Arvo Pärt – Creator Spiritus

Theatre of Voices - Ars Nova Copenhagen

23.9931.49
Clear
Original Recording Format: DSD 64

This recording focuses on Pärt as a composer of chamber music, if we include in that category a few pieces for chamber choir. Although the music is drawn from different periods in the composer’s career, there is nonetheless a concentration of relatively new pieces, so that this CD also constitutes a brief survey of Pa?rt’s most recent a cappella choral work.

The Stabat Mater is one of Paärt’s chief works (in any genre) and would be more often performed if it did not call for the rather unusual mixture of three singers and string trio – unusual not in the musical sense so much as the logistic! This work was in fact the starting point of a concert program that led us in turn to this recording, and explains the presence of other works for string quartet, alone or with voices. From my work in Estonia I knew the excellence of the NyyD players and their special understanding of Pärt’s music – that it requires both intense feeling under a surface of stillness and the ability to emerge suddenly into almost violent declamation. Together with my Theatre of Voices we put together a recital of Pärt and early music. Meanwhile, with Ars Nova Copenhagen, I continued to perform a wide range of Pärt’s music, from the Passio, Te Deum, and Miserere, through to the new items presented here. The timbres of strings and of voices remain for me a core element of Pärt’s music – because each can be so perfectly blended into a single sonority – and this has encouraged the juxtaposition of the liturgical atmosphere of his choral writing with the quasi-secular colour of the string quartet. In this world an organ even becomes a domestic instrument accompanying a ballad by Robert Burns.

Tracklist

1.
Veni creator
03:20
2.
The Deer's Cry
04:39
3.
Psalom
05:06
4.
Most Holy Mother of God
04:35
5.
Solfeggio
04:47
6.
My heart's in the highlands
08:41
7.
Peace upon you, Jerusalem
05:23
8.
Ein Wallfahrtslied
09:11
9.
Morning Star
03:18
10.
Sabat Mater
02:04

Total time: 00:51:04

Additional information

Artists

Composers

Conductors

Genres

,

Label

Qualities

Channels

, ,

Original Recording Format

Digital Converters

Meitner DSD AD/DA

Mastering Engineer

Brad Michel

Producer

Robina G. Young

Recording Engineer

Brad Michel

Recording location

Copenhagen, Denmark

Recording Type & Bit Rate

DSD64

Recording Software

Pyramix

SKU

HMU907553

Release Date May 5, 2014
SKU HMU907553

Press reviews

Ted Gioia

The 100 Best Albums of 2012: Honorable Mention

Opera News

This recording showcases Paul Hillier’s chamber choir, Ars Nova Copenhagen, and vocal quintet, Theater of Voices, in reverent readings of Pärt’s vocal chamber music.

Fanfare

the ethereal, almost unearthly quality of the performances here are entirely apropos to the music; moreover, the solo voices, especially that of soprano Else Torp, have exceptionally well-focused timbres that in turn focus the music like a laser beam.

American Record Guide

Finding and magnifying the poignant variances Part injects into his repetitive minimalist style is incredibly hard to do, and no one does it better than Paul Hillier. Distinguished engineering and first-rate annotation from HM sweeten the pot further.

Musical Toronto

Anyone can do a lot with a lot, but few are the people who manage to make something monumental and memorable from very little. Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, now 76, is one of those alchemists. “Small, repeated melodic figures and long, sliding dissonances have a hypnotic effect, especially when performed as beautifully and cleanly as at the hands of Hillier’s Theatre of Voices and Ars Nova Copenhagen.” “This is music that speaks to today, yet somehow manages to also sound absolutely timeless.” – John Terauds

PS Tracks

calming and compelling…

Shepherd Express

Sparseness suggests the vastness of time and space amid flickering candles and whiffs of bitter incense.

Concertonet.com

It is hard to imagine a better service to Pärt’s unique and important music than this disc. Hillier’s two groups are nothing short of fantastic. The team at harmonia mundi do a beautiful job in capturing the details of the performance space and balancing the singers and instrumentalists. The SACD surround sound is lush yet immediate, with a warm sheen to the higher frequencies. Fans of choral music and Pärt’s music in particular should not hesitate to add this to their collections. As long as recordings like this keep being produced, the “Classical Music” world will be in fine shape.

Audiophile Audition

There have been a lot, but this is one of the very best of the recent Pärt releases. Absolutely essential! HM’s typically high production values present throughout, and the sound is stunning.

Gramophone

Both vocal and instrumental forces are brought together in the bone-chilling, claustrophobic Ein Wallfahrtslied and the more expansive Stabat mater… Theatre of Voices have lived and breathed Part’s music for over two decades but it is perhaps the warmth and beauty of the voices of Ars Nova Copenhagen that is most immediately striking…

Listen

Choral master Paul Hillier knows the music of Arvo Part… Here, he offers an intimate collection of vocal and instrumental chamber pieces that range across the Estonian’s career… This performance of the Stabat Mater is beautifully sung and recorded. ‘My Heart Is in the Highlands’ is one of Part’s most perfect creations; sung here by soprano Else Torp, it will crush a sensitive soul.

ARIAMA

The performances are beyond criticism. A Hillier choir, whether it’s Theatre of Voices, Ars Nova Copenhagen or the National Chamber Choir of Ireland, is a perfectly tuned, vocally homogenous and absolutely responsive choir… Outstanding in every way,Creator Spiritus is essential for both Pärt newcomers and veterans.

WQXR

Minimally inclined though Pärt may be, this collection ensures maximum, ecstatic effect. Album of the week

The Buffalo News

A gorgeous new disc… The sound of the uppermost voice in Hillier’s choirs is somewhere between celestial and astounding.

Classical Candor

This is sacred music for quiet contemplation, and as such I cannot imagine its being any better performed than here by Paul Hillier and his players.

Sid Smith’s Postcards From The Yellow Room

as this new collection shows, [Pärt’s] music retains a special grace and ambiguity that somehow enables the sense of the sacred and the secular to emerge unscathed from such commercial applications. Thanks to the warmth and pin-sharp clarity of this SACD production one is enveloped by the rich intensity of Theatre Of Voices and Ars Nova Copenhagen, who between them serve Pärt’s yearning harmonies with a telling precision… as satisfying as it is profound.

The Independent

Yet another brilliant Arvo Pärt programme from Paul Hillier and Theatre of Voices…

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