• John Tavener
  • Nipson (1998)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by the BBC. First performed on 4th October 1999 at Norwich Cathedral, by Fretwork and Michael Chance, countertenor.

  • viol consort
  • Countertenor
  • 20 min

Programme Note

Nipson is written for a consort of viols (2 treble, 2 tenor, 1 bass) and countertenor. The music falls into six sections, the first and last of which are a palindromic setting of a Byzantine palindrome engraved over a public fountain in Constantinople:
NIѰON ANOMHMATA MH MONAN OѰIN
Nipson is also an ikon of glory and repentance. The concept of inner silence is present throughout, as the composer contemplates his sins, whether voluntary or involuntary, manifest, or hidden. "Have mercy upon me, O God, have mercy upon me..."

John Tavener


TEXT

Cleanse the sins, not only the face.

Glory to You O God, glory to You. (x3)

Lord, have mercy. (x3)

Lord, have mercy. (x3)

Glory to You O God, glory to You. (x3)

Cleanse the sins, not only the face.

Listen

Nipson (1998)

Discography