Sir John Tavener: The Protecting Veil by Matthew Barley and Sinfonietta Riga
When the first thing you see, as a performer, is the phrase ‘Transcendent With Awesome Majesty’, you know you’re going to be in for something epic. John Tavener wrote those words over the top of the constantly singing cello part of his orchestral work ‘The Protecting Veil’, which has proved to be one of his most popular works.
Matthew Barley, contemporary cellist and musical experimenter, has seized this work between his teeth and with Sinfionetta Riga has created an album that goes beyond the music. The addition of celebrated actors Julie Christie and Olwen Fouéré reading poetry interspersed throughout the music is delightful, and almost music in its own right. The actors’ hypnotic voices wash over you and the comparison between the cello and human voice has never been quite so clear. With a dash of some of the Indian music that inspired Tavener’s style at the end, this is a fascinating album for the discerning classical music lover.