Tavener: Piano Works
Ralph van Raat, piano
Tavener is celebrated for his choral works, most of which are very appealing to the public, so it is to Naxos's credit that they are issuing this recita of his complete piano music, less well-known and considerably less commercial. Tavener has been composing solo piano music since 1977: Palin, written around the time that he formall joined the Orthodox church, still carries echoes of his earlier modernist style, yet nonetheless looks forward to the spiritual manner of his mature works. Its title refers to its palindromic form. As a fellow ailurophoile, I connected with the pieces inspired by Tavener's cats, Mandoodles(1982) and In memory of Two Cats (1986). Zodiacs (1997) is a delightful miniature celebrating the birth of Tavener's second daughter. Ypakoe comes from the same period. Both pieces include Eastern elements, but the predominant moods in Ypakoe are neo-classical, even Baroque...
Barry Witherden, BBC Music Magazine, 8/1/2008