Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s four symphonies tell the story of his musical life. It’s a tale bookended by the skittish and uncompromising Symphony No. 1, written while he was a student in 1963, and the Fourth from 2008—a beautifully sculpted masterpiece in his own “tintinnabuli” style in which textures rise, fall, and repeat like pealing bells. Much more than fine recordings of fascinating works, these are ideal performances directed by one of Pärt’s most trusted conductors, compatriot Tõnu Kaljuste. Listen out for the beautiful oases amid the noise in the final movement of Symphony No. 2 and the chant-infused Symphony No. 3, containing moments of pure beauty.
This disc of music by Arvo Pärt offers a generous representative sampling of his orchestral and chamber works from early in his holy minimalist (or, as he preferred, tintinnabuli) phase, mostly from the late 1970s but some as late as 1990. The pieces include some of his most popular works, notably Fratres (which exists in nearly a dozen incarnations), Spiegel in Spiegel (of which there are nearly half as many versions), Summa, and Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten.
Arvo Pärt: A Portrait, a collection of performances by Canadian violinist Angèle Dubeau and her string ensemble La Pietà, is easily among the finest recordings devoted to Pärt's instrumental music. It includes his best-known works for strings, with the exception of Fratres, in performances of exceptional purity that get at the heart of his uniquely simple, chaste, and directly communicative music.
The popular choral group the Sixteen has never sounded better than on this release, and fans of the ensemble can buy with confidence in acquiring a set of classic English Renaissance pieces with a few modern works for spice. For the unconverted it's a bit less convincing, but it has a strong idea. The album title comes from the conventional name of a prayer of none other than St. Patrick, set in modern English by Arvo Pärt in 2007.
Estonian composer Arvo Part's timeless music has touched listeners for decades. He is one of the most performed living composers. This new release features eight choral pieces which were written between 1988 and 2012. These works feature some of Part's finest vocal writing, especially in the three-movement Triodion and the seven-movement Sieben Magnificat-Antiphonen.