- Wallfahrtslied (Pilgrim's Song), version for men's choir & string orchestra
- Orient & Occident, for string orchestra
- Como cierva sedienta, version for women's choir & orchestra
There's no mistaking the music on Arvo Pärt's tenth release in ECM's New Series, Orient Occident, for another composer's works -- Pärt's style (he calls it "tintinnabulation") has remained remarkably consistent since he formulated his distinctive voice in the mid-1970s. But while fans of Tabula Rasa -- the first ECM New Series release, which brought Pärt's music to an international audience for the first time -- will recognize the composer they know and love here, there is also a sense of his expanding use of instrumental colors and growing expressive breadth. Wallfahrtslied (Pilgrim's Song) starts things off somberly. A setting of the 121st Psalm composed in reaction to the death of a friend, it comes here in a revised version for men's choir and string orchestra. The original calls for solo voice with string quartet, and while there may be a loss of intimacy with the enlarged forces, at the same time there is a greater sense of the music's opening onto the infinite. Orient & Occident (2000), which follows, is a rhapsodic work for string orchestra. The composer's first purely instrumental composition in several years, it recalls the Pärt of Tabula Rasa. Como cierva sedienta (1999), on the other hand, which closes the program, is the most novel and extended composition here. Scored for women's choir, soprano soloist, and orchestra, it is a setting of Psalms 42 and 43 in Spanish -- Pärt's first composition in that language -- and surveys a wide expressive scope with carefully modulated, beautiful ensemble colors, with the high female voices often soaring like violins. All three compositions receive premiere recordings on this disc, made as always with the guiding hand of the composer. The performances, by longtime Pärt collaborator Tõnu Kaljuste with the Swedish Radio Symphony and Choir, are pristine, as is ECM's exemplary sound quality.