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Arvo Pärt: 2 Sonatinas; Partita; LamenTate

Ralph van Raat, piano
Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic/Falletta

Naxos 8.572525

A valuable release, giving us a broad perspective to Pärt's changing musical language, supported by a lengthy article by musicologist/pianist Ralph van Raat, whose every disc for Naxos has been unique and uniquely valuable.

Arvo Pärt's music was serial in earlier times (earning disfavour of the Soviets), atonal in the '60s, and it became simple & minimalist after a period of "artistic silence" during the '70s, latterly simplistic with hypnotic, slow moving music that has gained worldwide acclaim; "Ralph van Raat has the ability to retain our interest when so little is happening. The Netherland’s orchestra does all that is required..." [David Denton].

The major work LamenTate (2003) was written for the gigantic Kapoor sculpture at Tate Modern [R, with miniscule figures underneath it indicating scale]. LamenTate is preoccupied with death, the moment "after one really discovers the truth...".

It might have been better to end the disc with the latest of the compositions, the tiny Für Anna Maria (2006) which celebrates life in "an almost unusually celebratory manner" [R van R].

Peter Grahame Woolf

See the Guardian review of LamenTate as given at Tate Modern