A Portrait of John Tavener

A documentary by Werner Weick

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John Tavener

Program notes

Sir John Tavener, knighted in 2000 (one year before this documentary's release), is a one-of-a-kind composer.

This documentary brings us into the heart of the composer's dense and complex personality. While the master of slow, reflective, singing music, with diverse and exotic sources of inspiration, the Englishman always remained closely attached to his native country, in which he is widely admired and celebrated. Many of his compositions are based on poems by British authors, in particular works by William Blake. A devout Christian, he also wrote a lot of religious music, influenced not just by Christianity but also by Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, among other religions. Sick with Marfan syndrome, he died in 2013 at 69 years old.

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