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Arvo Part

Composer

Arvo Part

The composer Arvo Part (pronounced "pairt") was born in Estonia in 1935. Although at that time Estonia was a nascent independent republic, the Soviet Union took control of it in 1940, and stayed except for a brief period under the Nazis, for the next 54 years.

Arvo PartPart's musical education began at age 7, and by 14 or 15 he was writing his own compositions. While studying composition at the Tallinn Conservatory it was said of him that: "he just seemed to shake his sleeves and notes would fall out". There were very few influences from outside the Soviet Union at this time, just a few illegal tapes and scores.

Part's oeuvre is generally divided into two periods, and he is best known for his more recent works. The early works range from rather severe neo-classical styles influences by Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Bartok. He then began to compose using Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique and serialism, but this not only earned the ire of the Soviet establishment, but also proved to be a creative dead end. Part's biographer, Paul Hillier, says: "... he had reached a position of complete despair in which the composition of music appeared to be the most futile of gestures, and he lacked the musical faith and will-power to write even a single note" This may be an overstatement since the transitional third symphony was composed during this time. However, it is clear that Part experienced a deep crisis. His response to this impasse was to immerse himself in early music, to go in effect back to the very roots of western music. He studied plainsong, Gregorian chant, and the emergence of polyphony in the Renaissance. At the same time he began to explore religion and joined the Russian Orthodox Church, perhaps indicating that the crisis was spiritual in nature, rather than simply musical.

The music that began to emerge after this period was radically different. Part describes it as tintinnabular : as like the ringing of bells. The music is characterised by simple harmonies, often single unadorned notes, or triad chords which form the basis of western harmony. These sound like ringing bells, hence the name. The Tintinnabuli are rhythmically simple, and do not change tempo. The influence of early music is clear. Another characteristic of Part's later works is that they are frequently settings for sacred texts, although he mostly chooses Latin texts rather than Estonia, or the Slavonic used in Orthodox liturgy. Part is unusual for a modern composer in that he is very popular in his own lifetime.

Part has said that his music is similar to light going through a prism: the music may have a slightly different meaning for each listener, thus creating a spectrum of musical experience, similar to the rainbow of light.

Discography (See list of Compositions.)

Displaying 1-8 of 8 items.


Arvo Part : Collected Choral Works

Review: This new anthology of Part's choral works replaces the earlier one published in 1999. It is even more representative of Part's work, not only because of the recent additions, but because of the very welcome decision to include two selections from his major a cappella work, Kanon Pokajanen. The revised selection is also carefully geared towards the music represented on three CDs, all of which were recorded in consultation with the composer. introduced by Paul Hillier.

Songlist: Arvo Part, Observation on the Performance of Arvo Part's choral music, Bemerkungen zur Auffuhrungspraxis der Chorwerke Arvo Parts, Remarques sur l'interpretation des oeuvres chorales d'Arvo Part, Werkvezeichnis- List of Works- Catalogue des oeuvres, An den Wassen zu Babel saben wir und weinten, Beatus Petronius, Cantate Domino canticum novum, Da pacem Domine, De profundis, Dopo la vittoria, Gebet nach dem Kanon, I Am the True Vine, Littlemore Tractus, Magnificat, Memento (Ode VII), Missa syllabica (a cappella), Most Holy Mother of God, Nunc dimittis, Salve Regina, Sieben Magnificat- Anthiphonen, Solfeggio, Statuit ei Dominus, Triodion, Veni creator, Which Was the Son of ..., Zwei slawische Psalmen

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8735b | 01 Songbook | $49.95 | SATB | A CappellaLatvian Choral Music


Elora Festival Singers : Arvo Part - Music for Unaccompanied Choir

Review: During the past 20 years, Arvo Part has consolidated his reputation as one of the most significant contemporary composers with a sequence of magnificent sacred choral works. Dating from between 1990 and 2001, the works on this recording exemplify Part's mature idiom at its most harmonically expressive. If Triodion represents his music at its starkest and most unadorned, Kanon Pokajanen, the composer's largest work after the 1982 St John Passion (Naxos 8.555860), is music of a dark-hued and intensely felt contemplation. Part's emotionally-charged Bogorditse Djvo, is a vibrant tribute to the Virgin Mary.

