Arvo Pärt review in Textura

Arvo Pärt: Works For Choir
Cugate Classics

“While ECM has issued a substantial number of Arvo Pärt recordings and significantly broadened awareness of the Estonian composer (b. 1935), other labels have also issued recordings of his material; a case in point, this recent choral set from Cugate Classics constitutes a worthy addition to any Pärt devotee’s collection. All of the works performed derive from the years 1989 to 1991 and were written long after Für Alina (1976) introduced the tintinnabuli style with which he’s associated. In simplest terms, the style unites the horizontal and vertical axes of music in treating diatonic melody and the tonic triad as the foundation; reduced to its elemental essence, the typical Pärt composition is harmonious, austere, and ethereal, and, in its loudest passages, reverberates magnificently; the composer himself has referred to the three notes of the triad as bell-like, hence the term tintinnabulation (tintinnabulum is Latin for “a bell”).”

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