For Flute (doubling Piccolo), Clarinet in B flat*, Very large Tam-Tam (sounding from a high gallery), and Choir (SSATTBB).
* Notated in C in the score.
"According to Hindu Cosmology, we live at the end of a cycle, the Kali Yuga – the Dark Age. There are two important sayings of Christ that should accompany his disciples always during these challenging times.
The first is “The Gates of Hell shall not prevail against my Church” (Matthew 16, v. 18); and the second “I am with you always unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28, v. 20).
These sayings form the basis of this work, which falls into two main sections, each with the same structure and with linked material. Each section begins with Kali Yuga, which I have tried to represent in a chaotic, unstructured way, in contrast to the cosmic Cries of Humanity to Christ (Kyrie eleison - Lord, have mercy), and Christ’s responses from Saint Matthew’s Gospel.
The work ends with a serene ‘Coda’ of the sacred monosyllable “OM”, representing the peace and beatitude of God’s presence. The intermingling of Christianity and Hinduism is an important simile for our times; in the same way, early Christianity did not hesitate to incorporate Jewish and Greek thought."
- John Tavener