“Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells”
Allen Poe, “The Bells”
The word for the day is: tintinnabulation.
Estonian composer Arvo Pärt has used it tp describe the technique he uses to
create his resonant, beautiful music.
Here’s my playlist for
celebrating Arvo Pärt’s birthday and his music. He turns 75 this Saturday!
Passio / The Hillier Ensemble
The first time that I heard
Pärt’s music, it was the Passio,
performed in Indiana, about five years ago. I really like this recording, but experiencing it in
a live performance was overwhelming. The oboe and bassoon complement the solemn vocal lines so well.
Bonus track: Spiegel im Spiegel [Mirrors in Mirrors]
from Anne Akiko Meyers’s album Smile
A perfect moment, frozen in time. You may have heard this music in the film There Will Be Blood (in great contrast to the rest of the dense score by Johnny Greenwood
and the manic use of the third movement from Brahms's Violin Concerto). You can hear Meyers
describing her approach to Spiegel im Spiegel in our interview here.
For more, check out Thursday’s
episode of Performance Today, which
features Pärt’s recent Symphony No. 4 “Los Angeles.” In an
interview on that show, Pärt caught my attention with this description of his
music when he said, “It is not mysticism, it is real life.”
What do you think of Pärt’s
music? Do you have a strong memory of discovering it? What other recordings or pieces do you