On this latest BR-KLASSIK recording of sacred music by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt (b. 1935), the regularly award-winning Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, conducted by Peter Dijkstra, is joined by the Münchner Rundfunkorchester, a frequent occurrence in their concert series that regularly include sacred music from the 19th through the 21st c. The present three compositions were written in 1984 and 1990 in the composer's own tintinnabulation style of composition (from the Latin word for the 'ringing of bells'). In his Te Deum, Pärt makes a conscious departure from the traditionally powerful and festive sound of such precursors as Charpentier, Bruckner and Verdi. The restraint of the Wallfahrtslied (Pilgrims' Song), a setting of Psalm 121, evokes the ancient Judeo-Christian tradition of psalm recitation. The Berliner Messe (Berlin Mass) is so named because it was first performed in the city's St. Hedwig's Cathedral (1990) to mark the German Katholikentag (Catholics Day).
A new release from the revered Netherlands Chamber Choir, featuring works by Arvo Pärt. This time the choir teams up with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra in a mixed program of chamber orchestra, choral, and choral a cappella works. The main course on this CD is the rarely recorded and monumental Te Deum. Young Estonian conductor Risto Joost delivers a reading that is rich and inspired.
Te Deum is a setting of the Latin Te Deum text, also known as the Ambrosian Hymn attributed to Saints Ambrose, Augustine, and Hilary, by Estonian-born composer Arvo Part commissioned by the Westdeutscher Rundfunk Radio in Cologne, Germany in 1984. Dedicated to the late Alfred Schlee of Universal Edition, the WDR Broadcast Choir premiered the Te Deum under the direction of conductor Dennis Russell Davies on January 19, 1985. The Te Deum plays an important role in the services of many Christian denominations, including the Paraklesis (Moleben) of Thanksgiving in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Because of the unusual instrumentation Part employs, his Te Deum is not suited for use within the Orthodox Church.
When Henry Madin’s Te Deum for the victories of Louis XV was performed in the Chapelle Royale at Versailles in 2015, it was the first time it had been performed since its premiere in the eighteenth century. Reviving this work for the modern day is Stradivaria, the Baroque ensemble of Nantes, and Les Cris de Paris, the latter two conducted by Daniel Cuiller and Geoffroy Jourdain, respectively. Along with Te Deum, this album also features Madin’s Diligam te, Domine, a grand motet for large chorus.
Of four living composers here, one is less well known. Like the Borusan Quartet itself, Hasan Uçarsu (born 1965) is Turkish. His String Quartet No 2 “The Untold” consists of two short, pensive outer movements – called epilogue and prologue – and two questing, energetic central movements full of Anatolian folk inspiration. Arvo Pärt’s Summa is a string version of a meditative vocal piece from 1977. Pēteris Vasks, like Pärt, found his own spiritual voice within or despite the restrictive Soviet aesthetic, as witnessed in his poignant String Quartet No 4. Philip Glass, in contrast, wrote his Quartet No 2, robustly minimalist, as stage music for an adaptation of Samuel Beckett’s novel Company. A fascinating, engagingly played quartet of quartets.
Matthew Best began his career as a bass, singing at Covent Garden and at other leading operatic venues throughout the world. But since the mid-'80s he has turned increasingly toward conducting, recording many choral/orchestral and operatic works for Hyperion Records. Over the years his singing range has changed as well, placing him in the category of bass-baritone and including roles such as Scarpia and Amfortas.
The world has not yet fully discovered the riches of the impressive music libraries and archives of Portugal. They testify to the often complex trajectories followed all over Europe by a repertoire of splendid pieces, many of them showing the extent to which the Italian style had taken root in eighteenth-century Portugal. The superb mass by Pergolesi recorded here is a highly characteristic example. But the ensemble Turicum wanted to go even further in their exploration of this repertoire, accompanying the mass with performances of works by composers now totally (and unjustly) unknown, such as Antonio Gallassi and David Perez, not to mention Leonardo leo, acknowledged in his own time as a supreme master of sacred music.
These recordings were produced in the 1980s by the Radio of the German Democratic Republic from performances given in the historic Catholic Court Church in Dresden.
Estonian composer Arvo Pärt is best known for the mystical minimalist style he developed in the late 1970s. While pivotal works from this period are included here, this disc's special value is the glimpse it gives of where Pärt was coming from before he simplified his style. His Symphony no. 3 from 1971 contains many premonitions of the austere, quasi-religious music to come: unaccompanied Gregorian chant-like melodies, for example, and the punctuation of bells. But the Symphony also has a wider range of expression, color and dramatic contrasts, sharing a seriousness of purpose with Pärt's later works, but in a manner more akin to Shostakovich.