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British cellist Steven Isserlis is featured in The Protecting Veil, for cello and strings, essentially a concerto in which the cello almost continuously plays, although it differs from a traditional concerto, in which the opposition between the orchestra and the soloist heightens the musical drama. In this case, conflict and drama are minimized; the solo cello is a serene, meditative voice, sometimes suspended, sometimes soaring over the entirely supportive accompaniment of the orchestra. While it is idiomatically far removed from the works of Messiaen, its sense of ecstasy lost in timelessness and its supreme indifference to western conventions of musical development reveal Tavener to be a spiritual cousin of the French mystic's. Isserlis, for whom the piece was written, performs with searing passion; his intense playing is achingly, almost painfully poignant, and he negotiates the treacherously high tessitura with unfailingly full, pure tone and with flawless intonation. Gennady Rozhdestvensky, leading the London Symphony Orchestra, provides a superbly supportive accompaniment. The Last Sleep of the Virgin, for string quartet and handbells, inhabits a cooler, more reflective, and less emotionally charged sonic world than The Protecting Veil.
The Protecting Veil, for cello & orchestra
The Protecting Veil
David Hill / Gennady Rozhdestvensky
The Nativity of the Mother of God
David Hill / Gennady Rozhdestvensky
The Annunciation
David Hill / Gennady Rozhdestvensky
The Incarnation
David Hill / Gennady Rozhdestvensky
The Lament of the Mother of God at the Cross
David Hill / Gennady Rozhdestvensky
The Resurrection
David Hill / Gennady Rozhdestvensky
The Dormition
The Protecting Veil

9 The Last Sleep of the Virgin, for string quartet & handbells
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  • Seller location: Nelson, Nelson Bays, NZ

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