Arvo Pärt

Composition Types

Biography

Born: Sep 11, 1935; Estonia   Period: 20th Century
Arvo Pärt is one of the most important living composers of concert music. His first works, dating from the 1950s, showed the influence of Prokofiev and Shostakovich, as heard in his two Sonatinas for piano (1958). But as his musical studies under Heino Eller continued, he was drawn toward serial techniques and turned out a number of works in the 1960s in this vein. His First Symphony (1961), for instance, displays this method and is dedicated to Read more Eller. By the end of that decade, Pärt had become disenchanted by the 12-tone technique and began writing music in varying styles. In 1976, however, Pärt started composing in what he called his tintinnabulation (or tintinnabuli) method, which involves the constant presence throughout the work of a lone unchanging triad. This new style resulted in music so radically different from that which had preceded it, that many observed that it seemed to have come from a different hand altogether.

Unlike most composers of major rank, Pärt did not show remarkable talent in his childhood or even in his early adolescence. His first serious study came in 1954 at the Tallinn Music Middle School, but less than a year later he temporarily abandoned it to fulfill military service, playing oboe and percussion in the army band.

In 1957, Pärt enrolled at the Tallinn Conservatory where he studied under Eller. He graduated in 1963, having worked throughout his student years and afterward as a recording engineer for Estonian Radio. He wrote several film scores and other works during this period, among them his two Sonatinas for piano, from 1958, and Nekrolog, a serial work for orchestra, from 1960. He also wrote a number of choral pieces at this time, among which was the ethereal a cappella effort, Solfeggio (1964). Pärt continued to compose music mainly in the serial vein throughout the 1960s, but received little recognition, since that method of composition was generally anathema throughout the Soviet Union. In the late 1960s and early 1970s Pärt studied the music of Renaissance era composers, particularly that of Machaut, Josquin Desprez, and Obrecht. His Symphony No. 3 reflected these influences in its austere, Medieval sound world.

By the mid-1970s, Pärt was working on an altogether new style of composition. In 1976 he unveiled this method, the aforementioned tintinnabulation, with the piano work, Für Alina. A trio of more popular works followed in 1977, Fratres, for string quintet and wind quintet (later given additional arrangements by the composer), Cantus In Memoriam Benjamin Britten (revised 1980) and Tabula Rasa, for two violins, prepared piano, and string orchestra. Owing to the continued political oppression he found in Estonia, Pärt and his wife and two sons emigrated to the West in 1980, settling first in Vienna, then in West Berlin.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Pärt, a devout member of the Eastern Orthodox Church, wrote a number of large-scale choral religious works, including the St. John Passion (1982), Magnificat (1989), The Beatitudes (1990), and Litany (1994). He has declared a preference for vocal music in his later years, and continues, like the English composer John Tavener, also an adherent of the Eastern Orthodox religion, to write much religious music.

In 1995, Pärt was recognized for his many artistic achievements by being elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He remains among the most popular serious composers of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Read less

