Arvo Part - Tintinnabuli
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Cat No: CDGIM049
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 2nd March 2015
WorksI am the True Vine
Magnificat Antiphons (7)
The woman with the alabaster box
Tribute to Caesar
Which was the son of ...
ArtistsThe Tallis Scholars
1Sieben Magnificat-Antiphonen 1. O Weisheit
2Sieben Magnificat-Antiphonen 2. O Adonai
3Sieben Magnificat-Antiphonen 3. O Spross aus Isais Wurzel
4Sieben Magnificat-Antiphonen 4. O Schlussel Davids
5Sieben Magnificat-Antiphonen 5. O Morgenstern
6Sieben Magnificat-Antiphonen 6. O Konig Aller Volker
7Sieben Magnificat-Antiphonen 7. O Immanuel
9Which Was The Son Of...
10Nunc Dimittis 1. Nunc Dimittis
11Nunc Dimittis 2. Quia viderunt oculi mei
12Nunc Dimittis 3. Gloria
13The Woman with the Alabaster Box 1. Now when Jesus was in Bethany
14The Woman with the Alabaster Box 2. Why trouble ye the woman?
15The Woman with the Alabaster Box 3. Verily I say unto you
16Tribute to Caesar 1. Then Went the Pharisees
17Tribute to Caesar 2. And they brought unto Him a penny
18I am the True Vine
19Triodion 1. Introduction
20Triodion 2. Ode 1
21Triodion 3. Ode 2
22Triodion 4. Ode 3
23Triodion 5. Coda
In 1980 Phillips and Steve Smith launched Gimell Records, which has given the Tallis Scholars a worldwide reach even greater than their extensive touring and festival appearances. Over the past thirty-five years many of their recordings have been feted with awards. Their very first disc, including Allegri's Miserere, was a chart-topper, and their cycle of Josquin Masses has achieved particular renown.
Like several other early music vocal ensembles, the Tallis Scholars have also embraced contemporary choral music, including Ivan Moody, Eric Whitacre and the late John Tavener. Now, on their latest disc for Gimell, they turn their attention to Arvo Pärt in a timely tribute for his eightieth birthday. All the music – which spans a period from 1988 to 2001 – embodies the bell-like triadic sonorities of Pärt's tintinnabuli technique, but the texts, ranging from Latin canticles and the Orthodox Lenten Triodion to settings of biblical narrative, prompt a wide variety of musical responses, from the ethereal to the halting, grounded and even witty.
Pärt's vocal music is strongly influenced by his own studies of the medieval and Renaissance masters, and the Tallis Scholars prove ideal interpreters of this static yet profoundly moving music. For many, the big 'draw' will be a superbly sensitive performance of Pärt's celebrated Magnificat (1989), a perfect example of tintinnabuli in practice. Yet just as engaging are the German-texted Seven Magnificat Antiphons which open the disc, with their widely varied and evocative textures. An unexpected highlight is Which Was the Son of … (2000), a setting of the genealogy of Christ from the Gospel of Luke: never can such an enumerative text been invested with so much quiet brilliance and significance.
Two episodes from the Gospel of Matthew, The Woman with the Alabaster Box and Tribute to Caesar, composed as a pair in 1997, combine an intense stillness with an exceptionally wide range; the Tallis basses coping admirably with the subterranean depths, and there are some heart-stopping solos in the second part of the Tribute, which ends in a state of calm wonder. Drones feature prominently in I Am the True Vine and the Triodion (1996 and 1998), although the former also includes some arrestingly fractured melodic lines. The most recent work included here, the Nunc dimittis of 2001, is almost exclusively concerned with triads rather than melody, and gives rise to some exquisitely haunting textures and a resplendently euphonious climax.
From the celestial heights of the sopranos to the sonorous depths of the basses, the Tallis Scholars under Peter Phillips perform this music with an unequalled refinement and expressive engagement. In his fine booklet notes, Phillips says of Pärt, 'In all my searchings for inspiring contemporary music I have not come across anyone to rival him.' And this disc, recorded with ideal presence and warmth in the Chapel of Merton College, Oxford, is likely to be unrivalled for excellence in the composer's eightieth birthday celebrations.
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