Organist's Review: Creator Spiritus

Arvo Pärt: Creator Spritus
Rebecca Tavener, Organist's Review
Mandag, 18. juni

Arvo Pärt Creator Spiritus 

Paul Hillier's special artistic relationship with Arvo Pärt guarantees that any recording he directs of works by him must be taken very seriously indeed. Here he concentrates on chamber music, both choral miniatures and works with voice and instruments (organ and string quartet), in an anthology that ranges across several decades of work and involves Hillier's own vocal ensembles as well as regular instrumental collaborators. Therefore, theres performances are characterised by a profound knowledge of and respect for Pärt's work, makring these recordings about as authoritative as one colud wish for.

The quality of the singing, whether from choir or soloists, is outstanding. Ars Nova Copenhagen, warm of tone and wonderfully sonorous, responds to every tiny detail with exemplary discipline and the rather growly basses form an interesting textural foundation to the purer tones above. Among the highlights are a mystically measured glowing account of  The Deer's Cry, a luminously lovely Peace be upon you, Jerusalem, and a reading of Morning Star that captures what was surely Pärt's intent, to represent Christ's advent as inexorable as the dawn.

The longest work at c.25 minutes is the poised and plangent Stabat Mater, scored for three solo voices and strings. This work above all illustrates Pärt's almost miraculous manipulation of a narrow palette of sound-colour to deliver a tremendous emotional impact. There nevar was a composer, surely, for whom one might so aptly say that "less is more", and this is an ideal strater disc for anyone wanting to get to know Pärt and his inimitable musico-spiritual language