Baltic Organ Music - Pärt, Ciurlionis, Et Al / Ericsson
Release Date: 10/12/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 561   Number of Discs: 1
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Pärt: Symphonies 1-3, Etc / Järvi, Bamberg So
Release Date: 09/05/1992   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 434   Number of Discs: 1
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Pärt: Spiegel Im Spiegel, Etc / Järvi, Kalijuste, Et Al
Release Date: 06/28/2005   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1434   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 26-50 of 284 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Hymn to the Virgin / Schola Cantorum [Blu-ray Audio+Hybrid SACD]
    Label: Two-l   Catalog: 95 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten,  Francis Poulenc,  Maurice Duruflé,  Eric Whitacre  ... 
    Conductor:  Tone Bianca Dahl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum
    Blu-ray Audio: $34.99
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  • 27.
    Into The Night - Contemporary Choral Music / Childs, Vox Humana
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572511 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eric Whitacre,  Stephen Paulus,  David Childs,  Arvo Pärt  ... 
    Conductor:  David Childs
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vox Humana Chorus
    CD: $9.99
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  • 28.
    The Seasons / Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2072 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Jacques Ibert,  Henri Tomasi,  Darius Milhaud,  Charles Koechlin  ... 
    Performer:  Andreas Wittman,  Walter Seyfarth,  Fergus McWilliam,  Henning Trog  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Woodwind Quintet
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  • 29.
    Poeme Mystique - Bloch, Part / Elsa Grether, Ferenc Vizi
    Label: Fuga Libera   Catalog: 711 Release Date: 05/14/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Bloch,  Arvo Pärt
    Performer:  Elsa Grether,  Ferenc Vizi
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  • 30.
    Spheres / Daniel Hope
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001799902 Release Date: 03/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Paul von Westhoff,  Ludovico Einaudi,  Philip Glass,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Hope,  Jacques Ammon,  Chie Peters,  Juan Lucas Aisemberg  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Halsey
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Chamber Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus members,  Berlin Radio Chorus
    CD: $18.99
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  • 31.
    Minimal Harp / Floraleda Sacchi
    Label: Amadeus Arte   Catalog: 4763172 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lou Harrison,  John Cage,  Henry Cowell,  Philip Glass  ... 
    Performer:  Floraleda Sacchi
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  • 32.
    EMI Eminence - The Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 393872 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  William Byrd  ... 
    Performer:  David Nolan,  Jonathan Small,  George Malcolm,  William Bennett  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher,  Vernon Handley,  George Guest,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cambridge St. John's College Choir  ... 
    On sale! $201.98
    CD: $154.99
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  • 33.
    Le Phenix - Solo Double Bass In Baroque & Contemporary Music / Christine Hoock
    Label: Neos   Catalog: 21301 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Philip Glass,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Arvo Pärt  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas [Double Bass] Martin,  Christine Hoock,  Florian Birsak,  Barbara Nussbaum  ... 
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  • 34.
    Micromania: 85 Piano Miniatures
    Label: Tyx Art   Catalog: 12009 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  John Bull,  Hugo Distler  ... 
    Performer:  Matthias Veit
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  • 35.
    Sonograms
    Label: Labor Records   Catalog: 7090 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georgi Arnaoudov,  Pawel Szymanski,  Walter Steffens,  Arvo Pärt  ... 
    Performer:  Benedikta Bonitz,  Christo Tanev,  Angela Tosheva,  Stojan Pavlov  ... 
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  • 36.
    Pro Pacem - Textes, Art & Musiques pour la Paix / Savall, Figueras, Hesperion XXI
    Label: Alia Vox   Catalog: 9894 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gilles Binchois,  Anonymous,  Jordi Savall,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Montserrat Figueras
    Conductor:  Jordi Savall
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Capella Reial de Catalunya,  Hespèrion XXI
    On sale! $27.98
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  • 37.
    Contemporary Sacred Music From Estonia - Pärt, Tormis, Uibo
    Label: Troubadisc   Catalog: 1432 Release Date: 02/02/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Andres Uibo,  Veljo Tormis,  Arvo Pärt
    Performer:  Jelena Babin,  Larisa Fahredinova,  Zoja Tumanova,  Anton Medvedev  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Petrov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orthodox Singers
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  • 38.
    Essential 20th Century Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 234372 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Aram Khachaturian,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Cécile Ousset,  Peter Donohoe,  Stomu Yamashta  ... 
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Simon Rattle,  Yuri Temirkanov,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Modern
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  • 39.
    Part: Te Deum; Fratres; Wallfahrtslied; Nunc Dimitis / Joost, Netherlands Chamber Choir
    Label: Globe   Catalog: 5252 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arvo Pärt
    Performer:  Gordan Nikolic
    Conductor:  Risto Joost
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Chamber Choir,  Netherlands Chamber Orchestra
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 40.
    Part: Tabula Rasa
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001767102 Release Date: 12/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arvo Pärt
    Performer:  Gil Shaham,  Erik Risberg,  Adele Anthony,  Roger Carlsson
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $13.99
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  • 41.
    Ave Maria / Daniel Taylor, Petits Chanteurs Du Mont-royal
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 29841 Release Date: 11/27/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giulio Caccini,  Franz Schubert,  William Byrd,  Josquin Des Préz  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Taylor,  Alain Lefèvre,  Luc Beauséjour,  Amanda Keesmaat
    Conductor:  Gilbert Patenaude
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal
    CD: $18.49
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  • 42.
    And Comes The Day: Carols And Antiphons For Advent
    Label: Orchid Classics   Catalog: 100027 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Robert Chilcott,  John Joubert,  Boris Ord  ... 
    Conductor:  Silas Wollston
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Queens' Chapel Players
    CD: $17.99
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  • 43.
    Carols From King's / Cleobury, Choir Of King's College Cambridge
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9186 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry John Gauntlett,  Traditional,  Henry Walford Davies,  Herbert Howells  ... 
    Performer:  David Goode,  Alexander Knight
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
    CD: $8.99
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  • 44.
    Julian Marshall: Out Of The Darkness
    Label: Music & Media   Catalog: 101 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Julian Marshall,  Gavin Bryars,  Arvo Pärt
    Performer:  Lucy Railton,  Melanie Pappenheim,  Sophie Harris,  Ian Belton
    Conductor:  Howard Moody
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  • 45.
    Alicja Smietana Plays Bach, Gould, Previn & Part
    Label: Solo Musica   Catalog: 176 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  André Previn,  Arvo Pärt,  Glenn Gould,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Alicja Smietana,  Evelyne Berezovsky
    CD: $18.99
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  • 46.
    Gidon Kremer - Anniversary Edition
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2059408 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Astor Piazzolla,  Alfred Schnittke,  Miklós Rózsa  ... 
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer
    Conductor:  Gidon Kremer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kremerata Baltica
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 47.
    Modern Choral Masters / 	Elora Festival Singers
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8503264 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Morten Lauridsen,  Eric Whitacre,  Arvo Pärt
    Performer:  Leslie De'Ath
    Conductor:  Noel Edison
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Elora Festival Singers
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  • 48.
    Part: Adam's Lament
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 001759102 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arvo Pärt
    Conductor:  Tönu Kaljuste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir,  Latvian Radio Choir,  Riga Sinfonietta  ... 
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  • 49.
    The Best Of The King's Singers
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 297 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Cyrillus Kreek,  William Byrd,  Carlo Gesualdo,  Arvo Pärt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
    CD: $25.49
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  • 50.
    Time Loops - Harrison, Gounod, Part / Beiser, Nunez
    Label: Cantaloupe   Catalog: 21086 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Michael Harrison,  Arvo Pärt
    Performer:  Maya Beiser,  Michael Harrison
    Conductor:  Francisco J. Núñez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Young People's Chorus of New York City
    CD: $17.99
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