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Customer Review

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Minimalist gems, 20 Sept. 2011
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This review is from: Arvo Part - Spiegel im Spiegel (Audio CD)
The Arvo Part's minimalist pieces in the 'tintinnabuli style' (sound of bells) in the disc are among the most hauntingly beautiful works of the twentieth century while the rendition is stellar.

The compilation comprise three interpretations of the duet 'Spiegel im Spiegel' (mirror in mirror) for violin and piano (1978), for viola and piano (1978), and for cello and piano (1978);Variationen zur Gesundung von Arinuschka, for piano solo;Fur Alina, for piano solo (1976) (Alina is the composer's daughter);and Mozart-Adagio, for piano, violin and cello (1992).

In this uninterrupted string of gems, my personal favorite is Spiegel im Spiegel for which I shall confine the description to the elements comprising the music because the magic of the music itself rests in the experience of the listener.

The title Spiegel im Spiegel is a precise description of the piece. The part of the stringed instrument-violin, viola, cello-is itself already constructed as a mirror:the phrases it plays - each one successively adding one more part of the scale -always return, by steps or jumps, to the mirror axis, the central A. The piano mirrors the string part-volin, viola, cello-twice over with pure F-major triads, once at close range above it, but also with a layer of alternately higher and lower pitches recreating on a large scale the narrower tonal scale traversed by the string instrument-violin, viola, cello. The piano also confirms the melody notes of the string instrument-violin, viola, cello-with parallel thirds and octaves. All of the mirror images which allow three further voices to unfold from the core voice are stringently developed:not a single note is arbitrary.

I shall refrain from describing the music of the other pieces due to space limtations.

The disc is certainly among the very best in modern-twentieth century-classical music I have listened to in recent years.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Jul 2015 12:32:28 BDT
A. Hardy says:
Thank you for this review. Though on a minor point... Alina was not Pärt's daughter, but the daughter of a family friend.
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