Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Arvo Part, Theatre of Voices, Christopher Bowers-Broadbent|
Arvo Pärt: De Profundis [Hybrid SACD]
Genres: Folk, Classical
Listen to Samples
A few fine works for voice, but with quite a bit of dead wei
Christopher Culver | 09/18/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Paul Hillier has long supported the music of Estonian composer Arvo Part. Hillier sang with the Hilliard Ensemble on some of the early ECM recordings of Part's vocal works, wrote a book on Part for Oxford University Press, and over the last few years has continued to spread Part's music with his new ensemble Theatre of Voices. This is the second recording on Harmonia Mundi with Hillier leading the Theatre of Voices in both a capella works and pieces combining voice and organ.
There was quite a bit that I didn't like about this disc. "De Profundis" and "Summa" have already appeared on ECM. Generally the ECM recordings can be seen as definitive as the composer is involved in their production. The a capella pieces here are generally disappointing. "And one of the Pharisees...", a setting of the moving New Testament parable beginning with Luke 7:36, suffers from poor scoring and the text is completely unintelligible. "Solfeggio" is unusual in being a vocal work without any programmatic basis, unlike the overtly Christian music which is the hallmark of Part's writing, but it's not a terribly substantial piece. The "Magnificat Antiphones", seven German-language settings of praises of Christ, are the most diverse of the a capella works, but they don't draw me back. Frankly, I think Part's only success in the a capella vein has been the massive Arvo Part: Kanon Pokajanen of 1999, but that goes between mere art music to a full-fledged setting for liturgical use.
But in a couple of the pieces for chorus and organ, magic happens. In "The Beatitudes" the organ plays only a single note for minutes at a time, a pedal point under the chorus' tintinnabuli tones, but one is very grateful for the variety it provides. The "Missa Sillabica" is, in my opinion, Part's best setting of a Western liturgical text. The opening "Kyrie", with its slow enunciation and great silences, make one expect a very stripped-down work indeed. But with the following "Gloria" and all subsequent movement, the organ and chorus provide an extremely charming dance-like rhythm, with (as the title of the work suggests) very clear enunciation.
This disc I would recommend only for the Part collector, who will certainly find at least "Missa Sillabica" compelling. Those new to his music should seek out any of the ECM discs first."
Huanting sound. Profound expression of faith. Superb recordi
MBA_Overlord | New York, NY United States | 10/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"De Profundis is a beautiful, minimalist, and moving piece of religious music. Pärt gives voice to such intense feelings of longing, hope, and faith. The Theatre of Voices under Hillier performs superbly. This recording is exceptionally well engineered too. The massed choral voices have body and heft. Bravo Harmonia Mundi!"