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John Tavener

Publisher: Chester Music

Ekstasis (2000)
commissioned by the Brighton Youth Orchestra with funds from South East Arts, The Performing Right Society Foundation, Family Assurance Friendly Society, the University of Brighton and Peter Sawbridge
Chester Music Ltd
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Year Composed
10 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
concertante oboe, trumpet, violin
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Programme Note
John Tavener Ekstasis (2000)
The orchestra for Ekstasis is divided into three groups, each of which represents one of the Three Persons of the Trinity. The Brass Group represents God the Father, the String Group, God the Son, and the Woodwind Group, God the Holy Spirit. Solo instruments from these groups (trumpet, violin and oboe respectively) represent, using a little poetic licence, the “Lights of the Trinity”. The music deals with the ecstasy of God which eventually leads to the dark splendour of the Divine superessence. God transcends Himself. This is a mystery to me, and I have tried to convey this in the music.

Ideally Ekstasis should be performed in a building with a large acoustic. The spatial layout will vary, but the players should be seated in their groups, with brass in the middle, strings to the right of the conductor, woodwind to the left. If possible, the solo “Lights of the Trinity” should be raised up, sounding from above their orchestral groups.


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