• John Tavener
  • The World (1997)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)
  • str4tet
  • Soprano
  • 10 min

Programme Note

For string quartet and soprano (for Kathleen’s 90th birthday)

It burns in the void,
Nothing upholds it.
Still it travels.

Travelling the void
Upheld by burning
Nothing is still.

Burning it travels,
The void upholds it
Still it is nothing.

Nothing it travels
A burning void
Upheld by stillness.

Text: Kathleen Raine
Music: John Tavener

The World for string quartet and soprano solo should be performed at maximum intensity throughout. White hot, white cold – intensely, loud, intensely soft – almost unbearable – that which is nowhere and everywhere – not human but divine - theanthropic.

It is dedicated with great affection to Kathleen Raine on the occasion of her 90th birthday.

This work was commissioned by the West Cork Chamber Music Festival with the support of the British Council and was first performed by the Vanbrugh String Quartet and Patricia Rozario on Friday 2nd July at Bantry House, Cork, Ireland.