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The Cambridge Companion to Arvo Part (Cambridge Companions to Music) [Kindle Edition]

Andrew Shenton
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Arvo Pärt is one of the most influential and widely performed contemporary composers. Around 1976 he developed an innovative new compositional technique called 'tintinnabuli' (Latin for 'sounding bells'), which has had an extraordinary degree of success. It is frequently performed around the world, has been used in award-winning films, and pieces such as Für Alina and Spiegel im Siegel have become standard repertoire. This collection of essays, written by a distinguished international group of scholars and performers, is the essential guide to Arvo Pärt and his music. The book begins with a general introduction to Pärt's life and works, covering important biographical details and outlining his most significant compositions. Two chapters analyze the tintinnabuli style and are complemented by essays which discuss Pärt's creative process. The book also examines the spiritual aspect of Pärt's music and contextualizes him in the cultural milieu of the twenty-first century and in the marketplace.

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Editorial Reviews


"This volume is long overdue. Although the music of Arvo Pärt has been readily embraced by audiences, listeners and licensees (providing the soundtrack to many Hollywood films and YouTube clips), the Estonian-born composer has yet to enter the academic press. Joining an august catalog of previous composers and genre companions from [Cambridge], Andrew Shenton's volume is a persuasive act of stimulation and provocation."
--Classical Music

"This collection, complete with suitable appendixes, is a major contribution to the literature on this important composer."

Part's burgeoning popularity might easily have been taken as an excuse to rebadge old Pa« rt scholarship in anticipation of a wider audience, but that pitfall has happily been avoided. The diversity of contributor backgrounds and the plurality of critical perspectives on offer only increase the importance of this welcome new volume. -Christopher J. May, Project Muse

Book Description

Arvo Pärt is one of the most influential and widely performed contemporary composers. Written by an international team of scholars and performers, this is an essential guide to Pärt's music, which covers his biography, his philosophy of music and the spiritual aspect of his work, and analyzes his extraordinary tintinnabuli music.

Product Details

  • File Size: 5280 KB
  • Print Length: 270 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0521279100
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (February 14, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FF76WN2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,770 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most accessible book in English on Arvo Part November 25, 2012
This collection of essays will be of interest to anyone who enjoys Arvo Part's music. There are a couple of chapters that will be too technical for non-specialists to enjoy, but they can be passed over in favor of whatever follows. The vast majority of the volume is accessible to the educated layman with a strong interest in music. Of course, the more musical knowledge one has (and the more familiarity one has with Part's music), the more accessible the book becomes.

There are, to my knowledge, three books currently in print in English about Arvo Part. I have all three, and feel that if I were to have only one, this unquestionably be it. Highly recommended.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO ARVO PÄRT, edited by Andrew Shenton, contains 10 essays by various scholars on Pärt's music and its reception. Published in 2012, the book covers Pärt's output up to 2010. While some knowledge of music theory is necessary to get the most out of this book, it written for a fairly general, though educated, audience of classical music fans.

This book suffers from an enormous flaw, and that is its lack of coverage of Pärt's music prior to the advent of his "tintinnabuli" style in the mid-1970s. While the tintinnabulli style may have won Pärt the greatest acclaim and following, and his earlier modernist explorations appeal to a considerably smaller crowd, his works of the 1960s feature enormous riches that deserve exploration and commentary in a volume like this. It may well be that Pärt is discouraging discussion of these works, as he now refuses to speak of the Soviet era in interviews, and the ECM label that Pärt considers the source of definitive recordings is not touching these pieces. And the writers for this volume clearly want to stay on Pärt's good side, as the composer attended the conferences that led to this collection.

In the first paper, Immo Mihkelson does talk about Pärt's activity in the 1960s and 1970s. However, this is not a discussion of the music itself, but rather a biographical sketch that mentions only the names of those pieces that led to censure from the Soviet music authorities ("Nekrolog", "Credo"). The interesting revelation in Mihkelson's paper is that Pärt worked as a sound engineer for several years in the 1960s, which surely helped to shape the aesthetic of Pärt's ECM recordings in collaboration with Manfred Eicher.

Two essays here are rooted in music theory.
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