Arvo Pärt: Da Pacemby Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Arvo Pärt's works for chorus are the key to his brand of mystical minimalism, with the resonant mass of human voices conveying a nearly medieval quality of collective spiritual awe and devotion. On Da Pacem, the composer's longtime champion Paul Hillier returns once again to lead a program of Pärt's choral music, mixing new and old pieces that show a surprisingly diverse range within the composer's familiar, sonorous style. While the almost motionless title track, Da pacem Domine (2004), conducts its prayer for peace with the utmost austerity and stillness, a work like the Salve Regina (2001-2) stands in bold relief with its more overtly expressive impulse. If the early work Psalm 117 -- the first of Pärt's Two Slavonic Psalms (1984), recorded here for the first time -- seems unusual for its dancelike rhythmic profile, something one rarely associates with this composer, the more recent Dopo la vittoria (1996-98) opens and closes with even more cheerful and upbeat strains. And while the Magnificat may be the program's most exquisite music, with its delicate contrasts between differently textured groups of voices, none of the pieces is less than lovely, and when Christopher Bowers-Broadbent joins in on the organ -- especially on the meditative Littlemore Tractus (2000), which closes the program -- the results approach the sublime. Although their mutual sympathy is likely more spiritual than national, it's only fitting that this Estonian composer should receive such glowing performances from the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, an ensemble that seems to reach a new level of luminosity with each recording they make under Paul Hillier's direction.
- Release Date:
- Harmonia Mundi Fr.
- Da Pacem Domine, for SATB chorus or soloists
- Salve Regina, for chorus & organ
- Slavic Psalms (2), for chorus or soloists
- Magnificat, for chorus
- An den Wassern zu Babel saßen wir und weinten, for SATB soloists or chorus & organ
- Dopo la vittoria, little cantata for chorus
- Nunc dimittis, for chorus
- Littlemore Tractus, for chorus & organ
Performance CreditsEstonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir Primary Artist
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