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Arvo Part: In Principio

Arvo Part Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £10.46 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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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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Arvo Part: In Principio + Adam's Lament + Arvo Part: Symphony No. 4
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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 Mar 2009)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ECM New Series
  • ASIN: B001O2BR5K
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,611 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. In principio
2. La Sindone
3. Cecilia, vergine romana
4. Da Pacem Domine
5. Mein Weg
6. Für Lennart in memoriam

Product Description

Product Description

Impressive overview of Arvo Pärt's recent stylistic development features six touching choral and orchestral compositions - in turns powerful, tender, elemental and lively, all premiere recordings or first recordings of new versions. In recent years Arvo Pärt has written some significant works for larger forces mostly commissioned by major institutions for celebratory occasions. Most impressive is the dramatic 25-minute In Principio (2003) for mixed choir and symphony orchestra which sets to music the famous opening of St John's gospel. In its five movements, "tintinnabuli" diatonicism is contrasted with sophisticated harmonic procedures, massive brass chords are juxtaposed with almost stoic calm in the choir. The purely orchestral La Sindone (The holy shroud), a highly expressive piece which mirrors the shroud's symbolic shine-through effects in delicate string textures, Caecilia, vergine romana is for mixed choir and orchestra. Da pacem Domine, one of Pärt's most serenely beautiful pieces, responded in a very subtle way to the 2004 terror attacks in Madrid's Atocha station. Heard a cappella on ECM's Lamentate, it appears now in an even more beautiful version for choir and strings. Two instrumental compositions complete the CD: the rhythmically energetic Mein Weg and Für Lennart in memoriam, a still piece in homage to late Estonian president Lennart Georg Meri. The outstanding performances are by some of Pärt's long-standing musical partners: noted conductor Tõnu Kaljuste, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. This major addition to ECM's series of "authentic" premiere recordings made with the composer's assistance coincides with the 25-year jubilee of ECM's New Series that launched with Arvo Pärt's Tabula Rasa - the disc which put the composer on the map internationally - in 1984. Personnel: Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Tonu Kaljuste (conductor)

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Deeply Rewarding Part Album 7 April 2009
By Philoctetes TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
I bought this after reading a review in Gramophone magazine. It has a mixture of instrumental and choral/instrumental pieces, between five and twenty minutes in duration (total 71:02). Their reviewer noted a similarity in the title piece with music by janacek and Leifs - a personal favourite - and I wouldn't disagree, except to say that Part always seems uniquely meditative or prayerful, even when the music is very animated or fierce. I particularly enjoyed the shimmering sonorities on La Sindone. Da Pacem Domine is here presented with an orchestral accompaniment to the choir; personally, I prefer the unaccompanied versionArvo Pärt: Da Pacem.

Given the relative brevity of these pieces, when compared to things like Passio or Kanon Pokajanen,and ECM's superb production - righ down to the booklet paper - this CD can be spiritually recommended to Part newcomers for a first try, and those in the know.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best ECM Pärt since Te Deum 4 Aug 2009
Format:Audio CD
This is a brilliant CD which is, for my money, the best ECM Arvo CD since Te Deum. The CDs in the intervening years have all been good, but none have moved me as much as In Principio. Musically, it's both a further development of his tintinnabuli style - the title piece in particular - and a return to some favourites, such as the new versions of Da Pacem and Mein Weg. La Sidone and Cecilia Virgine Romana are very strong, heading in a new direction, perhaps, whilst retaining recognisable tintinnabuli roots, while the closer, For Lennart in Memoriam is a further 'installment' in the series of short orchestral pieces that began with Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, and is deeply moving. Perhaps silence is the only response to music like this, and also time to stop writing about it...
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pärt at his best. 10 April 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If you like Arvo Pärt, you'll love this. Those who don't will find no reason to change their mind, although Da Pacem Domine is just so glorious that even those died-in-the-wool Arvo antagonists would find difficulty in complaining about it. This is an absolute essential for any Pärt lover.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet Another Masterpiece 31 Mar 2009
By D. F. Wade - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Mr. Pärt's done it again. His latest release under the ECM New Series lable is brilliant, displaying some of his most mature and inspired work yet (which is saying something). There are six pieces here, four of them never before released, the other two new versions of previously released pieces.

The opening and titular piece, "In Principio", consists of five movements, clocks in at nearly twenty minutes, and is scored for choir and full orchestra. As his other pieces of the past several years that employed full orchestra have already shown and is here reinforced, Pärt is able to use the orchestra to great effect and color. It's a stirring piece, often sounding more overtly classical than many of his other pieces (classical in the Mozart, Beethoven, etc. sense). As another reviewer observed, it sometimes sounds like Mozart's Requiem, though I would add that its color and simple austerity keep it from sounding merely imitative, which it isn't.

"La Sindone", this time for orchestra alone, is a haunting piece of music. Over its fifteen minute running length, it establishes an ever more apparent sense of mystery and tension, building up to a climax before levelling off in an otherworldly E-flat chord for strings.

