Adam's LamentAlbum |
Recent choral works by the mystic minimalist.
Showcasing Estonian composer Arvo Pärt's recent choral work, Adam's Lament is simultaneously stark and sublime. Part's trademark blend of stony minimalism and sacred epiphanies leans well toward the latter here, as hazy choral harmonies suspend themselves over subtle, simple orchestral voicings. Recorded in an ancient church in Estonia's capital city, Tallinn, the pieces are swaddled in a rich natural reverb and decay: the bells that ornament the haunting "Beatus Petronius" seem to ring forever in the spaces between Pärt's chords. The 24-minute epic title track, a depiction of Adam's post-expulsion lamentations by the Russian Orthodox monk St. Silouan, is beautiful in its emotional anguish. But the two closing tracks, simple settings of a pair of lullabies from Pärt's childhood, are perhaps even more lovely and emotionally resonant.