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John Tavener

Publisher: Chester Music

Tears of the Angels (1995)
commissioned by the BT Scottish Ensemble
Chester Music Ltd
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Year Composed
14 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)

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Programme Note
John Tavener Tears of the Angels (1995)
Tears of the Angels should be played at the extreme breaking point of 'tenderness'. In other words, totally beyond our compassion, and beyond our comprehension. Wrapped in a depth of inner silence of which we have no idea, a state of being, not an emotion, a tender light piercing the agonising darkness of the world. Also, a humility, of which we have no idea, because it is not rooted in an hypocritcal or contrived deprecation of self, but in the blinding vision of God Himself.

Since we are 'human' and not angels, the music can only be 'imagined' by us. All th strings are muted throughout, except for the part marked solo violin. The solo violin is 'the chief among the Angels', and the whole piece must sound 'serene' and 'seemless'.

John Tavener

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  • Ensemble
    BT Scottish Ensemble
    Patricia Rozario, soprano Clio Gould, violin
  • 20 MAY 2017
    Britten Studio, Snape Maltings, UK
    12 Ensemble
  • 15 MAY 2012
    UK Now China
    Daning Theatre, Shanghai
    Scottish Ensemble
  • 11 MAY 2012
    Tears of the Angels Country Premiere
    UK Now China
    National Centre for Performing Arts, Bejing
    Scottish Ensemble

    Other Dates:
    13 May - Gansu Grand Theatre, Lanzhou
  • 18 FEB 2012
    Guise, FRANCE
    Orchestre de Picardie

    Other Dates:
    19 February - Chateau Thierry, FRANCE
    21 February - Amiens, FRANCE
  • 01 SEP 2011
    The Edinburgh Playhouse
    Shen Wei (choreography)

    Other Dates:
    2,3 September - The Edinburgh Playhouse
  • 03 JUN 2011
    Spoleto Festival
    Charleston, SC
    Shen Wei Dance Arts

    Other Dates:
    4 June - Charleston, SC
  • 27 APR 2011
    Budapest, Hungary
    Budapest Dance Festival

    Other Dates:
    28 April - Budapest, Hungary
  • 16 OCT 2010
    New York, NY
    Shen Wei Dance Arts

    Other Dates:
    17,18 October - New York, NY
  • 16 APR 2010
    New York, NY
    Shen Wei Dance Arts

    Other Dates:
    17,18,27,29,30 April - New York, NY
  • 01 APR 2010
    Perth Concert Hall, Scotland
    Scottish Ensemble

    Other Dates:
    2 April - Glasgow City Halls, Scotland
  • 15 MAR 2007
    Montréal, QC, Canada
    Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal
    Shen Wei, conductor

    Other Dates:
    16-24 March - Montréal, QC, Canada
  • 11 OCT 2006
    Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
    BBC Concert Orchestra
    Charles Hazelwood, conductor
  • 11 OCT 2006
    Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
    BBC Concert Orchestra
    Charles Hazelwood, conductor
  • 29 MAR 2006
    Orchestre National de Lille
    Jean-Claude Casadesus, conductor

    Other Dates:
    30 March - Lille
    31 March - Dunkerque
  • 22 NOV 2004
    St John's, Smith Square
    Russian Chamber Orchestra of London
    Julian Gallant, conductor
  • 22 FEB 2004
    Angers, France
    Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire

    Other Dates:
    24,25 February - Nantes, France
    27 February - Angers, France
    28 February - La roche/yon, France
  • 21 FEB 2004
    Sherborne Abbey
    Russian Chamber Orchestra of London
    Chloe Hanslip, violin (Tears of the Angels); John Tavener, conductor
  • 13 SEP 2003
    Orchestra of St John's
  • 05 APR 2003
    Winter Series Tour
    - Eden Court, Inverness
    BT Scottish Ensemble
    Sophia Rahman, piano; John Wallace, trumpet

    Other Dates:
    6 April - - Deeside Theatre, Aboyne
    7 April - - Music Hall, Aberdeen
    8 April - - Old Parish Church, Falkirk
    9 April - - St John's Kirk, Perth
    10 April - - Marryat Hall, Dundee
    11 April - - Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
    12 April - - Queen's Hall, Edin
  • 08 JUL 2002
    City of London Festival
    Merchant Taylors' Hall, London
    BT Scottish Ensemble
    Clio Gould, conductor
  • 25 MAY 2002
    BT Scottish Ensemble / Glasgow Chamber Choir
  • 23 MAR 2002
    Tears of the Angels US Premiere
    Santa Fe, NM
    20th C. Unlimited
  • 13 MAR 2002
    St John's Waterloo
    Trinity College of Music String Ensemble
    Nic Pendlebury, conductor
  • 26 FEB 2002
    Lunchtimes in the Chapel
    Chapel of the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich
    Trinity College of Music String Ensemble
    Nic Pendlebury, conductor
  • 04 NOV 2001
    Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage
    English Sinfonia
    Nicolae Moldoveanu, conductor
  • 13 JUL 2001
    Worksop Priory, Nottinghamshire
    Primavera Chamber Orchestra
    Paul Manley, conductor

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