• John Tavener
  • Risen! (1981)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by Bedford School

  • 2hn.2tpt.2tbntimp.3percpf[org]str
  • SATB
  • 14 min

Programme Note

"Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!"


At midnight on Easter Night, this cry rings out in Orthodox Churches all over the world and this text, sung in Greek, English and Slavonic, forms the basis of my work Risen!

Although the music is based on a twelve note row, the predominant sound image is of a massive dominant seventh. The music should be thought of as a Paen of Joy. In the words of St John Chrysostom "Enjoy ye all the feast of faith… for Christ is risen and not one dead remaineth in the grave."

I wrote this work to celebrate the rebuilding of Bedford School Main Hall which had been severely damaged by fire. It is dedicated to the boys and staff of the school. The first performance was given by the School's First Orchestra and Choral Society conducted by myself on 19 Octboer 1981.


© John Tavener, 1981