Songlist: O Jesus Son of God, Have Mercy Upon Us, O Most Holy Birth-giver of God, Save Us, O Holy Saint Nicholas, Pray to God for Us, Tribute to Caesar, Nunc Dimittis, Ode VII, I am the True Vine, The Woman with the Alabaster Box, Dopo la Vittoria, Bogoroditse Djevo

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4226c | 00 1 CD | $9.95 | A CappellaMixed Choirs CDs


Listen to
Psalm 117

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir : Arvo Part - Da Pacem

Review: This collection of shorter sacred works by Arvo Part 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 Part'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 Part'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 Part'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 Part's Two Slavonic Psalms (1997) - the first a-cappella work the composer wrote using the "tintinnabuli" style.

Songlist: Da Pacem Domine, Salve Regina, Zwei Salwische Psalmen, Psalm 117, Psalm 131, Magnificat, An Den Wassern Zu Babel, Dopo La Vittoria, Nunc Dimittis, Little Tractus

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8409c | 00 1 CD | $18.98 | A CappellaEstonian Choral Music


Hilliard Ensemble : Arvo Part - St. John Passion

Review: Arvo Part's contemporary sacred work, St. John Passion, is sung in Latin and recalls the purity and timelessness of the great musical passions of the seventeenth century. Recorded from Durham's magnificent medieval cathedral, the performance features the Hilliard Ensemble and the Western Wind Choir, conducted by Paul Hillier. The solo parts are sung by John Potter (Pilate), Michael George (Christ), Mary Seers, David James, Roger Covey-Crump and Gordon Jones (The Evangelist Quartet). A short introduction precedes the work.

Songlist: 1.Opening credits, 2.Introduction, 3.Passio Domini nostri, 4.Haec cum dixisset Jesus, 5.Quem quaeritis?, 6.Stabat autem et Judas, 7Quem quaeritis?7, 8.Ut impleretur sermo, 9.Mitte gladium tuum in vaginam, 10.Cohors ergo, et tribunus, 11.Erat autem Caiphas, 12.Dixit ergo Petro ancilla ostiaria, 13.Stabant autem servi, 14.Ego palam locutus sum mundo, 15.Haec autem cum dixisset, 16. Erat autem Simon Petrus stans, 17.Adducunt ergo Jesum a Caipha, 18.Quam accusationem affertis , 19. Introivit ergo iterum in praetorium Pilatus, 20.Regnum meum non est de hoc mundo, 21.Tu dicis quia Rex sum ego, 22.Et cum hoc dixisset, iterum exivit ad Judaeous , 23. Tunc ergo apprehendit Pilatus Jesum, 24.Exivit ergo iterum Pilatus foras, 25.Cum ergo vidissent eum Pontifices, 26.Cum ergo audisset Pilatus hunc sermonem, 27. Non haberes potestatem adversum me ullam, 28.Et exinde quaerebat Pilatus dimittere eum, 29.Erat autem parasceve Paschae, 30.Et baiulans sibi crucem exivit in eum , 31.Scripsit autem et titulum Pilatus, 32.Noli scribere, Rex Judaeorum, 33.Milites ergo cum cruxissent eum, 34.Stabant autem juxta crucem Jesu Mater ejus, 35.Postea sciens Jesus quia omnia consummata sunt, 36.Qui passus es pro nobis, 37.Credits

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8901d | DVD | $19.95 | A CappellaChoral Performance DVDs


Theatre of Voices : Arvo Part - A Tribute

Review: In celebration of composer Arvo Part's 70th birthday on September 11th, Harmonia Mundi offers this special selection of recordings, conducted by his long-time collaborator and biographer Paul Hillier. Of special note is the first release of Hillier's reading of Dopo la vittoria. Previously released recordings are taken from Hillier's two highly acclaimed recordings of the music of Arvo Part. His first CD, De Profundis, has remained a bestseller since its debut in March 1997. I Am The True Vine, his second Part disc, illustrated Hillier's unique affinity for the deep spiritual mysteries of Part's music, and his ability to illuminate them in ways no other performer can match. The collaborative relationship between Hillier and Estonian composer Part dates back to the early 1980s, when as director of the Hilliard Ensemble, he was among the first to present Part's music to the West.

Songlist: Dopo La Vittoria, The Woman With The Alabaster Box, Berliner Messe, Kyrie, Gloria, First Alleluia Verse, Second Alleluia Verse, Veni Sancte Spiritus, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei , Solfeggio, Magnificat, Bogoroditese Djevo, I Am The True Wine, Which Was The Son Of...

