Arvo Pärt - Lamentate for Piano and Orchestra. Homage to Anish Kapoor and his sculpture ‘Marsyas’ / Lamentate pro klavír a orchestr - Pocta Anish Kapoorovi a jeho soše Marsyas
Arvo Pärt - Nekrolog, Op. 5
Arvo Pärt - Symphony No.3 / Symfonie č. 3
Maki Namekawa piano / klavír
Brno Philharmonic / Filharmonie Brno
Dennis Russell Davies conductor / dirigent
Nahráno v Besedním domě v Brně v listopadu 2020 a únoru 2021.
Composed for piano and orchestra, Lamentate (also LamenTate) was commissioned by London’s Tate Modern and was inspired by Marsyas, the giant sculpture by Anish Kapoor (b. 1954), the British sculptor and multimedia artist of Indian origin. Hence the subtitle of the work, Homage to Anish Kapoor and his sculpture Marsyas.
Many of Arvo Pärt’s earlier works have proven to be pioneering in Estonian modernist music, including his first orchestral piece Nekrolog, completed in 1960, while Pärt was still a student. It was the first performed dodecaphonic piece in Estonian music. Nekrolog initially generated controversial opinions in music circles. In the weekly discussion meeting at the Estonian Composers Union, a critical attitude was taken towards the work because “dodecaphonic expression is not suitable for Soviet music”. The chairman of the Union of Soviet Composers, Tikhon Khrennikov, expressed direct condemnation, calling it “avant-garde bourgeois music”. In order to encourage the approval of the composition by the Estonian Composers Union, some of Pärt’s colleagues suggested dedicating it to the victims of fascism, which could justify its modernist sound. According to the composer, Nekrolog is not a monument to the victims of the concentration camp at Kalevi-Liiva, but is composed to the whole world. Arvo Pärt: “It was not for any particular victims of communism or fascism, but for much more significant victims. It was music for the burial of the world. There is no connection with ideology or politics. /…/ And from then on the searches started from scratch. Searches for truth, searches for purity; these were actually searches for God.” (Immo Mihkelson, The Sound and Silence. Arvo Pärt 70, episode 4).
By the time Credo was composed in 1968, Pärt had come to the conclusion that the musical means he had been using so far had exhausted themselves. The composer then delved into early music because it was in Gregorian chant, early polyphony and polyphonic music from the Renaissance that he had previously found his musical examples, ideal sound combinations and techniques. This became the starting point for his eight-year period of searching for a unique musical language.
This silence was broken by Symphony No. 3, one of the first works that was considerably different from his earlier compositions and heralded Pärt’s new creative principles. The three movements of the composition follow each other attacca (i.e. without any break). The composer’s interest in monody and early polyphony is clearly visible here. The harmonic and melodic material brings to mind choir music from the 14th and 15th centuries, even though Pärt does not use any quotations. The polyphonic development in all movements of the piece do not emphasize the atmosphere from behind centuries, but rather, translate the thematic material into contemporary musical language. In Symphony No. 3 Pärt aimed to apply the notion of the movement of independent voices, imagining the entire structure of the composition as a metaphor for building a city.