• John Tavener
  • Love Duet from 'Krishna' (2012)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by Manchester International Festival (MIF Creative) with thanks for the support of the MIF Commissioning Circle.

  • 4(afl)+4afl000/0.4.3+btbn.0/timp.perc/str/bass voices
  • soprano.tenor
  • 15 min
  • text from traditional sources

Programme Note

Commissioned by Manchester International Festival (MIF Creative) with thanks for the support of the MIF Commissioning Circle.

In the Hindu tradition, Krishna is 'God' in the same way that Christ is 'God' for Christians. The Love Duet between Krishna and Radha (chief of the Gopis, or cow-herd girls), forms the central 'still point' in my Pantomime-Opera 'The Play of Krishna'.

Radha is literally 'adored' by God/Krishna, and this gives huge significance to this central section. Krishna (always accompanied by 8 flutes) and Radha sing each other's names over and over again, as do Papageno and Papagena in Mozart's 'The Magic Flute'. 'The Play of Krishna' was inspired by 'The Magic Flute', and mathematical and musical allusions occur throughout.

According to Hindu belief, the erotic love between Krishna and Radha symbolises the union of the human soul with God.
J.T.

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