Arvo Pärt

ECM NEW SERIES, ECM 1654/55, CD 457 834-2

Cover photo Arvo Pärt is nominated for the 41th Grammy Award in the Best Classical Contemporary Composition category for Kanon Pokajanen.

Manfred Eicher from ECM is nominated for the 41th Grammy Award as the Classical Producer of The Year for this and four other records.

The record is chosen as one of the top six of the year 1998 by The Gramophone's critic Rob Cowan and one of the top ten by BBC Music Magazine's critic Keith Potter.

The record is chosen by The Gramophone as a RECORD OF THE MONTH, JUNE 1998.

Arvo Pärt ist Mystiker. Es gibt kaum einen anderen zeitgenössischen Komponisten, dessen Werk derart hermetisch sich von aktuellen Strömungen abkapselt. Gerade daraus beziehen auch seine wuchtigen Kanons ihre suggestive Kraft. Grossdimensionierte Chöre schreien ihre Klagen und Hoffnungen mit mittreissender und schwer zu übertreffender Intensität in den Raum. In unserem Inneren hallen sie nach Rechtzeitig zu Ostern kam die Produktion auf den Markt. Zur Einkehr und als Aufforderung zum Aufbruch.

DER STANDARD/ Germany - 4/98

Viewed with hindsight, Kanon pokajanen recalls the tintinnabulation of Part's recent creative past, but on a grand scale: here the repeated segments are larger, more widely spaced, more subtly varied. The text is crucial, and the process of following it in translation essential for a full appreciation of how Part feels and experiences the Kanon's meaning. Of course, one also has the 'soft option' of letting Kanon pokajanen waft thoughtlessly into the ether (the glorious singing of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir suggests ethereal weightlessness), but I wouldn't recommend it. Part's profound marriage of word, music and spirit sits at the very apex of the current religio-musical revival, and deserves some measure of our attention in payment for the two years it took to complete. The recording is faultless.

GRAMOPHONE - June 1998 /Rob Cowan/

An unaccompanied choral work, Kanon Pokajanen lacks the timbral variety and narrative thrust of its composer's St John Passion. It glories, however, in extended contemplation of the Orthodox canon of repentance, permitting both close meditation on its text and the taking of considerable pleasure in the music's sonorous impact. Pärt's best composition of the Nineties, radiantly performed.

GRAMOPHONE - July 1998 /Keith Potter/


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