One of the most grown-up review sites around

2020
54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

 

Buy through MusicWeb for £12.50 postage paid World-wide.
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque or Euro notes to avoid PayPal. Contactfor details

MusicWeb Purchase button

 

 

Arvo PÄRT (b. 1935)
Symphony No. 1 (Polyphonic) (1964) (Kanons [9:14]; Prelude and Fugue [7:26])
Collage on the Theme B-A-C-H (1964): (Toccata [2:55]; Saraband [3:29]; Ricercar [1:30])
Pro et Contra, concerto for cello and orchestra (1966) (Maestoso; Largo; Allegro [8:30])
Tabula Rasa, concerto for two violins, prepared piano and string orchestra (1977) (Ludus [10:09]; Silentium [18:18])
Congress Orchestra/Vladimir Norits (Symphony, Collage on the Theme B-A-C-H, Pro et Contra), Paolo Gatto (Tabula Rasa), Vadim Messerman (cello), Crtomir Siskovich and Victor Kuleshov (violins), Peter Laul (piano)
rec. Petersburg Recording Studio, 1995. DDD
MANCHESTER CLASSICS CDMAN 135 [62.05]


 

This release from Manchester Classical Gallery is a collection of works by Arvo Pärt, dating from the early 1960s to mid 1970s. This was a time when Pärt experimented a great deal in form, structure and tonality, before he settled into the style with which we are now familiar, of tintinabulus and a mediaeval/renaissance polyphony, spirituality and beauty. Although one hears premature hints of these in the four works (particularly Tabula Rasa), one also senses up a great deal of influence of composers such as Schoenberg.

The disc opens with his First Symphony. Written in 1964, it includes elements of 12-tone serialism and has a polyphonic structure. The Congress Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Norits, give an exciting and dramatic performance, although the work itself will come as quite a shock to those used to his later, religious and more orthodox style. It is gritty stuff, discordant, hard on the ear, quite relentless, and almost disjointed. One feels that Pärt had not found his voice at this stage.

The Collage on the Theme B-A-C-H has a minimalist first movement, while the second movement presents a gorgeous saraband from Bach, which is then interspersed with scrunched-up, from-your-very-worst nightmares Bach distortions. The finale, also discordant, movement is based on the B-A-C-H motif.

The Cello Concerto Pro et contra was dedicated to Rostropovich, and is described as a “kaleidoscope of contrasts”. It contains some brilliant playing from the Congress Orchestra, especially the percussion, and from soloist Vadim Messerman.

Tabula Rasa – a concerto for two violins, prepared piano and string orchestra – came as a tremendous relief to me – balm after the rather ear-shattered, mind-numbing previous works. It is a well-paced rendition – the Congress Orchestra, this time under the baton of Paolo Gatto, are not afraid to keep the pauses long. The second movement, Silentium, has a wonderful sense of spaciousness, and the work is given a radiant performance.

All these works are extremely well-played, but to those who are new to Pärt or just familiar with his later music I should issue a warning – these are a far cry from those later luminescent, spiritual works of art!

Em Marshall

 

 

 


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews



all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

September 2022

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Sep/Medtner-melodies-Ang.htm
Nikolai Medtner

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Sep/schubert-symph-8-&-9-blomstedt-DG4863045.htm
Herbert Blomstedt

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Sep/Tarrodi-elements-DBCD204.htm
Tarrodi Four Elements

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Sep/Verdi-falstaff-57951.htm

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Sep/Letters-secret-4860462.htm
Secret Love Letters
Lisa Batiashvili

August 2022

Hervelois
Louis Caix d'Hervelois

massenet
orchestral songs

Singleton

 


String Quartets

la folia

mysterious

 

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass


Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

 

 


Return to Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.