• John Tavener
  • Prayer (for Szymanowski) (1987)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by the Warsaw Autumn Festival

  • Basspf
  • 3 min

Programme Note

I have always been a great admirer of the music of Szymanowski so I feel particularly honoured to have been invited to offer a small tribute to his memory. I have chosen the final words of Shakespeare’s Hamlet:

"Goodnight, sweet Prince.
And flights of Angels
Sing thee to thy rest.”

The simple setting for basso profundo and sparse piano accompaniment contains in its final bars a brief quote from Sztmanowski’s last mazurka, making what I hope is a fitting epitaph to one of Poland’s most illustrious sons.

John Tavener
June 1987