Personalities | Arvo Pärt | Contemporary | Classical

(Ar’-vo Pairt) b. 1935
Estonian composer

Pärt initially wrote in a neo-classical style, gradually shifting to serial techniques as previously banned scores filtered into the country. Works such as Perpetuum mobile (‘Continuous Motion’, 1963) attracted the wrath of the state. A love of Baroque music and particularly J. S. Bach is revealed in works such as Collage teemal B-A-C-H (1964). He often contrasted the order of the Baroque with a more chaotic modernism, a confrontation that reached its zenith with Credo (1968), in which Bach’s famous C major prelude is contorted through 12-note transformations. From 1968, Pärt focused on simpler, tonal music and in 1976 wrote Für Alina, in which he first used the ‘tintinnabuli’ technique, so called because of its bell-like sonority. This is essentially a two-part texture, with one melodic line moving stepwise from a central pitch and another tintinnabuli voice playing notes from the tonic triad. Characteristic of all his work from 1968 onwards is a commitment to Ortohodox Christianity.

Recommended Recording:
Arbos, An den Wassern zu Babel, Pari intervallo, De profundis, Es sang vor langen Jahren, Summa, Stabat Mater, Gidon Kremer, Vladimir Mandelssohn, Thomas Demenga, Hilliard Ensemble, Staatsorchester Stuttgart (cond) Dennis Russell Davies (ECM)

Introduction | Contemporary | Classical
Personalities | Krzysztof Penderecki | Contemporary | Classical


An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...


Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.

Rock, A Life Story

Rock, A Life Story

The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers his life, music, art and movies, with a sweep of incredible photographs.