Arvo Pärt, 80 today: Music says all I have to say

Arvo Pärt, 80 today: Music says all I have to say


norman lebrecht

September 11, 2015

The Estonian composer, an unlikely folk hero, is celebrated on new releases from ECM and the Tallis Scholars.

His most iconic piece?

Or this?
arvo part praemium imperiale


  • Tom says:

    I would have thought ‘Spiegel im Spiegel’ is heard more than any other piece of his, although not necessarily in concerts. Gets a lot of use in TV/film.

    • Ellingtonia says:

      Spiegel im Spiegel is one of the most simplistic yet austere pieces of music that I have ever heard and yes, it has been done to death as backing music for TV / Film in a similar way that Goreckis “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs” suffered the same fate. None the less, they are two beautiful pieces of music and we should be grateful for both of them.

      • John Borstlap says:

        IMHO there is a fundamental difference between Pärt, who is a serious and brilliant composer of music with both depth and spiritual qualities, and Gorecki, whose Symph III is mere kitsch-mongering for the masses. Pðrt’s simplicity is very subtle and sophisticated, in a musical (!) way; Gorecki’s simplicity is primitive.

  • Joel V. says:

    Does anyone know if Arvo Pärt has written any new works during the last 5 years? As far as I know after “Adam’s Lament” (2009) his last works have been smaller pieces and arrangements from 2010 and 2011.

  • Henry says:

    He wrote an orchestral piece titled ‘Swan Song’ (2013), being performed tonight in Tallinn alongside his 4 symphonies as part of his 80th birthday celebrations at the Nargen Festival. Should be a great concert, if you’re in Tallinn get along to see it.