All products and recordings are chosen independently by our editorial team. This review contains affiliate links and we may receive a commission for purchases made. Please read our affiliates FAQ page to find out more.

Arvo Pärt: Fratres; Tabula Rasa etc

François Sochard (violin), Guillaume Bellom (piano); Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne/Renaud Capuçon (violin) (Erato)

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

Arvo Pärt
Fratres (1992 version); Tabula rasa*†; La Sindone; Spiegel im Spiegel; Summa; Silouan’s Song; Darf ich…; Für Lennart in memoriam
*François Sochard (violin), Guillaume Bellom (piano); Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne/Renaud Capuçon (violin)
Erato 9029502957   66:16 mins


Marking his arrival this autumn as artistic director of the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Renaud Capuçon has devoted their inaugural joint recording to the music of Arvo Pärt as a ‘first step toward new horizons.’ While never having met the Estonian, Capuçon’s professed ‘crazy admiration’ of him has yielded compelling performances of seven of his best-known works dated 1977 to 2006.

Directing co-soloists François Sochard (violin), Guillame Bellom (prepared piano) and the orchestra strings from first solo violin, Capuçon throws down the gauntlet with a searingly intense performance of Tabula rasa (1977). The playing is impeccably controlled yet fiercely expressive, combining a hushed, translucent intimacy with a dramatic power and his own clear sweetness of tone to heart-piercing effect. Throughout the album, Capuçon reveals a keen instinct for timing and structural balance as he and his fellow musicians breathe as one. Material appears from and returns to silence, forming layers of connective tissue between each piece and each player – solo and orchestral – as it does between the concerto’s contrasting movements.

The results are as striking in the strings-only Summa (1991), Silouan’s Song (1991) and Für Lennart in memoriam (2006) as they are in Fratres (1992) and Darf ich… (1995), where Capuçon is again soloist – and in the duo Spiegel im Spiegel (1978), with Bellom on piano. From exquisitely light, brushing entries to long, liturgy-inspired lines and punctuating percussion, each work attests the profoundly moving body of work Pärt has created through his Orthodox faith.


Steph Power