John Tavener's Coplas, composed in 1970, for SATB Choir. Score and performance CD.
'Coplas is a short anthem for voices and tape. It belongs to a much larger work called 'Last Rites' which I have been thinking about for about a year. It is based on the mystical idea of St. John of the Cross which obsesses me - "the more I live the more I must die." Hence the deliberately static nature of Coplas.
In once sense Coplas is a prolonged decoration of the 'et sepultus est' cadence from the Crucifixus in Bach's Mass in B minor. In another sense I think of it not so much as my music but a way of listening to Bach's music.' - John Tavener