John Tavener: Happenings
20th August 2007
And Tavener produces. On 26 September, Nicola Benedetti joins Andrew Litton and the London Philharmonic for the world premiere of the violin concerto Lalishri at London's Royal Festival Hall. A co-commission of the London Philharmonic and the Southbank Centre, Lalishri is inspired by the 14th-century Hindu saint and poet Lalla Yogishwari. "Her poetry, with its combination of intensity and simplicity made me think of the 'innocent intensity' of Benedetti's playing," Tavener explained. "Indeed the solo violin represents the song of Lalla. When Lalla discovered 'atma' or the true 'self' (which is none other than God inside her) she danced naked throughout Kashmir. This spiritual nakedness manifests itself in bodily nakedness. The music is in five sections moving through dance, ecstatic trance to a musical expression of bliss…" Benedetti has recorded the work for Deutsche Grammophon; the CD release coincides with the premiere.
Tavener's mass Sollemnitas in Conceptione Immaculate Beatae Maria Virginis will premier 8 December in Zurich, Switzerland. Sollemnitas is a co-commission from the Festival Religio Musica Nova in Zurich and Saint Thomas Church in New York City. The mass will have its first US hearing on 7 March 2008 in the historic Saint Thomas Church.