Notes and Editorial Reviews
This disc was Gramophone's "Recording of the Month" for June 1998. 'Kanon Pokajanen' was nominated for the 1999 Grammy Award for "Best Classical Contemporary Composition."
In the mid-1970s, after several years of working in more modernist styles and writing music for films, Arvo Pärt developed what he calls his "tintinnabuli" style, named for his interest in sustained sounds similar to the ring of a bell after it is struck. His works in this style are built on the most basic of musical elements: triads and scales. Pärt arranges these building blocks into slowly changing patterns, using pedal tones and drones to create a musical structure distinguished above all by its simplicity--static even as it changes, minimalist but without a
strong rhythmic drive.
'Kanon Pokajanen' focuses on St. Andrew of Crete's canon of repentance. This lengthy prayer is sung before the morning office in monasteries as a request for forgiveness and mercy at the beginning of each day. Pärt's setting is a blend of his minimalist-flavored tintinnabuli style with the great Byzantine tradition of rich choral sound. He allowed the Old Slavonic text to lead him, using the language to guide his composition. The result is a quietly undulating statement of repentance, eloquently delivered by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. Read less
Works on This Recording
Kanon Pokajanen by Arvo Pärt
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: 20th Century
Date of Recording: 06/1997
Venue: Niguliste Church, Tallinn, Estonia
Length: 83 Minutes 22 Secs.
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