Roxanna Panufnik’s ongoing mission to build musical bridges between different faiths was inspired by the birth of her first child in 2002, when she started to reflect on the world she was bringing her baby into. Religious conflict and wars caused by it are constantly in the news – but we rarely hear enough about the affirmative aspects of our many faiths, such as the phenomenal beauty of the varied cultures surrounding them. By exploring these cultures, Panufnik has been able to unearth a bounty of stunning chant and verse and has been brought closer to her own personal spiritual beliefs.
Each work on this CD focuses on a particular mood or sentiment around the theme of love, expressed in a musical language that echoes the origin of the words. Drawing on texts from different faiths, from the 15th century Zen Master Ikkyū Sōyun to the well-loved 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians; from the Christian mass setting to the 14th Century Sufi poet and mystic Rumi, to the ancient Hebrew Psalm 136 (135). And marrying traditional Anglican text with a Catholic one – creating a truly Ecumenical Magnificat. Within the music you hear fragments of Spanish Sephardic chant, Christian plainsong, Sufi rhythms and a Japanese lullaby to soothe the soul.
Love Abide encapsulates the very contemporary ethos of multicultural spiritual devotion in a world populated by a rich diversity of faiths – all feeling, as deeply and as aesthetically, the compelling potency of music with love.
★★★★★ A rich offering on the theme of interfaith connectivity – BBC Music Magazine
[An] impressively varied and diverse collection. A music of hope in dark and troubled times – Gramophone
A soothing soundworld – The Northern Echo