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CHAN 241-42M
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CHAN 241-42
(multiple CD Set)

Tavener: We Shall See Him As He Is/Eis Thanaton/Theophany

The Classical Shop
release date: June 2012

Originally recorded in 1992


BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra

City of London Sinfonia

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Richard Hickox

Stephen Richardson


Patricia Rozario


Andrew Murgatroyd


John Mark Ainsley


Britten Singers

Chester Festival Chorus

BBC Welsh Chorus


Wessex Hall, Poole Arts Centre

Blackheath Concert Halls, London

Royal Albert Hall, London


Chris Webster


Ralph Couzens

(We Shall See Him As He Is, Eis Thanaton)

Mike George

(Assistant: We Shall See Him As He Is)


Ben Connellan

(Eis Thanaton)

Richard Lee


Ralph Couzens

(We Shall See Him As He Is)

Andrew Lang

(Assistant: Theophany)

Richard Smoker

(Assistant: We Shall See Him As He Is, Eis Thanaton)

Record Label
2 for 1



Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 127:53
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(b. 1944)

We Shall See Him As He Is (1990)

  Ikon of the Beloved  
  John Senter cello  
1 Refrain. The Unfolding of the Great Mystery 3:32
2 Ikon I 2:13
3 Ikon II 3:02
4 Ikon III - Refrain 7:35
5 Ikon IV 3:49
6 Ikon V - Refrain 9:45
7 Ikon VI 6:16
8 Ikon VII - Refrain 6:36
9 Ikon VIII 2:01
10 Ikon IX 3:09
11 The Tomb 0:59
12 Ikon X 7:40
13 Ikon XI 4:23
 Patricia Rozario soprano
 John Mark Ainsley tenor
 Andrew Murgatroyd tenor

Eis Thanaton (1986)

  a Ritual  
  Sung in Greek  
14 Son: 'To this shrine of the first Christians' - 14:56
15 Mother: '…Ask me not. Never search the inexpressible mystery of death' - 12:14
16 Son: 'Wait! Do not forsake your grieving son' 10:40
 Patricia Rozario soprano
 Stephen Richardson bass

Theophany (1992-93)

  for pre-recorded tape and orchestra  
  Jeremy Birchall all male voices, including 'Adam' solo  
  Margaret Feaviour 'Eve' solo  
17 Section 1 - 11:42
18 Secton 2 17:21
 Richard Hickox
  23 July 1992 (We Shall See Him As He Is)  
  4 February 1994 (Eis Thanaton)  
  5 May 1994 (Theophany)  

This two-album set of choral works by Sir John Tavener forms part of the new and ongoing Richard Hickox Legacy series on Chandos, leading up to the fifth anniversary of the conductor’s death in November 2013. We will continue the series with six further re-releases, including a selection of choral works by Dyson, Holst, Elgar, Howells, and Vaughan Williams, as well as a six-disc collector’s box set of orchestral works by Frank Bridge.

The three works in this Tavener set reflect two major influences on the composer’s music: the culture of Greece, and the tradition of the Greek Orthodox Church. In the words of Tavener himself: ‘In everything I do, I aspire to the sacred… music is a form of prayer, a mystery.’ This manifesto is evident in the choral work We Shall See Him as He Is, which was recorded live at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall in London. The concert led Gramophone to the following conclusion: ‘an extraordinary work in an extraordinarily committed and spellbinding performance’. The Mumbai-born British soprano Patricia Rozario has made recordings of numerous works by Tavener, and she was in fact the composer’s own personal choice of soprano for this work, as well as for Eis Thanaton. 
Eis Thanaton (Ode to Death) arose from personal tragedy: it is dedicated to the memory of Tavener’s mother who had died in 1985. Tavener describes the work as ‘an ikon of sorrow’, worked through as ‘part of a whole divine plan, not of death as an isolated cruel imposition’. 
Tavener describes the orchestral Theophany as ‘an attempt to redefine the presence of God in all things as seen from the earliest days of creation to the Psalmist’. Mother Thekla, his friend and spiritual advisor, had a guiding hand in the shaping of the work, which was commissioned by the Bournemouth Orchestras to mark its centenary celebrations.

"...there can be no doubt as to the excellence and commitment of all three performances on this pair of discs. The recorded sound and booklet are up to the usual very high
Chandos standards."
John Quinn - - 30 August 2012

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