Pärt: Beatus Petronius; Statuit ei dominus; Memento mori; De profundis; Cantate domino; Seven Magnificat Antiphons
As the marketing folk put it, the music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt needs little introduction. Even so, one should reiterate the difference between his work and other products of the ‘faith minimalist’ school.
Also, observe how, even in the limits of his tintinnabuli style, nuances have changed since the historic Summa and Tabula rasa brought him to the attention of the West in the Seventies and Eighties. Statuit ei dominus, Memento mori and Beatus Petronius, recent works receiving their first recordings on this ‘Beatus’ disc, retain the medieval ambience of earlier works, yet suggest the choral repertoire of the 16th or 17th centuries.
Summa’s contemporary, the Missa sillabica, shows up the difference – for the first time, in its unaccompanied form. An even earlier piece, Solfeggio, adds another dimension to our knowledge of this oeuvre. Though other versions of the Seven Magnificat Antiphons are available, the composer’s presence at the studio sessions adds to the authority brought by these performers to one of Pärt’s most varied recent works.
Coming full circle, the second antiphon, O Adonai, touches the spiritual pulse of those groundbreaking scores from the Seventies.