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John Tavener

Publisher: Chester Music

Ypakoë (1997)
commissioned by the City of London Festival
Chester Music Ltd
Solo Keyboard(s)
Year Composed

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Programme Note
John Tavener Ypakoë (1997)
The Greek word Ypakoë means “to be obedient”, “to hear”, “to respond”. In the present context it refers to the Ypakoë of Easter in the Orthodox Church. “Why seek ye among the dead, as though He were a mortal man?”.

Ypakoë for solo piano is a meditation on both the passion and resurrection of Christ. Much of the work has a contemplative character, but the last movement, ‘Ypakoë’, should dance for joy at the risen Lord.

John Tavener

Score sample

  • Soloist(s)
    Elena Riu, piano
  • Soloist(s)
    Ralph van Raat, piano
  • Soloist(s)
    Ralph van Raat
  • Soloist(s)
    Ralph van Raat, piano
“John Tavener has found a vein of simplicity that each new work seems to exploit yet again; and just as you think ‘I’ve heard this before’, the sheer beauty he finds in his material suspends criticism: a single diamond can refract light in many different ways…[Ypakoë] begins with a dramatic opening gesture at the extremes of the keyboard, and then falls into clearly distinguishable sections, each taking a different approach to the keyboard: alternating patterns between the hands, two-part invention, chordal textures, trills over melodic figures in the left hand, the whole haunted by a gentle chorale figure that suggests Bach looking to Byzantium…”
Martin Anderson, The Independent,01/07/1999
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