World first: Group delays album ‘for fear of appearing opportunistic’

World first: Group delays album ‘for fear of appearing opportunistic’


norman lebrecht

December 03, 2013

Press Announcement – The Tallis Scholars delay their Tavener re-issue


Gimell has abandoned plans to re-issue The Tallis Scholars’ recording of John Tavener’s Ikon of Light on what would have been Sir John’s 70th birthday for fear of appearing opportunistic. The release has now been scheduled for April 2014.  The album will also include Funeral Ikos, the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete and a performance of The Lamb conducted by the composer.Ikon of Light was commissioned by The Tallis Scholars and Sir John attended the recording sessions.

In his last recorded interview Sir John referred twice to The Tallis Scholars: the Ikon of Light was one of the pieces he most wanted to hear during his 70th year and when asked what music had most moved him in the previous year he mentioned The Tallis Scholars’ performance of the 16th-century John Taverner’s Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas at the BBC Proms.

john tavener3


  • Andrew Collins says:

    I can’t think of a greater vocal group performance.

  • squirrel says:

    How incredibly classy. But couldn’t they have gone ahead re-released it and donated the windfall of cash to a charitable foundation or some whatnot?

    • MWnyc says:

      Windfall of cash from a classical CD release?

      These days, almost no classical CD – even one timed as fortuitously (if that’s the word for a case like this) as this one would have been – could pull in enough cash to be described as a windfall.

      It just possibly might work out that way if the recording got featured on a popular public radio news or magazine program. But even then the music would have to have the sort of immediate appeal that the music on this particular disc doesn’t really have. (Except for The Lamb, which has long since been discovered.) I like Ikon of Light quite a bit, but it’s just not Song for Athene.