• John Tavener
  • Ikon of St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne (1986)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by Durham Cathedral

  • 12 min
  • Mother Thekla
  • English

Programme Note

Commissioned by James Lancelot and the Choir of Durham Cathedral who gave its first performance on 20 March 1987, the 1300th anniversary of St Cuthbert's death. Structurally modelled on a Byzantine Canon, Ikon of St Cuthbert, 'an ikon of music and words in the place of wood and paint, seeks to recall, in its stylized form, the personal aura of Cuthbert, Saint of Lindisfarne'. The text is again by Mother Thekla, a contemplation on Cuthbert's life from his early piety and life as a monk, acts of spiritual healing, consecration as a bishop and retreat into solitude, to his death on Farne and ultimate burial in Durham. Imagery of water runs throughout the verses.

John Tavener