Maxwell Davies - Taverner
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special offer ending 28/10/2020
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Label: NMC Recordings
Cat No: NMCD157
Number of Discs: 2
Release Date: 23rd November 2009
BBC Symphony Orchestra
London Sinfonietta Voices
His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts
New London Childrenís Choir
Although what is now known about the 16th-century English composer John Taverner differs considerably from the plot of this opera, the piece is both a fascinating study of an artist as a man for all seasons and an extraordinary indictment of the horrors inflicted on humanity by religion, or religious zealotry.
The Taverner of the opera abandons music to become a persecutor of the Catholic faith and thus betrays all that is good in himself. In Act 1 we see him being tried for heresy by the White Abbot and pardoned by the Cardinal (Wolsey) because of his music. In Act 2, which is a parody of the first, Taverner is trying the White Abbot, who is burned at the stake. That is the bare outline. A sub-plot is Henry VIIIís wish for a break with Rome in order to divorce Catherine of Aragon and the machinations of a Jester, otherwise Death, who controls Tavernerís fate.
- Martyn Hill (Taverner)
- David Wilson-Johnson (Jester)
- Stephen Richardson (Henry VIII)
- Fiona Kimm (Virgin Mary)
- Michael Chance (Priest/God)
- Quentin Hayes (White Abbot)
- Peter Sidhom (Richard Taverner)
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