September 18, 2006

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir - Arvo Part - Da Pacem

This collection of shorter sacred works by Arvo Pärt is the third harmonia mundi recording devoted to the music of the great contemporary Estonian composer. Da pacem includes some of his newest compositions as well as a sampling of works from earlier in his career. Led by Pärt's longtime collaborator and biographer Paul Hillier, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, along with organist Christopher Bowers-Broadbent, illuminate the very essence of Part's "holy minimalism," with its roots in early-Medieval polyphony and deep engagement with text. A survey of the work of three decades, Da pacem illustrates the development of Pärt's triadic, bell-like "tintinabulation" style as the composer explores new colors and texture. The disc features the lovely Magnificat (1989), with its call and response form and the Salve Regina (2001/2002), with its unexpected underlying waltz rhythm. Also included are Pärt's Dopo la vittoria (1996/1998), a "piccola cantata" commissioned to celebrate the 1,600th anniversary of the death of Saint Ambrose and the title track, Da pacem Domine (2004) - a prayer for peace rendered with an astonishing stillness, in which, says Hillier, "each pitch is carefully placed in position like stones in a Zen garden." Of special note is the world premiere recording of Pärt's Two Slavonic Psalms (1997) - the first a-cappella work the composer wrote using the "tintinnabuli" style. 8409 CD 18.98
Listen to "Psalm 117"

Posted by acapnews at September 18, 2006 10:48 PM