Fratres for violin, string orchestra and percussion

Arvo Pärt is undoubtedly one of the most famous contemporary Estonian composers. His music belongs to the 20th-century’s direction of “sacred” minimalism, which originated in Estonia in the 1970s. Pärt wrote his early works in the neo-romantic, neoclassical style. Later, the composer became interested in the compositional techniques of the 20th century. In search for his “voice” the composer studied Gregorian chant. “Gregorian chant brought me a kind of cosmic secret, which reveals itself in the art of combining two or three notes”, said Pärt. After the creative break, the composer emerged with quite different works; he developed a new idiosyncratic style, which he called “tintinnabuli” (Latin – bells). This style is based on absolute simplicity – triads and diatonic sequences. Every “tintinnabuli” piece is akin to a musical prayer, permeated with silence, concentration, repentance and spiritual depth. Opuses such as Für Alina, Spiegel im Spiegel and Tabula Rasa, composed in this style, remain to be the most popular among his works to this day. Fratres (Lithuanian – Brothers), one of Pärt’s “tintinnabuli” masterpieces, can be performed by any instrument or combination of instruments. It is a particularly potent work, combining inner rebellion and majestic peace, embodying the composer’s own observation: “the instant and eternity are struggling within us”.

Pärt’s Fratres features violinist Sergej Krylov and the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra.

PUBLISHED:  2018-06-05