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Arvo Part: Pilgrim's Song

Part, Arvo / Chamber Choir Voces Musicales / Joost
Release Date: 07/31/2012 
Label:  Estonian Record Productions   Catalog #: 2309   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Arvo Pärt
Conductor:  Risto Joost
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



PÄRT Pilgrim’s Song. Magnificat. Summa. Nunc dimittis. Te Deum Risto Joost, cond; C Ch Voces Musicales; Tallinn Snf ESTONIAN RECORD PRODUCTIONS ERP 2309 (59:11 Text and Translation)


This disc, titled Pilgrim’s Song, presents five choral or choral-orchestral pieces by Arvo Pärt. I don’t know what it is about Eastern Read more European composers, but they usually seem to have exactly the right “feel” for calming or spiritual music, a feel that their German, French, British and American brethren (and sistren) lack. Just listen, not only to Pärt, but also to Górecki and Vasks. Their music will zone you in better than anyone else’s.


Ein Wallfahrtslied has also been recorded by one of my favorite choral directors, Paul Hillier, with his Theatre of Voices (Harmonia Mundi HMU807553). That recording has been highly praised by the New York Times, Gramophone, BBC Music, and Listen magazine. This performance has a special feel all its own, though. Both Voces Musicales and the Tallinn Sinfonietta give it just the right touch. Moreover, all the remaining pieces—most of them strictly choral—have the same quality. The music, slow-moving yet with a decided forward nudge in the rhythm, rolls over you in waves, ebbing and flowing in dynamics and feeling. As the last strictly choral piece, Nunc dimittis, moves into the Te Deum, the timpani and soft basses almost undulate beneath the chorus, more felt than actually heard. It’s an effect I’ve never quite experienced in music before, a subtlety that leaves one speechless. Later on in the piece, the violins play a measured theme that mirrors the earlier choral music, except louder; and when the chorus re-enters, they too are louder, but singing a “Sanctus” to an entirely different melody. When the orchestra re-enters, it is much softer, first the high strings droning and then the cellos and basses playing a similar gentle rocking rhythm beneath.


I could say much more about each piece, but analyzing Pärt’s music somehow takes the fun (and the mystery) out of it, like overanalyzing Górecki or Vasks. Needless to say that, if you are familiar with this excellent composer and enjoy music of a religious nature, this disc will meet or exceed your expectations. Both chorus and orchestra enter fully into the spirit of each piece, so much so that one is generally aware of their presence but not overawed by them. Highly recommended.


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

1. Ein Wallfahrtslied by Arvo Pärt
Conductor:  Risto Joost
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; Estonia 
Length: 10 Minutes 17 Secs. 
2. Magnificat by Arvo Pärt
Conductor:  Risto Joost
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1989; Germany 
Length: 6 Minutes 40 Secs. 
3. Summa by Arvo Pärt
Conductor:  Risto Joost
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1978; Estonia 
Length: 4 Minutes 42 Secs. 
4. Nunc dimittis by Arvo Pärt
Conductor:  Risto Joost
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2001; Germany 
Length: 7 Minutes 40 Secs. 
5. Te Deum by Arvo Pärt
Conductor:  Risto Joost
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984-1986 
Length: 29 Minutes 50 Secs. 

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