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7867c | 00 1 CD | $16.98 | Primarily a cappella


Theatre of Voices : Arvo Part - De Profundis

Review: Marx and Lenin probably would not have appreciated the irony, but after decades of Communist repression of religion, the former Soviet bloc is the source of a profound outpouring of explicitly Christian expression. This is manifested in the music of such composers as Henryk Gorecki, a Pole, and Arvo Part, an Estonian. Part, a refugee from serialism, here writes in a quasi-minimalist style that he calls "tintinnabuli," a sound that echoes medieval composition. A fan of vocal music ("The human voice is the most perfect instrument of all"), he uses choruses to superb effect. This disc includes some of his best work, including the popular Magnificat, beautifully rendered by the Theatre of Voices under Paul Hillier.

Songlist: De Profundis, Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei , Ite Misse Est, Solfeggio, And One Of Those Pharisees, Cantate Domino, Summa, O Weisheit, O Adonai, O Spross, O Schlussel, O Morgenstern, O Konig, O Immanuel, The Beatitudes, Magnificat

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6136c | 00 1 CD | $15.95


Theatre of Voices : Creator Spiritus - Arvo Part

Review: Creator Spiritus is the latest collaboration between GRAMMY Award winning conductor Paul Hillier and celebrated Estonian composer Arvo Part. The disc features a carefully selected collection of Part's choral and instrumental chamber music, drawn from different periods in the composer's career. Leading his celebrated vocal ensembles Theatre of Voices and Ars Nova Copenhagen and joined by the NYYD Quartet and long-time collaborator organist Christopher Bowers-Broadbent, Hillier produces another powerful recording of ethereal sacred music.

Songlist: Veni creator, The Deer's Cry, Psalom, Most Holy Mother of God, Solfeggio, My Heart's in the Highlands, Peace upon you, Jerusalem, Ein Wallfahrtslied, Morning Star, Stabat Mater

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2916c | 00 SACD | $19.95


Theatre of Voices : Part - I Am The True Vine

Review: Contemporary troubador Paul Hillier has been one of the key players behind introducing Arvo Part's music to Western audiences, first through recordings with the Hilliard Ensemble and later through his magnificently innovative group Theatre of Voices. I Am the True Vine continues the collaboration by bringing together some truly vintage Part compositions from the '90s. Although it exists on disc in a more elaborate version for choir and strings, the 1990 Berlin Mass was originally written for just four solo voices and organ. Part later revised the score, returning to that original sonority, which is the version offered here. The consummate preparation of the Theatre of Voices, in which every line is lovingly unfurled, the whole building into a memorable aural sculpture, only heightens a listener's admiration for Part's ability to make the seemingly simple profound. We also hear the composer in a more overtly joyful mood than usual in the short first selection, while the title track--a setting of a text from the Gospel of John and one of three world premiere recordings here--is a marvelously organic example of word painting (representing Part's choral virtuosity even when it comes to setting English text).

Songlist: Bogoroditse dyevo (Hail Mary), I Am the True Vine, Kanon Pokajanen, The Woman with the Alabaster Box, Tribute to Caesar, Berliner Messe

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7868c | 00 1 CD | $17.95 | Primarily a cappella

Compositions ( See Discography.)

Displaying 1-50 of 101 items.

