Magazine article Gramophone

Part: Lamentate

Magazine article Gramophone

Part: Lamentate

Article excerpt

Part Lamentate (a). These Words ... (a) Maki Namekawa pf Bruckner Orchestra, Linz / Dennis Russell Davies Orange Mountain (F) OMMO124 (56' * DDD)

Ethereal, spiritual, transcendental ... such epithets are often applied to Arvo Part but only partly reveal the composer's sound and musical style. One need look no further than Lamentate for piano and orchestra. Composed in 2002, the starting point for Lamentate was Anish Kapoor's immense sculpture Marsyas (the first performance took place in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern, where Marsyas was installed in 2003). It prompted Part to look to the Slavic text of a Byzantine hymn, whose opening lines translate as follows: 'My time is ending and thy dread judgement seat is being made ready. My life is passing; judgement awaits me.'

While these words are never actually heard, they are presented in the work's main theme--solemnly announced at the beginning on trombones and trumpets. The music then gets caught up in a dense, dissonant sonic vortex--very un-Part-like--and while the work is not all fire and brimstone (the fourth and fifth movements revisit the sound world of earlier Part pieces such as Fur Alina and Fratres), an air of uncertainty hovers ominously over the work like a dark cloud. …

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