Eternity's Sunrise

Sir John Tavener (1944)

Eternity's Sunrise 1997

fl.ob/handbells/lute[=hp]/str
Duration 
10
Solist 
Text Author 
Language 
Commissioner 
Publisher 

'I shared in the image of God, but did not keep it safe; the Lord shares in my flesh, so as to save the image, and to make the flesh immortal' - St Gregory of Nazianzus.

My first ideas for Eternity's Sunrise came to me in January 1997, soon after my father's death. These ideas were taken up again in September the same year, in response to a commission from the Academy of Ancient Music, which happened soon after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. There is no such thing as accident or coincidence, so I dedicated my piece to the memory of the Princess.

The concept of solo soprano (representing earth) at ground level, handbells (representing the angels) at an intermediate position, and the main baroque ensemble at a high level (representing heaven) fitted exactly with the Blake text which I had decided to set. When seen as things truly are, the earth is a mirror of the Eternal World, and when seen correctly, it is possible in this world to live in Eternity's sunrise. God does not exist in the world. And yet at the same time He is reflected in it, giving it form and structure. The music should be played with quiet joy, as a day of sunshine and calm, full of gentleness and radiance.

JT

Comments 

Commissioned to mark the 25th Anniversary of The Academy of Ancient Music

Performances 
1.7.98 City of London Festival: Patricia Rozario/Academy of Ancient Music/Paul Goodwin
12.2.02 Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford: Patricia Rozario/Oxford Philomusica/Marios Papadopoulos
9.6.02 Dresden, Germany: Malin Hartelius/Concerto Köln/Roderich Kreile
19.11.02 Toronto, Canada: Patricia Rozario/Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra/Lawrence Cherney
July 2003 UK tour: Patricia Rozario/Academy of Ancient Music
2.11.03 Oslo, Norway: Oslo Kammerkor/Grete Pedersen
12.2.04 St John's Smith Square, London: Patricia Rozario/Academy of Ancient Music/Paul Goodwin
Selected performances only
1
Flute
1
Oboe
1
Percussion
handbells
1
Other
lute
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