• John Tavener
  • Hymns of Paradise (1992)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by Ross Pople for the London Festival Orchestra during the 1993 Summer Festival of Music in Cathedrals

  • 6vn
  • SSSSSAA Chorus
  • Bass
  • 15 min
  • John Tavener
  • St Ephraim the Syrian, trans. Dr Sebastian Brock
  • English

Programme Note

This work was commissioned by Ross Pople for performance by the London Festival Orchestra during the 1993 Summer Festival of Music in Cathedrals, Cathedral Classics.

It was first performed on 27th May 1993 at St. Paul's Cathedral, London, by the London Festival Orchestra and the choristers of St. Paul's Cathedral Choir, directed by John Scott.

St. Ephrem the Syrian was perhaps the greatest poet of the Patristic age. His poetry was written in Syriac, and he lived in Edessa in the fourth century. Hymns of Paradise deal with primordial Paradise, outside time and space - the eschatological Paradise, the home of the righteous and glorious after the final Resurrection.

The text has a wonderful freshness and immediacy, with imagery and symbolism basic to all human experience. My setting is for treble and alto voices, bass solo and six violins.

John Tavener

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