The Hidden Face

The Hidden Face features music by five European composers spanning a millennium: Hildegard von Bingen, Giacinto Scelsi, Mátyás Seiber, Arvo Pärt, and John Tavener.

All Saint’s Church, Cambridge – January 22nd, 2PM

John Tavener

photo © sim canetty-clarke

“Prayer, in the Orthodox East, is from the heart. The mind must have gone into the heart. We pray secretly, secret even from ourselves, since only the Divine Presence knows what is in our hearts, and this suggests a music of immense humility, wrapped in a depth of inner silence and stillness of which we have no idea.”

Paradise was made of peace, and so Adam could hear the Divine Voice. It is almost impossible now. We have to cast off all the received intellectual, sophisticated garbage, and also all the preconceived knowledge of God that modern man has so disastrously collected, and listen with a heart that has become so soft that the Face is no longer Hidden.”

But we are still at the beginning, so the title remains…. The Hidden Face.”

Arvo Pärt

“The texts exist independently of us and are waiting for us: each of us has a time when he will find a way to them. This meeting happens when the texts are not treated as literature or works of art, but as points of reference or as models”

Mátyás Seiber

Picture © Tyrone Landau

Born in Hungary, Seiber lived and worked in the UK from 1935 and was considered one of the best teachers of composition in the country, and was well-known amoung composers.

Mátyás was killed, aged 55, in a Road Traffic Accident while on a concert & conducting tour in South Africa, and Kodály was moved to write a setting of Media Vita in his memory.

Giacinto Scelsi

Giacinto Scelsi was an Italian Composer in the 20th Century. Best known for writing pieces based on single notes. He often left a simple signature, representing the Sun rising in the east.

“La musica non può esistere senza il suono. Il suono esiste di per sé senza la musica. È il suono ciò che conta.”

Hildegard von Bingen

Hildegard was a German abbess and polymath, likely born in 1098. She wrote prodigiously on a whole range of topics, and left a large library of musical settings of her own texts.