In 2002 I was privileged enough to witness at the Temple Church in London, the premiere of The Veil of the Temple, the all-night vigil, by the late Sir John Tavener, conducted by choral heavy-weight Stephen Layton. And then in August this year I heard and helped to organise the latest production of this epic work in Trondheim, Norway. It had lost none of its impact.
The lofty setting of St Olav Cathedral, dedicated to the man who was responsible and sainted for bringing ‘the Christian word’ to the North could not have been more fitting. The geographical and cultural chasm between this building and the Sufi influenced beauty uttered throughout by Bombay born soprano Patricia Rozario was bridged through music deeply influenced by St John’s Gospel at the centre, by orthodox vigil services, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism.
Tavener’s long artistic collaboration with Patricia Rozario was one of the most significant of his career and through her voice his music continues to live on. There is an understanding that goes beyond the notes on the page into something spiritual – this is all too apparent as she journeys through all eight cycles of this piece reaching a total realisation of Self in the most exquisite and heart-felt cry ‘Rabboni’. Sir John Tavener himself wrote that ‘by the act of writing The Veil I understood that no single religion could be exclusive.’ An anthem for the modern age perhaps?
I have mentioned the exceptional choral conductor Stephen Layton. He is another who had a special relationship with Sir John during his lifetime, and commissioned this work for the Temple Church in London. It is artists like this, with vision and courage who make history and boy what a way to do it. This piece will leave its mark for centuries to come.
At Hazard Chase we are very proud to be involved with collaborations and artists such as these. Our business is to manage musicians who have integrity and talent and can make a positive difference to the world. Our list is diverse and growing and we find it particularly important and rewarding to nurture young talent. Alpesh Chauhan, a young conductor born in the UK into an Indian family has been Assistant Conductor at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra since September 2014 and young pianist Julian Clef, born in the state of Kerala, India, are two artists in a stable of exceptional talent that we are particularly pleased to represent. Our other young artists includes pianists Benjamin Grosvenor and Andrew Tyson, cellists Laura van der Heijden and Marie-Elizabeth Hecker, violinist Callum Smart and singers Thomas Atkins and Nalalia Romaniw. For our full list of artists please see www.hazardchase.co.uk