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Composed: ; Length: c. I have discovered that it is enough when a single note is beautifully played. This one note, or a silent beat, or a moment of silence, comforts me. I work with very few elements — with one voice, with two voices. I build with the most primitive materials — with the triad, with one specific tonality. The three notes of a triad are like bells. And that is why I called it tintinnabulation.
Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten , performed here next week, is a well-known orchestral example of the new style. Much of his music since has been for voices, however.
He adds all of the soloists over a sustained timpani roll, in a tonal and textual set-up for the dramatic interpolation of the Dies Irae Day of Wrath , the 13th-century hymn familiar from requiem masses. He explores each verse of the text with distinctive combinations of voices and instruments, as sensitive to individual words as to expressive unities. The last three verses become softer, humbler, more searching, until the solo bass finds a root on E, which the organ confirms with a soft E-minor chord.
Arvo Pärt: Miserere (ECM New Series 1430)
Concert recording of Miserere at Nargenfestival, St. Courtesy of Estonian Public Broadcasting. The composer has combined two texts of different origin and form: the prose text of Psalm 50 51 is interlaced with verses from the Dies irae part of the requiem. The text of Dies irae , on the other hand, depicts the Day of Judgement over all of mankind. There is not much time for these last explanations and he must choose his words with utmost care, because his fate depends on them. The composition of the instrumental ensemble greatly influences the soundscape of the entire work. In addition to the organ, wind instruments oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, trumpet and trombone and percussion, it also includes an electric guitar and bass guitar.
Arvo Pärt: Miserere
Composed: ; Length: c. I have discovered that it is enough when a single note is beautifully played. This one note, or a silent beat, or a moment of silence, comforts me. I work with very few elements — with one voice, with two voices.