Arvo PärtModern Classical Composer
Idiosyncratic composer blending minimalism and mysticism.
Estonian composer Arvo Pärt began crafting his first pieces in the 1950s, but it wasn't until the '70s that he really began to define his style and garner worldwide attention. By that point, his writing had evolved through a number of phases, but with such milestone works as Tabula Rasa and Spiegel im Spiegel, he arrived at his own unique paradigm, a compositional approach that incorporated his interest in minimalism, Early Music, Gregorian chant, and other liturgical music. Pärt dubbed his style "tintinnabuli" (from "tintinnabulation"), referencing the bell-like qualities of triadic harmony. His breakthrough to a mass audience came with the 1984 ECM album Tabula Rasa, which included some of Pärt's greatest compositions from the ‘70s, including Fratres, performed by Keith Jarrett and violinist Gidon Kremer, and the monumental title piece. Pärt's blend of minimalist motifs, spirituality, and a warm, emotive quality, as presented to the public in the context of ECM's always-exacting curatorial standards, crossed over to reach listeners outside the borders of the classical world. Pärt soon found himself in the company of such composers as Terry Riley and Philip Glass, whose idiosyncratic visions managed to reach a relatively mainstream audience.
|Arvo Pärt: Critical Connections|