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Part: Tabula Rasa

Shaham / Jarvi / Goteborgs Symfoniker
Release Date: 12/11/2012 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 001767102   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Arvo Pärt
Performer:  Gil ShahamErik RisbergAdele AnthonyRoger Carlsson
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This very beautiful disc features three of Arvo Pärt’s best orchestral pieces. My colleagues David Vernier and Robert Levine, who have reviewed most of the releases featuring the composer’s music, are both big vocal music specialists, and accordingly have focused on the choral works. Those, of course, are marvelous, and it could be argued that Pärt’s music for voices is superior to his purely instrumental output generally. Certainly I was not impressed by his Fourth Symphony, although it may sound better over time, feeling that much of it consisted of gestures that the likes of Alan Hovhaness and Lou Harrison have already done, and better too, but the Third Symphony manages to generate enough of the necessary symphonic drama while Read more remaining audibly, idiomatically, Pärt. It’s superbly played here and conducted with complete confidence and sympathy by its dedicatee, Neeme Järvi.

The other two pieces are iconic works in the composer’s catalog, and it seems to me incontestable that Gil Shaham plays them both with greater tonal purity than Gidon Kremer on his ECM reference recordings, fine though his performances are. Fratres exists in zillions of different versions for every conceivable arrangement of solo string and something else, and here we have the one for violin, string orchestra, and percussion. Tabula Rasa, a sort of concerto for two violins, string orchestra and prepared piano, is indisputably a masterpiece of concentrated musical thought in which Pärt’s habit of repeating a simple idea with minor modifications produces a stunning essay in sustained tension and atmosphere. Just listen to the opening of the second movement, and marvel at how Pärt seems to say so much with such modest means. If you find the slender fund of basic material initially frustrating, as I did, stick with it. The music will gradually come to haunt your dreams.

That second movement incidentally has a subtitle, “Silentium” or “Silence”, and I have always felt that if a composer wants to express silence he should simply shut up and stop wasting our time, but this piece is the exception that proves the rule. Ignore the title and just listen. Splendidly played by Shaham and Adele Anthony, the work belongs in every serious collection, as does this release on the whole.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Tabula Rasa by Arvo Pärt
Performer:  Gil Shaham (Violin), Erik Risberg (Prepared Piano), Adele Anthony (Violin)
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1976; Estonia 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Gothenburg Concert Hall, Sweden 
Length: 23 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Fratres by Arvo Pärt
Performer:  Gil Shaham (Violin), Roger Carlsson (Percussion)
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977-1980; Estonia 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Gothenburg Concert Hall, Sweden 
Length: 9 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Symphony no 3 by Arvo Pärt
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971; Estonia 
Date of Recording: 12/1997 
Venue:  Gothenburg Concert Hall, Sweden 
Length: 25 Minutes 17 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Fratres For Violin, String Orchestra And Percussion
Tabula rasa: 1. Ludus: Con moto
Tabula rasa: 2. Silentium: Senza moto
Symphony No.3: 1. Attacca
Symphony No.3: 2. Più mosso Attacca
Symphony No.3: 3. Alla breve

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Mesmerizing July 19, 2014 By peter damato (lumberton, NJ) See All My Reviews "I saw the Pennsylvania Ballet do a Christopher Whelan new piece and was astounded by the choreography and the music. I waited for the credits to roll and saw that the music was by Arvo Part and called the "Tabula Rasa" I went to the Arkiv website and ordered it. I have listened to it many times and find the piece to be mesmerizing and it evokes feelings in me that are very deep. The piece really touches something inside of me from many years ago. There is the use of silence and time that I had never heard before. Truly an amazing piece of music and ballet." Report Abuse
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