Sir John Tavener (1944)

Lalishri 2006


Lalishri was inspired by the fourteenth century Hindu Saint and poet Lalla Yogishwari. Her poetry with its combination of intensity and simplicity made me think of the “innocent intensity” of Nicola Benedetti’s playing; indeed the solo violin represents the song of Lalla. When Lalla discovered ATMA or the true SELF (which is none other than God inside her) she danced naked throughout Kashmir. This spiritual nakedness manifests itself in bodily nakedness. The music is in five sections moving through dance, ecstatic trance to a musical expression of Bliss. This anyway is the intention of Lalishri, and with the help of Nicola’s playing maybe we can give something of a glimpse, however poor or inadequate of that blissful state that Lalla Yogishwari reached.

John Tavener

26.9.07 Royal Festival Hall, London: Nicola Benedetti / London Philharmonic Orchestra / Andrew Litton
27.3.09 Kansas, USA: Kansas City Symphony Orchestra / Michael Stern
12.12.09 Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amstel Strijker Ensemble
6.5.14 ADHOC Ensemble