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John Tavener

Publisher: Chester Music

Nomine Jesu (1970)
commissioned by Dartington Summer School of Music
Chester Music Ltd
Soloists and Large Ensemble (7+ players)
Year Composed
8 Minutes
2 groups of 7 singers (SSATTBB)
Solo Instrument(s)
Mezzo soprano
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Programme Note
John Tavener Nomine Jesu (1970)
This work was commissioned by the Dartington Summer School of Music in 1970 and later incorporated into 'Ultimos Ritos' (1974), arguably the culmination of Tavener's concert music before his reception into the Orthodox Church and subsequent re-orientation of style. It is based on a single name - Jesus - as pronounced in European, Asiatic and African languages. In the first section, a selection of biblical readings surveys the life of Christ: prophecy of birth (English); meeting with John the Baptist (Latin); his teaching (French); his healing (German); the Last Supper (Spanish); crucifixion (German); resurrection (French); promise of the Holy Spirit (Latin); exaltation by the Father (English). Following a moment of 'ecstatic adoration', the solo soprano sings verses from 'Song of the Soul in rapture at having arrived at the height of Perfection which is union with God, by the road of spiritual negation' by the Spanish mystic, St. John of the Cross, under which the chord and the name evaporate.

  • Ensemble
    London Sinfonietta / London Sinfonietta Chorus / Little Missenden Village School Children
    June Barton, soprano / Margaret Lensky, alto / John Tavener and David Atherton, conductors
  • Ensemble
    London Sinfonetta / London Sinfonietta Chorus
    June Barton, sop, Anna Reynolds, mezzo, Margaret Leusky, mezzo, Raimund Herincx, bar
    David Atherton
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