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The title of this disc is misleading: it’s not the composer John Tavener directing a programme of his own choral music but his relative, Alan Tavener, who is in charge of the Scottish-based group Cappella Nova. Alan Tavener’s selection includes rarities (Take him, earth, for cherishing) as well as familiar favourites (The Lamb) in a well-balanced programme, which also includes Ivan Moody’s O isplendor, written in memory of Tavener, who was his teacher. There are no fewer than nine premiere recordings on the CD, including Cappella Nova’s own Tavener commission A Buddhist Miniature. Recorded in resonant church acoustics, the vocal blend is rich and warm except for some disappointingly harsh tone on occasion from the sopranos. It’s not in the league of Tavener CDs from The Tallis Scholars, The Sixteen or even the Holst Singers, but it is nevertheless a welcome expansion to Tavener’s ever-growing discography.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica


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