Pärt taken back to his roots

The Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Estonian National SO shimmer in ECM’s reverberant recorded acoustic.

Composer: Pärt
Repertoire: In Principio 
Artists: Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Estonian National SO/Tõnu Kaljuste
Rating:  3/5
Genre: Orchestra
Label: ECM 476 6990

This retrospective of Estonian Arvo Pärt’s music celebrates 25 years of partnership with ECM, the label that launched his works to a wider public with Tabula Rasa. Performed by two Estonian groups, it takes in music both new and old in Pärt’s style of sacred minimalism. In Principio, a five-movement choral work, begins surprisingly urgently with a rhythmic drive reminiscent of Stravinsky before settling into the slow-moving, hypnotic blocks of sound usually associated with Pärt. Other new works for orchestra are studies of sustained, hyper-emotional harmonies.