Tavener: The Veil of the Temple (CD Review - The Philadelphia Inquirer, 2005)

Like most John Tavener works, this one presents itself with an immense sense of spiritual self-importance. Unlike most Tavener, this one lives up to its billing.

Written as an all-night vigil, “The Veil of the Temple” draws on any number of religious musical cultures— from Sufi texts to British Anglican chord structures — in a series of choruses, chants and prayers. Woven throughout is an entrancing central theme that’s nearly miraculous in that it never wears out its welcome, no matter how often it’s restated.

The recording’s strong sense of atmosphere invites an emotional response to the music, but it also repays serious attention.

David Patrick Stearns 

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