Studio International

Published 19/03/2004

A rare conjunction of musical and architectural genius has been brought about by the provision of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott's 12.5-second reverberation time, found now to perfectly accommodate Sir John Tavener's 'The Atma Mass', at Liverpool's great Anglican cathedral. Tavener himself became a member of the Greek Orthodox Church 16 years ago. Britain's two outstanding composers, Sir Peter Maxwell Davis and Tavener himself, make it difficult to premiate one over the other. The fitting of choral music to architecture has long interested Maxwell Davis in his Orkney fastness, where the cathedral of St Magnus annually hosts a festival. Tavener's fitting of his seven-hour long composition 'The Veil of the Temple', with inspirational material drawn from Christian, Islamic and Hindu sources, fully utilises the spatial and acoustic qualities of London's Temple Church. Now we might wait for Daniel Libeskind both to create a great space and to let it resonate with his own, highly accomplished musical talent given full vent.