4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Beauty is in the ear of the beholder.,
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This review is from: Pärt - Da Pacem (Audio CD)
There is a story that Arvo Part had a conversation with a street-sweeper in which he asked him what he would do if he were a composer. The street-sweeper apparently answered "I should learn to love every note". Mr Part clearly believed he was correct. I only heard my first piece of Arvo Part's music a year or so ago, when I heard "Spiegel im Spiegel" on Radio 3 one morning. I was transfixed. I am not a musician, but somehow the astonishing complexity that is within this piece was conveyed to me, despite the fact that to some it might sound like a practice lesson for violin and piano. I have no idea how that happened, and how it is that piece of music can be so simple, complex and beautiful at the same time. For me, the Tasmin Little, Martin Roscoe version of "Spiegel im Spiegel" sounds like they really did love every single note. And then Radio3 did it again and played "Da Pacem". I missed the intro, but not the beauty, and was both surprised, and equally unsurprised to discover it was Arvo Part again.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but there really does seem to be something "right" about the way this music sounds. How any composer, Bach, Part, Mozart, Beethoven, Roger Waters, Jimmy Page or Peter Gabriel imagine music in their heads, and are then able write it down, and perform it, is astonishing to me, but how Arvo Part uses the totally conventional "voices" available in a purely vocal and orchestral palette, and creates music of such ethereal beauty, is something for which I am very grateful. Somehow the sounds seem different, and there is that odd quality that they have texture, something akin to a palpable feel, and yet they are insubstantial, and transitory, and evocative. But beware if you think, with a quick sample, this is something that you can listen to while you are performing some other task. You might want to use it as background, but it is worth so much more than that, and it might just be you will find yourself transported, and the task you intended quite undone. Music is rarely for everyone, tastes differ, but if you like beautiful, and sometimes unexpected tunes, you should at the very least sit and listen to this, and other of Arvo Part's works.