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John Tavener

Publisher: Chester Music

Prayer (for Szymanowski) (1987)
commissioned by the Warsaw Autumn Festival
Chester Music Ltd
Solo Voice(s) and up to 6 players
Year Composed
3 Minutes

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Programme Note
John Tavener Prayer (for Szymanowski) (1987)
I have always been a great admirer of the music of Szymanowski so I feel particularly honoured to have been invited to offer a small tribute to his memory. I have chosen the final words of Shakespeare’s Hamlet:

“Goodnight, sweet Prince.
And flights of Angels
Sing thee to thy rest.”

The simple setting for basso profundo and sparse piano accompaniment contains in its final bars a brief quote from Sztmanowski’s last mazurka, making what I hope is a fitting epitaph to one of Poland’s most illustrious sons.

John Tavener
June 1987

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