The Protecting Veil

‘The Protecting Veil’ is a piece by composer, John Tavener, who sadly passed away late last year. I was first recommended this piece of his, for Cello and strings, by a friend who is very into contemporary music. To be honest, I am not a massive fan of the kind of contemporary music that has eliminated harmony and made way for viciously abstract effects. However, ‘The Protecting Veil’ is a wonderfully harmonious and beautiful piece of music.

The legendary Steven Isserlis, who is playing the solo Cello part, spends immense amounts of time on the quality of sound he produces. This plays an important factor in ‘The Protecting Veil’, since it is all about tone and quality of sound. The high introduction is beautifully played by Isserlis, as he produces a very lyrical sound. However later on in the piece the Cello part goes lower and more mellow, and it wonderfully displays the full range of the Cello, which in itself is a beautiful instrument. It’s a beautiful piece generally and goes through several sections:

  1. The Protecting Veil
  2. The Nativity of the Mother of God
  3. The Annunciation
  4. The Incarnation
  5. The Lament of the Mother of God at the Cross
  6. The Resurrection
  7. The Dormition
  8. The Protecting Veil

I hope you listen and enjoy to this piece! It’s a good piece to listen to whilst you’re on the computer for a long length of time, perhaps when you’re working on some piece of writing, as it is a long piece yet it tells a fantastic story – something perhaps you could interpret in your own way and use to bring on further creativity!


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