[ Warner Classics / 2 CD ]
Release Date: Wednesday 1 December 2010
Arvo Pärt celebrated his 75th birthday on 11 September 2010. This 2-CD commemorative set contains many of Pärt's best-known works including many composed in Pärt's new style, the most notable of which is Spiegel im Spiegel and Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten.
Along with Gorecki, Arvo Pärt is the best-selling living composer of the last 20 years.
Pärt was born in Estonia at a time when the country was experiencing a short period of independence from its more powerful neighbours. In 1944, however, Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union and, as a result, Pärt spent the greater part of his life struggling against the Soviet régime. In 1980 he and his family emigrated to Austria, where he took up Austrian citizenship; they returned to Estonia at the beginning of the new century and now live in the capital, Tallinn. Pärt's early works were influenced by Prokofiev and Shostakovich but the introduction of serialism into his music brought him into conflict with the authorities, who banned many of his earliest works.
This effected him deeply and resulted in a period of silent introspection during which time he took a great interest in early music. It was during the 1970s that Pärt developed the "Tintinnabuli Style" of music for which he has become most famous - and which has resonated with millions of listeners and consumers. This style of composition has been likened to minimalism and there are distinct similarities in the use of slow tempi and repeated notation.
Summa (1977) for choir
Seven Magnificat Antiphons (1988, rev. 1991)
Fratres (1980 version) for violin and piano
Festina lente for string orchestra and harp
Spiegel im Spiegel for violin and piano
The Beatitudes (1990, rev. 1991)
Summa for string orchestra
Fratres for string orchestra and percussion
Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten for string orchestra and bell
Tabula rasa for two violins, string orchestra and prepared piano
(both with the Chilingirian Quartet)