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Miserere


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Miserere
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Audio CD, March 7, 2000
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Pärt: MiserereThe Hilliard Ensemble34:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Pärt: Festina LenteDennis Russell Davies 5:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Pärt: Sarah Was Ninety Years OldPierre Favre25:38$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Arvo Pärt's Fourth Symphony, subtitled “Los Angeles”, was written in 2008 and premièred in January of the following year, with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. That first performance is reprised on this disc. It is the first of Pärt’s symphonic pieces to appear on ECM New Series, the label closely associated with the ... Read more in Amazon's Arvo Part Store

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Product Details

  • Composer: Arvo Part
  • Audio CD (March 7, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ecm Records
  • ASIN: B000024ZBC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,726 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
For soothing the soul this is one viable source.
Grady Harp
The beauty of it is indescribable...he brings a glimpse of the source of all things to this earth in a language we can all understand...this glorious sound.
Alejandra Vernon
The second is a most unusual string ensemble piece in which the same melody is played at different speeds by different instruments, like weaving.
R. Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Mark Swinton on February 7, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This disc is a single-composer study, of which it can be said that some items are better examples of his work than others.
Two works on this disc show Part's tintinnabuli style in full bloom. "Miserere" itself is over thirty minutes long, and by far the best item in the programme. A setting of Psalm 51 in Latin (the same text as set in the famous Allegri "Miserere") with verses interpolated from the "Dies Irae" of the Missa pro Defunctis, this work shows how Part's style can magically draw a wealth of emotions from the simplest of musical concepts. Indeed, the work opens with the barest of motifs: the words of the psalm are chanted on three notes by a high solo tenor, interspersed with triadic statements (the so-called tintinnabuli pitches) on clarinet, and moreover bound together with distinct silences. This develops as the text unfolds: a solo counter-tenor joins the tenor in a haunting duet; meanwhile the instrumental ensemble expands to include other woodwinds and organ, all of which offer what appears to be a delicate wordless commentary. An abrupt change of pace comes with the "Dies Irae" verses, sung by a four-part chamber choir with massive, apocalyptic statements from woodwinds, brass, organ, percussion and electric guitars (!) - yet all is in the same style as the opening. After this massive outburst of terror, the opening discourse returns, sung by soloists (soprano, counter-tenor, two tenors and a bass). The interplay of voices and instruments carries the text forward in strikingly beautiful and sensitive ways. The work ends, in pure penitence and supplication, with a further choral statement, this time sung with heart-rending quietness: the "Rex tremendae" verse of the "Dies Irae," bringing the work to a close.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Arvo Part's music is a spiritual experience. The beauty of it is indescribable...he brings a glimpse of the source of all things to this earth in a language we can all understand...this glorious sound. "Miserere", a prayer of repentance, is magnificent. It's a soul stirring blend of voices, sometimes soaring, sometimes pianissimo, with the accompaniment of wind, brass, guitar, organ and percussion. This CD also includes a short piece for strings, "Festina Lente", which is wonderful, and "Sarah Was Ninety Years Old" for three voices, organ and timpani. It's an exquisite piece that was written about twelve years before the other two, and is somewhat lighter in feeling, reminding one a little of a Gregorian Chant in its purity of sound. There are some lovely photos of Part during a recording session in the booklet. He looks like a prophet of old in a suit and tie, with extraordinary, expressive hands.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Arvo Part fills a void in the musical network of contemporary compositions. He creates much out of little, using minimal notes and phrases, repeating these with subtle variations, as though he were creating an atmosphere for Zen-like trance states.

The three works here recorded with utmost clarity and restraint are from Part's deeply religious vein. The 'Miserere' emerges from the silence of the depths of the earth and transcends the human supplicants to become a pathway to the ethereal presence that in this realm is guardian to us all. The Hilliard Ensemble performs with radiant perfection. The 'Feste Lente' is an adagio for strings with ad libitum harp and is quiet and simple and in direct communication with the spirit. The final work 'Sarah was ninety years old' is more a cross between Buddhist intonations and Gregorian chant than anything else. This seems like music written for the high spaces in the domes of Europe's largest cathedrals, the area where the sounds of light distant winds suggest the flutter of angel wings. And Part achieves all of this with three solo voices, organ and timpani.

Perhaps saving this recording for darkened rainy afternoons brings this otherworldly music to life in an even more poetic way. There is an affinity for the transparency and repetition of notes in these works that marries well with birthing clouds and the rain that comes and goes. For soothing the soul this is one viable source. Grady Harp, February 2005
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Culver TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 12, 2007
Format: Audio CD
For over two decades ECM has been issuing disc after disc of Arvo Part's music to much acclaim, but MISERERE remains one of the more neglected such releases. Sure, there's nothing here that forms such a concise example of his mature output as on the legendary Tabula Rasa disc, but the three pieces here are nonetheless engaging. Plus, the performers here are world-class (and Part's own favourites): the Hilliard Ensemble on the two vocal pieces, featuring among others virtuoso organist Christopher Broadbent-Bowers and percussionist Pierre Favre, and the Beethovenhalle Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davies in the piece for strings.

Clocking in at over half an hour, "Misere" for soloists, chorus, ensemble, and organ (1989) is one of Part's longest pieces. Mainly a setting of Psalm 51, the piece begins with the tenor intoning the psalm with the simplest accompaniment, and expands to include a counter-tenor and a few more instruments. Several minutes in, however, the full force of the choir and ensemble is unleashed as portions of the "Dies Irae" are included, before returning to a calmer mood and the text of the psalm. Usually this sort of soft-loud-soft transition is obnoxious--I'm thinking of composers such as Kancheli who do it all the time--but here it is quite moving. An usual touch in the loud section is the use of electric guitar and bass. It's interesting that for this generation of Soviet composers (Part alongside Gubaidulina and Schnittke) these instruments are exploited for darker or more threatening moods. At two thirds of the way through the music begins to sound outright joyful and ends on the same uplifting mood that the psalm does.
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