The Easter weekend, the holiest time of the year for Christians, is upon us. The depth of this season has inspired so much truly great music. I remember one organist/composer/choral director commenting that his faith and his music were inseparable. At the time I thought it was a bit of a sacreligious idea, but I’m still struggling with that one.
John Tavener is a British composer who has embraced the Russian Orthodox faith and traditions and his music is an outpouring of that faith. He wrote the Song for Athene, which was played at Princess Diana’s funeral. His string quartet, The Hidden Treasure (1989), is reverential, calm and soothing, with its drones and the prayer-like melody in the cello. The steps of Christ’s Passion and Resurrection can be heard in the vignettes. The music lifts the soul in contemplation.
This is the Emily Carr String Quartet from Victoria, BC, playing part of The Hidden Treasure in a live performance.
I have a personal connection with this string quartet (the group, not the music). The second violinst is my brother.