21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
This is a truly superb introduction to the sound world of Arvo Part, with quality performances throughout, and many atmospheric and spine-tingling moments. This is smooth, langorous, meditative music, yet with Part's signature gently rising and falling refrains, bells tolling, partly reminiscent of the ebb and flow of the sea. However, some pieces have a more edgy, lively register, including the opening 'Fratres' for violin and piano. Although all the pieces here have a very accessible, refined melodic heart, and the playing on this album is of a very high standard indeed, some of the outstanding pieces for me include the moving 'Cantus in Memorium Benjamin Britten', with its wistful tolling bell, the violin/piano piece 'Spiegel im Spiegel' which is now much used in soundtracks and adverts, and the memorably haunting 'Ludus' and 'Silentium' with its haunting 'underwater' soundworld and addictive prepared piano. A wonderfully rich selection, superbly performed.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This is a CD to treasure. Tasmin Little demonstrates wonderful affectionate artistry in her violin playing. Martin Roscoe plays the piano sympathetically. There is delicasy and grace in this warm portrayal of Arvo Part's ideas. The Bournemouth Sinfonieta gives winning performances in Tabula Rasa, Festina Lente, Summa and Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten. The sound in the Abbey Church, Blandford Forum is very pleasing. Part certainly reaches the place that some other minimalists may not.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2013
Like this CD very much - first one I have purchased that is all Arvo Part. I purchased it because I had heard the Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten and thought that piece was beautiful. Also like Spiegel im Spiegel which I had heard many times on Classic FM etc so thought it about time I had a CD with more of Part's work. Lovely and interesting CD.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This album is a re-release, and was part of a “Best of Arvo Part” Double album at one time. Don’t let titles like that put you off: certainly these are among his most approachable and popular works but their apparent simplicity was hard earned; check his earlier works out – he went on long journey to reach that style. For those new to these works they will be a delight I suspect. For those familiar with these work the initial response might be a little more jaded upon seeing another release of these popular works.
If you are familiar with them then don’t be put off; these are first class recordings and performances with a well-engineered sound recording. I would have to be extremely picky to find any versions significantly better than these. I do like the ECM version of “Tabula Rasa” and the “Fratres” version for Violin and Piano. That had star performers close to the composer but the differences between the two are minimal and the other works included on this album make it essential listening if you buy into Part’s music.
For those less familiar and enjoying these works I can recommend, if you’re feeling brave, looking also at those earlier works that combine serialism, collage and a fascination with Bach. Knowing these pieces will make you appreciate the mature style more and you’ll discover some very fine works along the way.
I don’t wish to add to the other reviewers enthusiastic responses to each of these individual works; they tell you all you need to know. What impressed me were the sympathetic performances and a sound recording that is clear, spacious and warm; completely in keeping with the pieces themselves. This comes with my unreserved recommendation.