Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Arvo Pärt - Fratres (1995)

Rudolf Werthen conducting I Fiamminghi, the Orchestra of Flanders. Recorded in Basilica of Bonne Espérance, Vellereille-les-Brayeuz, Belgium, August 18-20, 1994.

Arvo Pärt is a Estonian composer in the minimalist tradition of the late 20th century.  He invented his own "tintinnabuli" compositional style based in early chant music.  Although formulaic, the pieces are very peaceful and beautiful - some of the more consonant music written in the past 50 years. 

Fratres (the Latin word for brothers or brethren), originally written in 1977, now appears in more than 10 different arrangements, each of varying length and instrumentation. Six of these appear on this disc:
  • strings and percussion (10:14)
  • violin, strings and percussion (11:56)
  • wind octet and percussion (8:04)
  • eight cellos (9:45)
  • string quartet (9:53)
  • cello and piano (10:24)
Of these six, I prefer the arrangement for strings and percussion as well as the arrangement for cello and piano.  For a much better and more thorough explanation of tintinnabuli and Fratres, click here.

Other works on this disc are Pärt's Cantus In Memory Of Benjamin Britten (1977), Summa (1978), and Festina Lente (1988).  All good and all very much in a similar vein.  As a full 79 minute listening experience, this disc gets monotonous in a hurry.  However, if you pick and choose your tracks when you're in just the right mood, it can be a fantastic listening experience.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  I've never heard a live performance of this work.  I came to this music by its use in the 2007 film, There Will Be Blood.

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