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Arvo Pärt: Collage sur B-A-C-H / Summa (1991 Version) / Wenn Bach Bienen Gezüchtet Hätte / Fratres (1983 Version) / Symphony No. 2 / Festina Lente / Credo

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 26, 1994
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Product Details

  • Performer: Boris Berman
  • Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra & Chorus
  • Conductor: Neeme Jarvi
  • Composer: Arvo Part
  • Audio CD (July 26, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B000000AR1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266,309 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
For all of those who look for early works of Pärt this is a precious recording. I believe there are a lot of people who don't find much appeal in Pärt's late repetitive, mystic works for the very same reasons others prefer them. So what's up here is that Pärt has a few lesser known works before, say, his third symphony which are the "opposite" of the mentioned above. Those who are found of Schnittke will surely appreciate this. The most remarkable composition in this record is maybe the "Credo" for piano mixed choir and orchestra. It consists of 13 minutes of duel between the forces of the past (represented by Bach's well known motifs) and the eruptive resources of modernist aleatoric clusters of sound. So, pools of beautiful passages are interrupted by (or combined with) destructive (or desconstructive) interventions of the orchestra till the whole, peaking sometimes the frenetic, becomes yet a powerful block of distinctive sound. In spite of this chaotic character the music is full of imaginative textures never becoming static and confusing. What's impressive is that this work is from 1968! The 2nd symphony, even earlier, although not so exuberant also offers similar processes, sometimes with strong percussion, and includes an unexpected romantic melodic passage by the end which, no matter how much ironic it may be intended, moves the listener by moments to another atmosphere. (The 1st symphony may be found on "Searching for roots" compilation by Virgin with works of Tüur and Tubin). "Collage sur B-A-C-H" is better known and so are the remaining works which are more recent. It must be said that the commented works here, exploring most of the times the technique of "appropriation", may belong to Pärt's youth searching period and maybe discussable as not as relevant as his mystic late works - but they are surely very refreshing for all who enjoy the fruitful style of 60's modernism and want to know the other face of Pärt.
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It's Arvo Part so I can't say I was surprised, and certainly not disappointed. Would recommend to anyone who is inspired by his music.
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Format: Audio CD
Of the many Part cds I've listened to and/or owned, this is the best introduction to his earlier work. It includes some familiar titles that are available in other recordings, like Summa and Fratres, but these earlier versions are different in interesting ways. "Wenn Bach Bienen Gezuchte Hatte" is almost worth the price of the cd and doesn't get recorded much for some reason.
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Format: Audio CD
If this is your first stopping-off point listening to Part, you might find it more rewarding to begin with some of his more recent recordings or the better known works such as Tabula Rasa or Kanon Pokajanen.
However, this CD is certainly worth trying if only for the recording of Summa, (track 5) which is undoubtedly the best version that I have found to date amongst his work.
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