Silence of Being: The Music of Arvo Pärt

The Silence of Being: The Music of Arvo Pärt

     
 
Five of the discs on this six-CD set are previously released Naxos recordings of a broad variety of works by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. The set offers a generous sampling of works spanning the composer's career, from his polystylistic "Collage über BACH" (1964) for orchestra to his 2001 "Nunc dimittis for a cappella chorus." The bulk of the collection is devoted to

Overview

Five of the discs on this six-CD set are previously released Naxos recordings of a broad variety of works by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. The set offers a generous sampling of works spanning the composer's career, from his polystylistic "Collage über BACH" (1964) for orchestra to his 2001 "Nunc dimittis for a cappella chorus." The bulk of the collection is devoted to works with his characteristic holy minimalist sound, using his tintinnabuli technique, in which there is a mathematically exact connection between the various lines. The set includes several of his major large-scale works, such as the "St. John Passion," "Berliner Messe," and "Tabula Rasa," as well as many of his most popular smaller works, like "Fratres" (in six different arrangements), "Cantus in memorium Benjamin Britten," "Festina lente," "De Profundis," and vocal and instrumental versions of "Summa." The avowed Pärt devotee will probably already own performances of most of these pieces, but at the bargain price at which Naxos is offering the set, it offers listeners who aren't widely familiar with Pärt's music a fine introduction to his work. The quality of the performances varies; none are less than very good, but few measure up to the luminous original recordings on ECM, performed by groups such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Hilliard Ensemble, Gidon Kremer, the Theatre of Voices, and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. The performances by the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra on the disc devoted to the six versions of "Fratres," "Festina lente," "Summa," and "Cantus" are somewhat diffident, but "Tonus Peregrinus," led by Antony Pitts, sings the "St. John Passion" with purity, intensity, and drama. The disc of more recent unaccompanied choral music dating from 1990 to 2001 includes lesser known but highly attractive works, beautifully performed by Elora Festival Singers conducted by Noel Edison. Naxos astutely includes a bonus disc, Sonic Rebellion, a sampler of newer classical music likely to appeal to the kind of listener drawn to mavericks like Pärt. The eclectic collection is wonderfully diverse, including composers as different as Glass, Nancarrow, Henze, Riley, Wuorinen, Ligeti, Scelsi, and Adams, and should whet the appetite of fans of new music to look into the Naxos catalog.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/25/2008
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313601530
catalogNumber:
8506015
Rank:
88095

Tracks

  1. Fratres, for strings & percussion
  2. Fratres, for strings & percussion
  3. Festina lente, for strings & harp ad lib
  4. Fratres, for string quartet
  5. Fratres, for cello & piano
  6. Summa, for string orchestra
  7. Fratres, for 4, 8 or 12 cellos
  8. Fratres, for wind octet & percussion
  9. Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, for string orchestra & bell
  10. Tabula rasa, concerto for 2 violins (or violin & viola), prepared piano & string orchestra
  11. Collage over B-A-C-H, for strings, oboe, harpsichord & piano
  12. Symphony No. 3
  13. Passio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi secundum Joannem
  14. Cantate Domino, for SATB chorus or soloists & organ
  15. Berliner Messe, for SATB chorus & string orchestra
  16. De Profundis, for male chorus, percussion & organ
  17. Summa, for SATB chorus or soloists
  18. The Beatitudes, for chorus & organ
  19. Magnificat, for chorus
  20. Triodion, for chorus
  21. Tribute to Caesar, for chorus
  22. Nunc dimittis, for chorus
  23. Kanon Pokajanen, (9 odes, Kontakion-Ikos & Prayer) for chorus: Ode 7 (Memento)
  24. I Am the True Vine, for chorus
  25. The Woman with the Alabaster Box, for chorus
  26. Dopo la vittoria, little cantata for chorus
  27. Bogoróditse dyévo (Hail Mary), for chorus
  28. Symphony No. 4 ("Heroes"), for orchestra: Neuköln
  29. Threnody (for the Victims of Hiroshima), for 52 strings
  30. Toccata for violin & player piano
  31. Sonatas and Interludes, for prepared piano: First Interlude
  32. Fünf Nachtstücke, for violin & piano: 1. Elegie
  33. Quattro Pezzi su una nota sola (Four Pieces on Only One Note), for 25 musicians: 1.
  34. In C, for unspecified performers: [Excerpt]
  35. String Quartet No 2
  36. Déserts for brass, percussion, piano & tape: Beginning
  37. Songs, Drones and Refrains of Death, for baritone, electric guitar & double bass, amplified piano & harpsichord, & 2 percissionists: Death Drone 2
  38. Bagatelles (6) for wind quintet: Allegro grazioso
  39. Silenzio, pieces (5) for bayan, violin & cello: II
  40. Beta, electronic work
  41. Shaker Loops, for 7 strings or string orchestra: A Final Shaking
  42. Piano Concerto No.1
  43. Fratres, for strings & percussion

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