Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: John Tavener's Lament For Jerusalem at Village Presbyterian Church












A blurb on the cover of the program for Sunday's performance of the 2003 composition Lament For Jerusalem: A Mystical Love Song suggests that the concert was the "Mid-west" [sic] premier [sic] of a new choral/orchestra work by John Tavener".

Awkward and misleading wording aside, it's surprising that Tavener's work had yet to be performed in Kansas City. The composition's accessibility and extreme political correctness make it a natural fit for the region's kind sensibility. Perhaps logistics have been the barrier. A massive ensemble- 68 voices in the choir, 25 musicians in the orchestra, countertenor Jay Carter (a revelation) and soprano Sarah Tannehill Anderson performed the piece at Village Presbyterian Church.

Lament For Jerusalem's primary theme was repeated several times while the choir's contribution occasionally resembled a less ominous version of "O Fortuna". Based on Judaic, Christian and Islamic texts, the epic piece examines the ongoing battle to control Jerusalem. I sat near the front of the chapel so I don't have a sense of the how the audience of about 400 responded to the piece. I enjoyed it enough to add Naxos' version to my next Amazon order.

The same ensemble will reprise the composition at 2 p.m. Sunday, October 30, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help - Redemptorist Catholic Church. Recommended.


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I reviewed Joe Lovano and Us 5's appearance at the Gem Theater.

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I went to the wrong shows Saturday. I'll forever regret failing to attend Vincente Fernandez's concert at Sprint Center.

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Bassist Ben Williams is featured in one of NPR's "Tiny Desk Concerts."

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Edmundo Ros has died. (Tip via BGO.)

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The best new Peter Gabriel album isn't by Peter Gabriel. Old-school fans of Melt will be astonished by M83.

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Kansas City Click: Helmet- yes, that Helmet- play the Riot Room on Tuesday.

Cavalera Conspiracy (don't click on the link) visit the Midland on Wednesday.

The Hold Steady finally makes its Kansas City debut Thursday at the Midland Theater.

(Original image of cringe-worthy car bumper by There Stands the Glass.)

1 comment:

jdoublep said...

totally agree on the PG/M83 comparison