New recording of Arvo Pärt’s symphonies traces the composer’s path from 1963 to 2009

Posted on: April 27, 2018

“Arvo Pärt is beloved worldwide for his signature sound—a spacious, meditative music that tends to sound timeless,” writes Tom Huizenga last Friday (4/20) on National Public Radio. “But there’s a lesser-known side to the 82-year-old Estonian’s career. It’s a story that can be traced in a new recording of Pärt’s four symphonies … by the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic…. His Symphony No. 1, from 1963, is subtitled ‘Polyphonic,’ a cheeky nod to old traditions. But the music is perfectly modern … astringent, tonally challenging music…. That sound still lingers in Pärt’s compact Second Symphony from 1966…. In 1968, Pärt … went almost completely silent as a composer for nearly eight years. When he reemerged, he launched … his new softer, slower, style.… But Pärt did write one significant piece during his blackout period—the Symphony No. 3. In it, you can hear the composer turn his back on the trendy, atonal sound….. It’s hard not to be awed by … the symphony he came up with next, his Fourth subtitled ‘Los Angeles.’ Named more with angels in mind than the city where it premiered in 2009, the symphony is scored for strings, harp, timpani and percussion and unfolds in long, flowing breaths.”

Posted April 27, 2018