Part: Fratres; Tabula rasa; Symphony No. 3

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WORKS: Fratres; Tabula rasa; Symphony No. 3
PERFORMER: Gil Shaham, Adele Anthony (violin), Roger Carlsson (percussion), Erik Risberg (prepared piano); Gothenburg SO/Neeme Järvi
CATALOGUE NO: 457 647-2
This CD contains two of Part’s classic pieces from the 70s, written just after he’d discovered the mystical style of endlessly circling patterns and scales that has since made him famous. It was the end of long search for a music of utter simplicity and stillness, a search which led him at one point to church plainchant. The Third Symphony, written in 1971, is a mosaic of church plainchant spread over a full orchestra. The texture ranges from the barest single line melody up to massive textures that sometimes recalls the grandeur of medieval polyphony, (and also, it has to be said, the film scores of Cecil B. Demille’s biblical epics). Neeme Järvi shapes the wayward lines and gradually accumulating climaxes with a sure hand, and manages to give this curious yet moving patchwork a genuine symphonic momentum. The other pieces need no interpretative help, they should simply be allowed to unfold in perfect serenity – which may be why Jarvi seems slightly ill at ease with them. In the second movement of Tabula rasa the tempo seems to rush slightly towards the end, as if he’s losing patience. The two violin soloists, however, are superbly poised and serene, and they soar up to their stratospherically high notes with angelic perfection. Ivan Hewett