Does modern classical music have to be either brainless and gushing, or forbidding and intellectual? 'No!' says Arvo Part. If he's the most celebrated living composer, it's because his music is accessible but still has an edge - unmistakeably modern, but harking back to much earlier times.
There's certainly a suggestion of medieval church music, with its strange but simple structures, about some of his choral works; and, for me, these are the best pieces on the disc. Summa is a revelation: emotional but not sentimental, the feeling kept in balance by awareness of a greater reality. It would be a great choice for a funeral - more so, in my opinion, than the rather doom-laden Cantus in Memoriam.
The instrumental pieces are less impressive; fairly standard exercises in their respective genres, if anything they err towards gushing.
It's a little strange on a Best Of to be given two different versions of the same piece; Part seems to be a man who likes to make a little go a long way. But if, in the end, he's something of a bits'n'pieces composer, some of the bits are very good indeed.