Tavener: The Bridegroom andOther Works

Million-selling medieval vocal quartet Anonymous 4 recently announced its eventual end as a going concern, and nothing underlines that as a sad fact like this marvelously produced disc.

Million-selling medieval vocal quartet Anonymous 4 recently announced its eventual end as a going concern, and nothing underlines that as a sad fact like this marvelously produced disc. With the major premiere recording of John Tavener's The Bridegroom as its centerpiece, the album revolves around the dichotomous spiritual theme of darkness and light. The female vocal group performs The Bridegroom and two other new Tavener pieces in league with the shadowy strings of the Chilingirian Quartet, and the results are almost painfully beautiful. This is Tavener at his very best, aided by performances of utmost intensity. A cappella medieval hymns fill the rest of the program, and these also come across with an idealized expressiveness characteristic of the finest examples in Anonymous 4's peerlessly popular Harmonia Mundi discography.—BB