DESKTOP
TABLET (max. 1024px)
MOBILE (max. 640px)
Return to Top
Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

LEBRECHT LISTENS | Arvo Pärt’s Choral Devotions Occupy A Space All Their Own

By Norman Lebrecht on November 20, 2020

Arvo Pärt (Photo: Eric Marinitsch)
Arvo Pärt (Photo: Eric Marinitsch)

Arvo Pärt: Works for Choir (Cugate Classics)

★★★☆☆

🎧 Cugate Classics | Amazon

I chucked out a bunch of new releases this week, mostly solo recitals on esoteric instruments like the harp, the mandolin and the saxophone, though also viola, voice and harpsichord, some on so-called major labels. These recitals tend to be paid for by the soloist after a label decides they are uncommercial. Knowing that people are unlikely to buy it, why would I waste valuable time reviewing it and you reading about it? In these fragile times when every hour of life is doubly precious, artists need to think twice and think again before pushing out more and more of these promotional discs. The recycle bin is overflowing

If there’s one thing I’ve missed more in COVID than the sound of a symphony orchestra tuning up, it’s the little shuffle a choir gives before it opens throats and lets rip. While I’m not a great fan of the flock of Anglican dirges with organ obbligato that descends at this time of year, and less still of the growling of Russian monks, Pärt’s unaccompanied devotions occupy a space all their own, a contemplation of the divine beneath God’s own skies. When Pärt titles a piece “Magnificat”, you can be confident that it is. The insult of “holy minimalism” that Boulez hurled his way has never sound less appropriate.

Arvo Part CD

I know nothing about the Vilnius Municipal Choir not its artistic director Vaclovas Augustinas because the label — also new to me — has not bothered to supply a booklet. But the 40 minutes of music on this album is alternately hypnotic and uplifting and I can recommend it without hesitation — just the caveats that it’s short and uninformative. Lord, they have lovely choirs on the Baltic. When, oh when, will we hear them live again?

To read more from Norman Lebrecht, follow him on Slippedisc.com.

#LUDWIGVAN

Get the daily arts news straight to your inbox.

Sign up for the Ludwig van Daily — classical music and opera in five minutes or less HERE.

Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300
comments powered by Disqus

Ludwig Van Toronto

LEBRECHT LISTENS | Where Has Hindemith Gone?

By Norman Lebrecht on April 9, 2021

It’s a bit of a mystery why Hindemith has vanished so completely, with chamber music so extremely well-made, intelligent, and civilized.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300

LEBRECHT LISTENS | Hilary Hahn’s ‘Paris’ Demands Few Of Her Finely Honed Skills

By Norman Lebrecht on April 2, 2021

When you hear the term ‘multiple issues’ in 2021 it usually signifies that Covid is not the only cause of death. This album has multiple issues.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article

LEBRECHT LISTENS | This New Album Might Change Your Mind About Lieder

By Norman Lebrecht on March 26, 2021

Baritone Matthias Goerne, with a voice like brushed velvet and diction clearer than iced vodka, and pianist Seong-Jin Cho offer up a superb collection of Lieder.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_low_590x300
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700

We have detected that you are using an adblocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website. Please whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.