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John Tavener

Publisher: Chester Music

Fragments of a Prayer (Children of Men) (2006)
Chester Music Ltd
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Sub Category
String Orchestra
Year Composed
12 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
Mezzo soprano
Programme Note
John Tavener Fragments of a Prayer (Children of Men) (2006)
Fragments of a Prayer was written for the film Children of Men, which shows humanity at some
point in the future, in an advanced state of delapidation and decay. There has been no birth for years and then, suddenly, a woman becomes pregnant, and a child is born (Avatara).
Fragments of a Prayer is a musical/spiritual reaction to this. The only prayer in the film is the
Tibetan mantra “Om mane padme Hum”, so I set isolated but related Sanskrit words – Mata (Mother), Pahi mam (Protect/help me), Avatara (Saviour). There is also a recurring “Alleluia”, and the music ends, as does the film, with a gentle hope “In Gottes tiefem Frieden ruhn” (In God’s deep peace).

John Tavener

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