Song NameArrangerComposerArtistRecording TitleFormat
...which was the song of... (Arvo Part)Arvo PartEstonian Philharmonic Chamber ChoirBaltic Voices 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Agnus Dei Arvo PartTheatre of VoicesArvo Part - De Profundis 1 CDMORE DETAILS
An den Wassen zu Babel saben wir und weintenArvo PartArvo PartCollected Choral WorksSongbookMORE DETAILS
An Den Wassern Zu BabelArvo PartEstonian Philharmonic Chamber ChoirArvo Part - Da Pacem 1 CDMORE DETAILS
And One Of Those PhariseesArvo PartTheatre of VoicesArvo Part - De Profundis 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Arvo PartArvo PartArvo PartCollected Choral WorksSongbookMORE DETAILS
Beatus PetroniusArvo PartArvo PartCollected Choral WorksSongbookMORE DETAILS
Bemerkungen zur Auffuhrungspraxis der Chorwerke Arvo PartsArvo PartArvo PartCollected Choral WorksSongbookMORE DETAILS
Berliner MesseArvo PartTheatre of VoicesPart - I Am The True Vine 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Bogorodiste DjevoArvo PartSwedish Radio ChoirVoices Of Nature 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Bogoroditse DjevoArvo PartUniversity of Louisville Cardinal SingersA Time To Cherish 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Bogoroditse DjevoArvo PartElora Festival SingersArvo Part - Music for Unaccompanied Choir 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Bogoroditse DjevoArvo PartArs Nova SingersBlue True Dream 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Bogoroditse DjevoArvo PartSt Charles SingersChristmas In St Charles 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Bogoroditse DjevoArvo PartThe Choral ProjectWinter 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Bogoroditse DyevoArvo PartMinnesota Choral ArtistsShout the Glad Tidings! 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Bogoroditse dyevo (Hail Mary)Arvo PartChoir of King's College, CambridgeOn Christmas Day - New Carols From King's 2 CDsMORE DETAILS
Bogoroditse dyevo (Hail Mary)Arvo PartTheatre of VoicesPart - I Am The True Vine 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Bogoroditse dyevo, raduisyaArvo PartEsotericsBeata - Songs to the blessed virgin 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Bogoroditsye DyevoArvo PartStephen CleoburyAdvent For ChoirsSongbookMORE DETAILS
Bogoroditsye Dyevo Arvo PartKing's SingersKing's Singers Christmas 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Cantate DominoArvo PartTheatre of VoicesArvo Part - De Profundis 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Cantate Domino canticum novumArvo PartArvo PartCollected Choral WorksSongbookMORE DETAILS
CredoArvo PartTheatre of VoicesArvo Part - De Profundis 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Da Pacem DomineArvo PartEstonian Philharmonic Chamber ChoirArvo Part - Da Pacem 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Da pacem DomineArvo PartArvo PartCollected Choral WorksSongbookMORE DETAILS
De ProfundisArvo PartTheatre of VoicesArvo Part - De Profundis 1 CDMORE DETAILS
De profundisArvo PartArvo PartCollected Choral WorksSongbookMORE DETAILS
Dopo La VittoriaArvo PartEstonian Philharmonic Chamber ChoirArvo Part - Da Pacem 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Dopo la VittoriaArvo PartElora Festival SingersArvo Part - Music for Unaccompanied Choir 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Dopo la vittoriaArvo PartArvo PartCollected Choral WorksSongbookMORE DETAILS
Dopo La VittoriaArvo PartSwedish Radio ChoirVoices Of Nature 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Gebet nach dem KanonArvo PartArvo PartCollected Choral WorksSongbookMORE DETAILS
GloriaArvo PartTheatre of VoicesArvo Part - De Profundis 1 CDMORE DETAILS
I am the True VineArvo PartElora Festival SingersArvo Part - Music for Unaccompanied Choir 1 CDMORE DETAILS
I Am the True VineArvo PartArvo PartCollected Choral WorksSongbookMORE DETAILS
I Am the True VineArvo PartTheatre of VoicesPart - I Am The True Vine 1 CDMORE DETAILS
I Am The True VineArvo PartSwedish Radio ChoirVoices Of Nature 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Ite Misse EstArvo PartTheatre of VoicesArvo Part - De Profundis 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Kanon PokajanenArvo PartTheatre of VoicesPart - I Am The True Vine 1 CDMORE DETAILS
KyrieArvo PartTheatre of VoicesArvo Part - De Profundis 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Little TractusArvo PartEstonian Philharmonic Chamber ChoirArvo Part - Da Pacem 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Littlemore TractusArvo PartArvo PartCollected Choral WorksSongbookMORE DETAILS
Magnificat Arvo PartRobert Shaw Festival SingersA Cappella 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Magnificat Arvo PartPolyphonyA Christmas Present 1 CDMORE DETAILS
MagnificatArvo PartArs Nova SingersA Shadow and a Dream 1 CDMORE DETAILS
MagnificatArvo PartSeattle Pro MusicaAlnight by the Rose 1 CDMORE DETAILS
MagnificatArvo PartEstonian Philharmonic Chamber ChoirArvo Part - Da Pacem 1 CDMORE DETAILS
MagnificatArvo PartTheatre of VoicesArvo Part - De Profundis 1 CDMORE DETAILS
MagnificatArvo PartArvo PartCollected Choral WorksSongbookMORE DETAILS
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Composers