John Tavener: Towards Silence – review

(Signum Classics)

Though he has not been well, John Tavener continues to produce some of the most distinctive music in our time. His acutely original ear for sonority resonates throughout this extraordinary half-hour vision, where four sections (the first silent and vanishing) take one through the four states of Atma to "that which is Beyond". Sweet consonance and febrile dissonance jostle with the hypnotic ringing of a Tibetan temple bowl. The score specifies four string quartets hidden in distant galleries, but this recording is much more immersive, the sounds swirling around our consciousness and gradually extinguishing. I know of no music that takes us quite so near the edge of death.


Nicholas Kenyon

The GuardianTramp

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