In this small-scale song cycle, Taverner coloured his melodic Soprano lines with Eastern European and Slavic flavour. At some points the composer interplayed the Piano line with the sung melody and at other times used the Piano as drone and allows the Vocal line to soar above. The ‘love’ of the title is, according to the composer, ‘the notion of Eros raised to the divine,’ and the texts are written mostly by monks.
John Tavener was that rare creature, a composer of serious music and serious religious music, who has also achieved commercial success. He burst into the popular consciousness with the performance of his Song for Athene at the funeral of Princess Diana, but had been a highly respected and frequently-performed composer since the premiere of his dramatic cantata The Whale in 1968.