The Silence of Being: The Music of Arvo Pärt

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Five of the discs on this six-CD set are previously released Naxos recordings of a broad variety of works by Estonian composer Arvo P?rt. The set offers a generous sampling of works spanning the composer's career, from his polystylistic "Collage ?ber 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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/25/2008
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313601530
  • Catalog Number: 8506015
  • Sales rank: 94,456

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Fratres, for strings & percussion - Arvo Pärt & Tamás Benedek (8:54)
  2. 2 Fratres, for strings & percussion - Arvo Pärt & Tamás Benedek (10:44)
  3. 3 Festina lente, for strings & harp ad lib - Arvo Pärt & Tamás Benedek (7:50)
  4. 4 Fratres, for string quartet - Arvo Pärt & Tamás Benedek (8:41)
  5. 5 Fratres, for cello & piano - Arvo Pärt & Tamás Benedek (11:52)
  6. 6 Summa, for string orchestra - Arvo Pärt & Tamás Benedek (3:45)
  7. 7 Fratres, for 4, 8 or 12 cellos - Arvo Pärt & Tamás Benedek (11:50)
  8. 8 Fratres, for wind octet & percussion - Arvo Pärt & Tamás Benedek (7:45)
  9. 9 Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, for string orchestra & bell - Arvo Pärt & Tamás Benedek (7:39)
Disc 2
  1. 1–2 Tabula rasa, concerto for 2 violins (or violin & viola), prepared piano & string orchestra - Arvo Pärt & Lesley Hatfield (24:31)
  2. 3–5 Collage over B-A-C-H, for strings, oboe, harpsichord & piano - Arvo Pärt & Ulster Orchestra (7:38)
  3. 6–8 Symphony No. 3 - Arvo Pärt & Ulster Orchestra (20:21)
Disc 3
  1. 1–4 Passio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi secundum Joannem - Arvo Pärt & Robert MacDonald (61:48)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Cantate Domino, for SATB chorus or soloists & organ - Arvo Pärt & Noel Edison (3:27)
  2. 2–8 Berliner Messe, for SATB chorus & string orchestra - Arvo Pärt & Noel Edison (22:56)
  3. 3 De Profundis, for male chorus, percussion & organ - Arvo Pärt & Noel Edison (5:53)
  4. 4 Summa, for SATB chorus or soloists - Arvo Pärt & Noel Edison (4:39)
  5. 5 The Beatitudes, for chorus & organ - Arvo Pärt & Noel Edison (7:52)
  6. 6 Magnificat, for chorus - Arvo Pärt & Noel Edison (7:16)
Disc 5
  1. 1–3 Triodion, for chorus - Arvo Pärt & Noel Edison (13:40)
  2. 2 Tribute to Caesar, for chorus - Arvo Pärt & Noel Edison (5:34)
  3. 3 Nunc dimittis, for chorus - Arvo Pärt & Noel Edison (6:12)
  4. 4 Kanon Pokajanen, (9 odes, Kontakion-Ikos & Prayer) for chorus: Ode 7 (Memento) - Arvo Pärt & Noel Edison (7:37)
  5. 5 I Am the True Vine, for chorus - Arvo Pärt & Noel Edison (6:50)
  6. 6 The Woman with the Alabaster Box, for chorus - Arvo Pärt & Noel Edison (5:28)
  7. 7 Dopo la vittoria, little cantata for chorus - Arvo Pärt & Noel Edison (10:34)
  8. 8 Bogoróditse dyévo (Hail Mary), for chorus - Arvo Pärt & Noel Edison (1:23)
Disc 6
  1. 1 Symphony No. 4 ("Heroes"), for orchestra: Neuköln - Marin Alsop & Philip Glass (6:47)
  2. 2 Threnody (for the Victims of Hiroshima), for 52 strings - Krzysztof Penderecki & Polish National Symphony Orchestra (8:52)
  3. 3 Toccata for violin & player piano - Continuum & Conlon Nancarrow (1:32)
  4. 4 Sonatas and Interludes, for prepared piano: First Interlude - Boris Berman & John Cage (3:24)
  5. 5 Fünf Nachtstücke, for violin & piano: 1. Elegie - Peter Sheppard Skærved & Hans Werner Henze (3:00)
  6. 6 Quattro Pezzi su una nota sola (Four Pieces on Only One Note), for 25 musicians: 1. - Hans Zender & Giacinto Scelsi (2:29)
  7. 7 In C, for unspecified performers: [Excerpt] - Paul Hillier & Terry Riley (5:14)
  8. 8 String Quartet No 2 - Charles Wuorinen & The Group for Contemporary Music (5:01)
  9. 9 Déserts for brass, percussion, piano & tape: Beginning - Edgard Varèse & Christopher Lyndon-Gee (4:15)
  10. 10 Songs, Drones and Refrains of Death, for baritone, electric guitar & double bass, amplified piano & harpsichord, & 2 percissionists: Death Drone 2 - George Crumb & Nicholas Isherwood (1:51)
  11. 11 Bagatelles (6) for wind quintet: Allegro grazioso - Albert Schweitzer Quintet & György Ligeti (2:44)
  12. 12 Silenzio, pieces (5) for bayan, violin & cello: II - Sofia Gubaídulína & Maria Kliegel (2:30)
  13. 13 Beta, electronic work - Jørgen Plaetner & Jørgen Plaetner (5:34)
  14. 14 Shaker Loops, for 7 strings or string orchestra: A Final Shaking - Marin Alsop & John Adams (4:08)
  15. 15 Piano Concerto No.1 - Royal Scottish National Orchestra & Einojuhani Rautavaara (9:47)
  16. 16 Fratres, for strings & percussion - Arvo Pärt & Tamás Benedek (8:51)
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