Edwin Boulton, Bart.
Chester Music Ltd
Chorus a cappella / Chorus plus 1 instrument
Year Composed
11 Minutes

Buy this work
Worldwide Sales   North American Sales
Full Score   
Set of Parts   

Programme Note
John Tavener O where, tell me where? (2013)
'O where, tell me where' is a meditation based on three well-known Scottish songs. It was written in the Highlands of Scotland, as a tribute to a country that I have come to love since being seriously ill in 2007. The work is scored for choir and tubular bells. (J.T.)

Tavener composed this work whilst in the Highlands as a homage to the country he had come to love - that he did so was quite obvious, from the eerily evocative bells to the deceptively uncomplicated treatment of the songs themselves. The slightly angular harmonies of the first tune, The Blue Bells of Scotland, perfectly captured the uncertainty and perhaps misguided optimism of the song's subject. With a simple canonic device, My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose was lifted from simple folk tune to an elaborately dreamy piece.
Julia Savage, Bachtrack,12/1/2014
There seems no end to the works which the late John Tavener can magically produce: ‘O where, tell me where?’ has now received its UK premiere by the Bach Choir for whom he wrote it, and though premiered in Shanghai it still had the tincture of novelty. The title is the opening line of one of the three Scottish folksongs of which it is a setting, the others being ‘My love is like a red, red rose’ and ‘The Skye boat song’, each prefaced by a quasi-improvisation on tubular bells. The florid harmonies and angular tunings did not fight with the simple charm of the texts, and the work gained power from the sheer conviction with which it was sung; when Tavener moved into counterpoint, the vocal lines interlaced pleasingly.
Michael Church, The Independent,11/26/2014
Close X

Newsletter Signup

Please fill in this form to receive regular news

Click here to receive regular news
© Copyright 2014 Music Sales Classical. Part of the Music Sales Group.