• John Tavener
  • The Hymn of the Unwaning Light (1996)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by the Summer Music Society of Dorset

  • SSAATTBBB
  • Baritone or Tenor
  • 15 min

Programme Note

In this work The Hymn of the Unwaning Light,massive, monolithic, and resplendent with the joy of the Risen Christ, alternates with the Proclamation of Easter and with the Processional Angels in the Heavens. The Proclamation of Easter is sung in Greek, first by a male voice (the Psaltis), and finally by the whole choir. The Psaltis is the chief singer at Greek Orthodox services, and the soloist must immers himself in this style of singing.
The effect should be of a slowly moving procession, with candles lighting everywhere, until the whole cosmos is flooded with light; because no one is excluded from this Feast of Feasts:

Christ is risen from the dead;
Trampling down death by death,
And to those in the tombs
He has given life.

John Tavener

Text:

Christ is risen from the dead; trampling down death by death,
And to those in the tombs He has given life.

Come, receive ye light from the Unwaning light, and glorify Christ,
who is arisen from the dead.

Angels in the Heavens, O Christ our Saviour, praise thy Resurrection with hymns;
deem us also who are on earth worthy to glorify Thee, with pure heart.

Discography