"Cecilia, vergine romana", up till now, could only be heard in snipets on the Pärt documentary, "24 Preludes for a Fugue", and those snipets indicated a sublimity that made this perhaps the most personally anticipated track on the album. It's a beautiful piece, culminating in a magnificent finale.

"Da Pacem Domine" was first heard on the 2005 release "Lamentate", where it was beautifully arranged for a small vocal ensemble. But here, it's scored for a larger ensemble, and string accompaniment. This new scoring adds a beauty and depth to the piece that make it truly superior to the older recording. A fantastic track.

"Mein Weg", originally scored for organ, now appears for strings and percussion. At first, it seems like the odd-man out, with its dissonances and aggitated feel. But by the end of the piece, it's proven its right to be on this album, and in fact provides a nice change of tone from that of the previous tracks.

The final piece, "Für Lennart", is an achingly beautiful piece written in memory of that other notable Estonian, Lennart Meri, politician, film-maker, and writer. Anything I might add would only subtract from the sublimity of this piece. A great end to the album.

As is to be expected from ECM, the recording quality is top-notch, and the packaging is very nice. All in all, a fantastic album, and a gem in the already lusterous crown of Arvo Pärt's oeuvre. Highly recommended. Now all we can do is hope that the next release won't take another four years, and until then, enjoy the music.
29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious composition 10 Mar 2009
By Heavy Theta - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
On first listen the performance sounded an amalgamation of Mozart Requiem, Glass's Mishima soundtrack and Barber. What impresses is the combinations of what should be opposing elements. It is both somber and yet unceasingly energetic. The pieces are melodic, but also display the unfurling of sequenced repetition. Maybe the fundamental dichotomy that underlies and propels the work is the use of modern stasis technique to color an homage to basic european tradition. This is music that must be attended; it may display the usual ECM warm sonics, but it is hardly ambient in nature. This is the premiere of a serious concert; formal wear optional.
22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent and Original! 6 Mar 2009
By mchia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Every track on this recording is a pleasant and wonderful surprise. Part has produced a modern masterpiece! He is fresh, spiritual, sometimes almost elusive - carrying your mind to new places and beautiful vistas within your heart. One has to experience this recording and live its many triumphs!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Broad Spectrum of Arvo Pärt 30 Jun 2010
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Though now the name of Arvo Pärt has become a household name in the field of contemporary classical music, few will be unable to deny that this particular CD, IN PRINCIPIO, is one of the finest recordings of the spectrum of the works of this Estonian composer. Often CDs that select certain works to fill out the time frame of a CD will pay little attention to the 'filler': on this recording there is no filler to be found. True, the huge work on this CD is the title work, a work for large orchestra and mixed chorus, a nearly half hour of sheer ecstasy. Based on the scripture 'In the beginning was the word...' Pärt grounds this solemn piece with a deep bass emergence form the orchestra, couples that with the very appropriate choral statement that lies on one plane, uttering the holy words, while the orchestra seethes below the vocal line. Some may find traces of other composers' works - quotational themes so to speak - but that only serves to heighten the interest create by this magnum opus. This work performed by the Tallin Chamber Orchestra; Estonian Symphony Orchestra; Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Tõnu Kaljuste conducting, is well worth the purchase of this recording. The sound is spacious, as it must be, and the choral work never approaches the surface in less than a beautiful quality of tone.

There are other works of chorus and orchestra which are stunningly atmospheric - 'Da pacem Domine', here heard for the first time in the accompanied version (the original work was an a cappella piece, and the 'Caecilia, vergine romana' written for the celebration of the jubilee of Rome in 2000. The remainder of the works here performed are for orchestra alone - 'La Sindone' (The holy shroud) which creates the sense of viewing through the shroud, so delicate and sparse is the writing, 'Mein Weg', and the quiet 'Für Lennart in memoriam' - Pärt's elegy for Lennart Georg Meri, the late Estonian president. Each of these pieces stands alone as some of Arvo Pärt's finest work. Would that we could hear them in the concert halls in this country more frequently! Grady Harp, June 10
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sacred Minimalism 28 April 2009
By Kelly Soif - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I read about Arvo Pärt in Paste magazine, in which I usually learn about the latest in new music. So I was a bit surprised by them including a review of what sounded like classical music.

Yes, "In Principio" is choral music, sort of classical and all that. But it's so much more at the same time. Pärt has said that his music "is similar to light going through a prism: the music may have a slightly different meaning for each listener, thus creating a spectrum of musical experience, similar to the rainbow of light."

This is not "cleaning-your-house" music or something to have on in the background while you file stuff on your desk... this is music intended to be listened to through good headphones in a comfortable chair. It has so many layers and textures and harmonies and threads... I ordered a CD rather than a download because I want to make sure to get the liner notes and understand as much as I can about what is being played and sung. His latest album has five compositions about the Book of John, and he often dedicates music (requiems, mostly) to those killed through political injustice.

It is moving music. You have to listen to it several times before it really sinks in. It is indeed classical music, in that it is definitely not trendy. This is music for the ages. It speaks to your soul.
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