• John Tavener
  • The Open Secret (2006)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by the participating choirs of the 2006/07 Anglo Baltic Choral Project: Emajoe Laulikud, Tartu, Estonia Herchog Jackob, Riga, Latvia SAKALAS, Vilnius, Lithuania St Edmundsbury Male Voice Choir, Bury St Edmunds, UK Teaduste Akadeemia Meerkoor, Tallinn, Estonia

  • SATB
  • 5 min
  • John Tavener
  • Prophet Mohammad, attrib. to Ali Ibn Abi Talib
  • English

Programme Note

The Open Secret is a hadith, or traditional saying of the Prophet Mohammad, attributed to Ali Ibn Abi Talib. The profundity of this hadith moved me to make this setting for SATB choir. The music is intended to be used in a Christian context, to promote an understanding of the depth and beauty of Islam.

Dr Martin Lings, known as Abu Bakr to his Sufi disciples, was one of the wisest and holiest men that I have ever met. He rang me on the day of his death, at the age of ninety-seven. I was away, so I shall never know what he wanted, but he left all of us this precious gift – ‘The Open Secret’, which I dedicate to his memory.

J.T.