• John Tavener
  • To a Child Dancing in the Wind (1983)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by the Little Missenden Festival

  • flhpva
  • Soprano
  • 45 min
  • John Tavener
  • W B Yeats
  • English

Programme Note

The frailty, tenderness, and spiritual transparency of Yeats' poetry inspired this song-cycle for soprano, flute, harp and viola.

In recent years, I have written little music that is not sacred or liturgical. The Yeats Poems and the Seferis Haiku are exceptions, partly I think because both the Irish and Greek poets had a profound sense of the loss of the sacred, and Primordial tradition in art. Also the music for both song-cycles has a quasi-liturgical atmosphere, indeed, the harp harmonics that link the Years songs, are based on a Byzantine Palindrome.

'To a Child Dancing in the Wind' is dedicated to my ex-wife, Victoria Maragopoulou. It was commissioned by the Little Missenden Festival and first performed on 16th October 1983 in Little Missenden Parish Church by Alison Gough (soprano) and the Nimrod Trio.

John Tavener, January 1987

Listen

To a Child Dancing in the Wind: No. 1, He Wishes for the Cloth of Heaven
To a Child Dancing in the Wind: No. 2, The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water
To a Child Dancing in the Wind: No. 3, To a Child Dancing in the Wind
To a Child Dancing in the Wind: No. 4, Two Years Later
To a Child Dancing in the Wind: No. 5, The Fiddler of Dooney
To a Child Dancing in the Wind: No. 6, A Deep-Sworn Vow
To a Child Dancing in the Wind: No. 7, Seet Dancer
To a Child Dancing in the Wind: No. 8, The Stolen Child
To a Child Dancing in the Wind: No. 9, He Wishes for the Cloth of Heaven
To a Child Dancing in the Wind: No. 10, The Countess Cathleen in Paradise

Discography