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20C: Part: Tabula Rasa

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, December 11, 2012
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Goteborgs Symfoniker
  • Conductor: Neeme Jarvi
  • Composer: Arvo Part
  • Audio CD (December 11, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B0091Q81O6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,279 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I agree that there is a significant difference between Kremer and Shaham in interpreting the Tabula Rasa- and I'm not going to argue that one is better or worse, although I will definitely stipulate that the dedicatee of the work (Kremer) probably has a better handle on Part's original intentions through direct contact with him. As some people have previously mentioned, Kremer's reading (on ECM) is drier, with an emphasis on the bleakness and austerity that is so much a... well, part of Part.

However, I certainly can see where Shaham feels strong emotions in these pieces- his interpretation is more akin to floating. Yes, they are romanticized- they are strongly romantic pieces in their lonely sound. Don't make the mistake of discounting this performance based on reviews saying that Shaham's interpretation is "emotional". Kremer's interpretation is excellent, but I believe Shaham's is also excellent- albeit in a totally different way... and both are to be enjoyed for their strong points equally.

Jarvi's leadership in the 3rd symphony is very powerful and completes this wonderful disc. In short this is great listening- I find myself coming back to this disc again and again... and it gets better with every replay.
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this Cd right before a driving trip I had to take alone. This was music I had never heard before, got it after a recommendation I had read online on an audiophile related webpage. Listening to this was almost a religious experience for me. Even though I was listening to it in my car while driving, not the best listening environment. This music, particularly the second part of Tabula Rasa (3rd track), is able to sort of grab and hypnotize your mind and soul in a very profound way. Later on I listened to it at home in my system, and fidelity just enhanced the magic of this most special music. I describe it as if a painter was able to paint in front of you peace and calm, balance and perfection, not using colors but just sound. Music from heaven.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have no idea how many versions of Fratres there are out there anymore. This one is scored for violin, strings and percussion and is pretty effective - not the least because Gil Shaham's treatment of the violin part is quite remarkable. He approaches it as one would approach a romantic violin concerto and it works almost surprisingly well (but then I have never quite managed to quite see the point of the work, apart from noticing that it works well as an elegiac, poignant companion to, say, the Barber Adagio). Tabula Rasa is, I think, a more interesting work, but that impression is probably mostly sustained because it is even more uncompromising in its austerity and its requirement that absolute care is put on every single note than Fratres is. Tabula Rasa must rank among the clearest examples of the kind of style that is often referred to as "holy minimalism"; static and quiet, but very beautiful and quite effective. Again, Shaham and Adele Anthony are warmer and far more romantic than most of their competitors on disc, and again I think the approach works extremely well, though I can imagine some preferring a slightly more restrained approach.

The main offer here is the third symphony, from 1971, which is a remarkable piece. It was dedicated to Neeme Järvi, who has recorded it before (I haven't heard any other versions). As far as I can see, he favors far slower tempi this time around, and it works magnificently. It is a stirring work, even if it stylistically belongs to a very different tradition than its two companion works on this disc - in the symphony, Pärt draws on medieval inspirations in a rather polystylistic and highly contrastive and colorful setting, and there is much more by way of traditional drama and development here than in Fratres or Tabula rasa.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The worst performance of Tabula Rasa I've ever heard! Too fast and uninspiring. The Fratres version is also no better. The Gidon Kremer and J.J Kantorow CDs ("Tabula Rasa" and "Summa" respectively) are much, much more preferable.
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Exquisite sound , utterly and simply exquisite. I felt transported to another landscape. An inner land of the mind. Fratres moves you to anticipation for each new note. Tabula Rasa is profound sympathy for our earthly passions. Haunting and beautiful.
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Format: Audio CD
Beautiful music. This was recording was made in 1999. I fell in love with Gil Shaham's intense versions of Tabula Rasa and Frates. The recording and performance of this music is far superior others I have heard. Fratres is influenced by Sibelius Symphony No. 7 and Vaughan Williams' Tallis Fantasia. Tabula Rasa is a longer piece at 23:07 and is in two tracks. Vaughn Williams is again an influence. The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra is excellent. Neeme Järvi conducts.

This review is in response to the comments of Amazon's official reviewer, Thomas May. He complained that the music sounds too much like "A Lark Ascending" which he considers bland. I also happen to like "A Lark Ascending."
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Format: Audio CD
This is cetainly a beautiful selection and performances of three of Arvo Part's masterful compositions. As I listened the essence of Veni Emmanuel, the 9th Century Italian hymm, emerged from the Third Symphony - first movement. Adele Anthony and Gil Shaham's interpretive skills evokes Vaughn William's The Lark Ascending in Tabula Rasa. The austere and bleakness is contrasted with rich passages that evoke ancient Church of England hymns or Russian Orthodox chants. Minimalism is the puntuation for romantic pastoral passages that could be compared to the sense of flight that Vaughn Williams achieves in The Lark Ascending. This is grand music, moving and contemplative, sweeping and yet prayer-like. I keep listening to it and find new wonders each time.
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