‘The Protecting Veil’ by John Tavener

For Record Store Day 2014 Bella Union are very proud to announce the release of The Protecting Veil for the first time ever on vinyl.

The Protecting Veil is a musical composition for cello and strings by British composer John Tavener. Completed in 1988, the work was commissioned by the BBC for the 1989 Proms season and released three years later in 1992.

Tavener, until his sad death late last year, was perhaps Britain’s best-loved composer of recent times, most notably after his ‘Song for Athene’ was played at Princess Diana’s funeral. It was not always thus and Tavener has divided opinion all his working life. His 1969 piece The Whale, was mostly unconventional, full of electronics and spoken word, and attracted the attention of John Lennon who signed it to the Beatles label, Apple. In 1977 Tavener converted to the Russian Orthodox Church and soon his music developed a deep spirtuality. With the release of The Protecting Veil, a 45 minute piece inspired by the Orthodox feast of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God, he found a huge audience embracing this slow, meditative, emotional work.

The Protecting Veil, which has a performance time of around 43 minutes, includes eight sections, each based on an “icon” in the life of the Virgin Mary.

1.The Protecting Veil
2.The Nativity of the Mother of God
3.The Annunciation
4.The Incarnation
5.The Lament of the Mother of God at the Cross
6.The Resurrection
7.The Formation
8.The Protecting Veil