Song for Athene was written for a young woman who died in an accident, and was used as the recessional in Princess Diana's funeral.
I herein dedicate it to my mother-in-law who died Wednesday evening.
While the Tavener piece speaks of Christian afterlife, its spirituality lies in the grandeur of life itself: man's creative mind. For me, the slow, four-part harmony and droning mournful sound nearly perfectly express the wrenching sadness of dying and the finality of death.
Happily held in the arms and eyes of her best friend.